remote billboard
Marketers need to improve their multichannel know-how and tools PHOTO: Mel Stoutsenberger

In this era of hyper-connectivity, attention spans are down and the number of apps people regularly use is up. While this means that audiences are more fractured across channels, it also means that brands have more opportunities than ever to meet audiences exactly where they are. 

Multichannel marketing meets consumers everywhere — on social media sites, digital video screen advertisements, email newsletters, television, magazines and more — to make sure that no matter where people look, your brand’s messaging is reinforced.

Cross-Channel Interactions Convert 

Marketing on multiple channels works. In a 2016 Fluent survey, 62 percent of respondents who engaged with their favorite retailers across 10 or more channels reported making in-store purchases from them on a weekly basis. What’s more, nearly half (49 percent) said the same about online purchases. 

As if those numbers weren’t enough, a 2015 report by Econsultancy and Oracle Marketing Cloud found that 73 percent of marketers believe cross-channel interactions wield major impact on conversions. 

And according to data from Episerver, today’s marketers are waking up to the importance of multichannel marketing, together with the need to improve their multichannel know-how and tools.

how multichannel are you

So it’s clear that cross-channel marketing is important, but evolving technology makes it both more daunting and easier than ever to execute.  

Every Moment Can Be the Right Moment

Great marketing is about getting the right message to the right person at the right moment. And with multichannel marketing, brands can reach people in the moments of their lives when they're most open to various messages. 

From commutes to leisure time on the internet to checkout lines at supermarkets to social newsfeeds, there are more opportunities than ever to make an impression, build brand equity and drive action. 

That makes understanding how to appear in all of those places an essential skill when executing today’s multichannel campaigns.

Legacy Meets Technology

As television is usurped by online video consumption and traditional billboards are replaced by smart, digital versions, the media ecosystem continues to prove that there’s no replacement for omnipresence.

Even the concept of complete, 360-degree channel coverage is changing: Today’s version of omnipresence is faster-reacting and integrates traditional channels like print and television with snappier, internet-based content like social media campaigns and advertising on digital publishing sites. 

Get Physical, Not Just Digital

Yet truly balanced multichannel marketing must recognize the importance of meeting people where they physically are — not just in their digital lives. For example even though computers and cell phones continue to dominate audience face time, out-of-home (OOH) media grew by 3.1 percent in 2016, according to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA).

To a great degree, the power of OOH media comes from the audience’s experiential context. It’s far easier to capture people’s attention when they’re waiting for a flight to board, a movie to start or a cashier to be available than it is when they’re trying to read a blog post. 

It’s no wonder then, that 69 percent of media planners surveyed by the Digital Place Based Advertising Association (DPAA) earlier this year said they had recommended OOH as a means of driving mobile engagement.

Emotional Investment Extends Your Message 

Driving action from one channel to another gets people emotionally invested in your brand, and is one of the best ways to capture contact information for future nurturing of audience members. 

That’s because out-of-home ads often feature QR codes, website URLs or social media handles and hashtags to drive traffic to digital platforms where visitors can be more easily tracked and converted to sales. And OOH can also extend your message beyond channels where audiences may have seen your message before.

Meet Your Customers Where They Are

Brands can remain top-of-mind by creating the impression that they’re everywhere. By appearing in multiple channels, marketing campaigns can build brand equity over time, thus increasing the chances that they'll eventually land more and more purchases from potential customers. 

But the downside of ubiquity can be that the sheer quantity of content being published by brands all the time makes it hard for any one brand to forge a lasting, memorable connection with audience members. 

That’s why brands need to extend their reach beyond individual, hyper-targeted campaigns to rise above the endless stream of status updates and native ads in news feeds. By being online, as well as in other physical or multimedia spaces, brands can literally meet customers where they are through their favorite content media. 

Engage Your Core Customers

Brands that use multichannel marketing tactics stand to enjoy strengthened relationships with their customers because in many cases, 50 to 60 percent of core engaged customers make weekly retail or online purchases from brands that reach them on multiple channels. 

As statistics continue to indicate that there is more parity between ad spend across platforms, the question shifts from which one to invest in to which combination of media will best support your campaign’s big message. 

With technology continuing to make out-of-home more aligned with digital campaigns, brands can no longer afford not to engage with their audiences through these new channels.