Mastering your channel strategy

Consumers of today are more empowered, informed and demanding than ever before. They expect their favourite brands to understand their needs, deliver unforgettable experiences, and provide consistency across the multiple touchpoints in their journey to purchase and beyond.

The digital era has bought more and more of these touchpoints to consider, and the nature of the technology and the platforms they operate from, mean they are constantly changing and evolving. So, in order to best connect with your clients, brands need to forget trying to conquer all and instead focus on choosing the right channel strategy to suit both their identity and align with their audience preferences.

Taking a strategic view of your channel selection means finding the best way to expose your services, products and brand identity to possible customers. A well-thought-out channel strategy means you will always be ready to engage your audience on the platforms they visit and respond to most.
 
There are various direct and indirect marketing routes to take online and offline, including social media, SEO, and content marketing. In the most part, these channels are typically connected through either a multi-channel or omni-channel approach. And whilst it’s always good to get a steer from leaders in your industry, it’s important to recognize there’s no one-size-fits-all for marketing channel strategy.
 
Since most companies only have a certain amount of resources that they can use, it’s important to find the right selection of channels to drive results. The more you know about where your brand is today, and where you hope to be in the future, the easier it will be to achieve your goals. Here are a few tips on how we think you can master your marketing channel strategy.

Understand your end goal.

Understanding what it is you are hoping to achieve from the various channels that you’re including in a campaign is key. For example, are you using social media to generate and spread awareness, but an online store to acquire sales? Do you need search engine campaigns to drive additional traffic?

Knowing your end goals and how you wish to accomplish this through each channel will mean you can put strategic measurements in place to evaluate the success of each campaign and each individual channels contribution.

Strategically select, measure & optimise.

Marketing is undoubtedly a creative process. But there is an element of mathematics and science needed to identify what channels work for your business, and the only way to do this is by measuring performance in the various areas and optimising them for long-term success.

There are dozens of different channels to choose from, live events, podcasts, video and direct mail to name a few. With a limited budget to work with, it’s crucial you choose the channels that will return the greatest ROI.

To begin with, you will need to place some strategic bets on the channels you believe your customers are most likely to see and respond to. To deliver the best results you need to ensure you’re engaging with consumers at every stage of their buying journey.

Keep your customers front of mind.

Understanding and tracking where your typical customer spends most of their time, and where they go to for sourcing the information that they need to buy something will need to remain front and centre and where you focus. You want your customers to feel a sense of comfort and familiarity.

Utilise your data.

Collecting data is crucial to measuring your long-term success. As you gather information, you’ll be able to create a much clearer picture of where your customers are engaging with your organisation. The data you collect will go on to help you identify unified profiles any apply additional layers to help you deliver a more personalised approach. Don’t forget, today’s customers don’t want to be just another everyday punter, they want to feel valued and make meaningful and emotional connections with your brand.

If you notice any barriers or challenges in the channels you choose, you can also use your data to overcome those problems all the while enhancing the experience for your customers.

Coordinate your channels.

No matter how successful one specific channel route might be, for instance - it helps you to reach out to a very specific selection of customers, the best way to reach your entire audience is to combine many different types of channels into a single cohesive campaign.

72%1 say that they prefer an integrated approach to marketing. Despite this, many businesses are still reluctant to embrace the power of cross-channel marketing. A comprehensive omni-channel or multi-channel strategy will set you apart from your competitors and satisfy the needs of your consumers too!

Lets get started.

Mastering your channel strategy is all about understanding the changing customer journey and the demand for more organised and immersive experiences from the businesses they shop with. A strategy that combines multiple avenues to perfectly support their journey will give you the best chance of building longer term loyalty.

Rather than simply waving a flag in just one channel and hoping to grab your customer’s attention, you should actively seek out and connect with your consumers. Find the channels that they use most often and make them a key part of your campaign planning.

If you need help, our expert team are always on hand to help you devise impactful and integrated communication strategies, get in touch today at contact@mba-group.com or call us on 0208 376 4300.

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1 E-tailing Group’s 4th annual Consumer Insights Survey