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Picking the Right Partners

DancersTake steps toward closing the sale by pairing channels from different marketing categories.

Everywhere you look, marketers are talking about multichannel marketing. Direct mail is paired with email. Email is paired with social media. Point-of- sale displays are driving SMS responses.

Why the emphasis on so many channels? Because it works. Part of the reason is repeated exposure and reinforcement of the message. Another is that different channels play different roles in moving customers along the sales funnel.

Experian Marketing, for example, places channels in one of three categories: greeter (creating brand awareness), influencer (generating interest), and closer (getting the sale). When each channel plays its role, the marketer closes more sales and gets better results.

According to Experian’s “Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report” (2014), there are clear frontrunners when it comes to the most effective channels in each category. According to respondents to the survey, here are the channels receiving the best results:

Top channels for creating brand awareness (Greeter)

  • Search marketing: 43%
  • Online display ads: 42%
  • Social display ads: 40%
  • Social media (not paid): 38%
  • Print advertising: 37%

Top channels for generating interest (Influencer)

  • Email marketing: 49%
  • Social media (not paid): 44%
  • Online display ads: 35%
  • Print advertising: 33%
  • Social display ads: 33%

Top channels for getting the sale (Closer)

  • Website (e-commerce): 42%
  • Email marketing: 30%
  • Direct mail: 20%
  • Mobile apps: 20%
  • Search marketing: 17%

The study also found that half of global cross-channel marketers surveyed planned to integrate four or more channels into their campaigns in 2014. When you consider the number of stages along the sales funnel and the complementary role that each channel plays, this just makes sense.

Multichannel has become so important, in fact, that it is fundamentally changing marketers’ roles within their companies. Adobe’s “Digital Roadblock” survey, for example, found that 64% of marketers expect their roles within the company to change in the next 12 months. Of these, 73% said this is due to the expanding number of channels and platforms necessary to reach audiences. A similar percentage (71%) said it is due to the need to develop new ways of thinking about audience engagement.

Similarly, an Econsultancy study found that 44% of marketers cited multichannel as an essential skill for marketers. This follows web analytics (46%), content marketing (50%), mobile marketing and data expertise (51% each), and customer experience (59%).

Multichannel is a foundational part of any marketing program, and smart marketing starts with pairing the right channels in each campaign to achieve your marketing goals.

Your customers live in a multichannel world. Do you?