Today, companies have an immense range of channels at their disposal to sell their product. You don't find many companies working “old fashioned” on a single channel anymore. With the rise of digital, the multitude of channels has increased even more and allows marketers to explore many increasingly innovative sales methods. Find out why you should adopt a multichannel marketing strategy in your business, on which channels you can establish yourself, as well as the limits of this method and its differences with cross-channel and omnichannel.
Multi-channel marketing: what is it? (definition)
Multi-channel marketing is simply the act of setting up on different tools and channels to talk to your customers and prospects. Of course, we think first of all of the digital tools which are very numerous, but this also includes all offline communications .
Your potential customers are probably present on several communication channels, and this strategy allows you to reach as many as possible. Why limit yourself to a single channel when you can reach customers anywhere? That's kind of the question answered by this sales strategy.
Why use a multi-channel strategy? The 4 advantages
The principle of the multichannel marketing strategy is not very complicated to understand. Now let's see what advantages this strategy will give you.
More market coverage
First of all, as we said, it's very unlikely that all of your potential customers will be on just one channel, unless your market is extremely small. So, logically, if you extend your influence to several channels, you will better cover your market and take more space in it. This is a first advantage that will allow you to increase your turnover.
Then, obviously, you will make more sales if you communicate on more different channels. Finally, as we will see later, it is not that simple, there are other things to take into account.
It is the consumers who dictate the way in which the market evolves, and it is their needs and habits that will dictate your marketing actions. If we stay true to this principle, multichannel marketing is obvious. We adapt to customer habits by looking for them on the platforms they use . There's no point posting to one channel while waiting for them to come. They are the ones to follow, not the other way around.
If you adapt to the channels of your prospects, you will reach more of them, and your turnover will be more likely to increase. In addition, the channels do not all have the same cost, and lining up on just one of them is not profitable.
Another potential benefit of using multi-channel marketing is that you'll make retention processes easier . In fact, if we look at the methods of Inbound Marketing and in particular the famous sales funnel, we see that it is difficult to manage all of this with a single channel. If you meet the needs of your users on all platforms, you will be able to take your customer through the entire sales funnel: website, social networks, emailing, etc.
This makes even more sense when it comes to loyalty. If you open up to other communication channels, you necessarily open up to other ways of communicating with your client . It can help establish a closeness different from the way you address someone who doesn't know you.
For example, you can acquire a client by making yourself known thanks to your presence in the search results on a query that corresponds to a need of your user. Then, once he is convinced of your expertise thanks to your blog, he consults customer reviews, your sales page and then proceeds to purchase (in a perfect world). At that time, it is very likely that you will retrieve his contact information, the opportunity for you to build loyalty through personalized emails. We will see later that each channel has its own particularities and allows you to communicate in one way or another with your prospect / client.
Better relation to the competition
Thanks to a multi-channel approach, your relationship with the competition will also evolve . Today, whether online or in person, the competition in terms of marketing is very strong. Just because you don't operate a channel doesn't mean your competitors don't. Chances are your competitors are on other channels . The most telling example is the presence on social networks. Of course, you have no interest in going on TikTok if you sell hearing aids, but you have to study all the options available to your brand.
In any case, if you work in niche or emerging markets, it is quite possible to exploit channels where your competitors are not yet. In this situation, you can more easily take the monopoly of the channel with regard to your market and therefore be recognized as an expert .
The limits of the multichannel strategy
Of course, you should not believe that it is enough to install your marketing actions on more channels and hope to win customers without doing anything, it would be too good. There are points to take into account before starting and also other points of attention to master.
First of all, pay attention to the relevance of the channels on which you will go . As we said, it would be irrelevant to put yourself on a social network like TikTok if you want to sell products to elderly people. Be careful that your target is present on the channel, and above all that it is receptive to it . Receptivity is the most important point. Even if your target is not present in large quantities on a channel, if it is very receptive to it, you will be able to find new customers.
You also have to be careful to master the channels on which you want to communicate . Not only do you have to have the skills to know and understand the codes of a particular channel, but you also have to clearly define how you are addressing your target on it. According to the channels, the communication will be different.
Then, you have to be careful to control your costs . By spreading your strategy over more and more channels, you also risk increasing marketing costs. If everything is well thought out and the return on investment is “assured” or safe, then there is no reason to limit yourself. This is why it is necessary to anticipate the costs and the possible gains with market studies or other, in order to avoid getting lost on the way.
Afterwards, you will have to be careful not to let the communication channels eat each other up . We can in a way speak of cannibalism. All channels must operate independently, to avoid interference.
A final point to consider about multi-channel marketing: it is not easy to measure the impact of actions . Indeed, it may be that an action on a certain channel causes a fallout on another channel, and vice versa. In some cases it is measurable, in others not at all. For example, if all this remains within the framework of a website, we can see the consequences of the actions in an analytics tool. But, if a user goes all the way through the site and then gives up to go see the store and proceed to purchase, we will think that he has just abandoned the sales funnel. We will not be able to know that he bought in store because he liked what he saw on the website.
Create a multichannel marketing campaign: the different channels to develop
As we said in the preamble, today there are always more communication channels and therefore as many possibilities for your company to communicate with a different audience. Depending on the objectives of your communication, the messages you want to convey or your overall marketing strategy, the channels you will choose to communicate will not be the same.
Here is a list of the different channels that you can adopt for your business.
It is of course one of the most effective means of selling and communicating today: the website . Almost every business has a site, and there's a reason why. The website will act like a store sign, but online. It's to image but concretely, it's the medium that will allow you to anchor your business in the digital environment.
Thanks to this website, you will be able to communicate your values, your products, your services, and of course the personality of your company. It is a free medium on which the user must really feel the universe of the brand.
The blog is a complement to the website but is a completely different communication channel from the classic website.
First of all, in an acquisition strategy, the blog plays a very important role. It will allow you to position your website on requests that interest your potential customers . The goal is to attract customers by responding to their needs and questions. You have to respond to the problems of the people you are targeting.
Of course, for this to work, you need to have SEO skills, to optimize the positioning of your articles in the SERPs. If you answer your customers' questions, but you position yourself on the 8th page, it's a waste of time. Then, it has to be part of an Inbound Marketing logic, as we said earlier. It's a whole process that you have to put in place to succeed in taking advantage of the interest that visitors will have in you at that time.
Still in a logic of Inbound Marketing, blog articles will allow you to show your reader that you have a certain expertise on his problem. In other words, you will show your potential client that you are capable of helping him with the problem he is having. He will thus trust you and be more conducive to taking action.
Social networks are almost inevitable today, as are websites. No matter the size of your business, social media can have a big impact on your marketing. It's a channel that doesn't cost that much, but that needs to be mastered. It's also a lot of time to spend for little results in general. Nevertheless, in terms of loyalty and brand image, social networks are a real opportunity not to be missed .
It must be remembered that each social network has its own codes and its own functionalities . You won't find the same people on all social networks either. You also have to realize that you are not going to win a client by posting on your networks. This is not the channel that will bring you the most money, but it is essential to establish your brand image and create a link with the people who make up your clientele.
To stay on digital channels, emailing is another not to be neglected. Email has the reputation of being the channel with the lowest cost per conversion . Of course, even if these figures are real, you have to consider that they are an average and that this does not necessarily mean that you will make the maximum turnover thanks to your emails. There are a whole bunch of codes to master to be a good email writer.
Email marketing can take many forms. We can first think of Newsletters . It can be monthly or weekly (if necessary) or other, and it can be useful for building loyalty. We also have email marketing which can be used in many circumstances. It can be used for prospecting, but also to build loyalty with special offers, for example.
It is too complicated and too long to detail all the traditional media one by one, we have grouped them all in one paragraph. Among the traditional media, we find of course television, the press but also radio, posters, etc.
These media are a bit outdated compared to what we can do with just a website today. Targeting is much less effective, and we are more on Outbound Marketing. Apart from the press, these are methods that are expensive and have quite poor results in reality. Nevertheless, these media have indirect impacts, particularly on brand image . Traditional media have a certain “reputation” and allow a brand to be placed in the common imagination. Thus, when the user encounters a need related to the product in question, he will think directly of the brand.
Print is not dead yet! When we talk about print, we are talking about paper advertising media, such as flyers, catalogs, books, etc. With the development of digital communication channels, we can think that print is finished but it is possible to get something positive out of it in certain situations.
Being present with your company during an event such as a trade show or fair can promote your activity quite directly . Indeed, you will be able to be in direct contact with visitors more or less interested in what you offer. If the show is well targeted, you can find people who really care . It's a great way to gather contact information, build brand awareness, and network . In the idea, you can even organize your own event.
Other non-media communication channels
We can cite other means of direct communication, outside the media such as POS (advertising at the point of sale), mobile applications, public relations, paper mailing, etc.
What are the differences between multichannel, cross-channel and omnichannel?
Between multichannel, cross-channel and omnichannel, it's easy to get lost. At first sight, all these concepts mean the same thing, but beware, this is not the case! It is actually 3 principles that are totally different but complementary in the end (we do not make things easier).
First of all, what is multichannel? This is marketing's response to the proliferation of communication channels. We have always succeeded in finding and developing new ways of communicating for brands. Today with social networks, websites and everything we have seen previously in the article, there are many possible channels.
Multi-channel marketing is simply the fact of being present on several communication channels.
Then we have the cross-channel. This is the step that comes after multichannel. the cross-channel strategy is the method by which we will integrate the different communication channels with each other. As we have seen in the article, if you use several channels, you have to find a way to interweave them, without of course cannibalizing each other. Typically, using a funnel with multiple channels in it is cross-channel.
The cross-channel strategy is the way in which we will create a link between the communication channels.
Finally, with regard to the omnichannel, we are more on the deepening of what we have just seen. In an omnichannel strategy, processes are put in place that optimize the relationship between the channels as best as possible.
In other words, all these concepts are rather complementary, even if they are basically similar. In fact, if you implement an omnichannel strategy, you automatically do cross-channel and multi-channel. This is why it is easy to get lost between all these very similar concepts in terms of meaning and spelling.
You have now understood how essential adopting multi-channel marketing is today, provided you manage it well. Do not hesitate to give us your feedback on multichannel marketing in the comments or on our social networks.