In today’s competitive marketing environment, you must know how to swim in different types of water. Meaning you must be able to deliver the best customer experience to multiple customers across various locations rather than sticking to one type of customer. Those days don’t longer exist when owning a business in a competitive world was enough, in recent times you need to stay ahead of your competitors. To be a successful player in Multi-channel marketing, you need back support of a PIM system.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing? & Why It is Important?
Multi-channel marketing is a type of marketing that attracts more and more customers by interacting with them directly or indirectly. You can communicate with customers via web stores, websites, retailer stores, emails, direct mail, direct contact on mobile phone, and by mail order catalog. In multi-channel marketing, you make customers aware of your product or service and try to convince them to buy it.
The importance of multi-channel marketing is quite simple; you without doubt need to attract more customers to your business or organization. If you fail to do so, customers have the perfect liberty to go to your competitor in a similar industry. Customers are dominating their product purchase decision because they have more options and power than you or your competitors do.
Luckily, through varieties of channels, you can reach the customers and spread awareness of your business.
Benefits of Multi-Channel Marketing
As of now, we have discussed the meaning and importance of multi-channel marketing, let us now discuss the benefits of multi-channel marketing.
1. Expanded Reach
With the Multi-channel marketing method, you can reach a more potential audience. By expanding marketing efforts to a new channel, you are also expanding your feet in the market for the audience to reach. When customers interact with a single marketing strategy, then there are fewer chances of them being potential customers.
With multi-channel marketing techniques, you are encompassing more channels and thus there are higher chances of conversion of customers into potential customers.
2. Increased Engagement
When customers just have one source of communication towards you or your brand, then what would happen if that one single mode of communication breaks down for an uncertain period? Your customers would not be engaged at all in your business.
When you have multiple channels or multiple sources to communicate with your customers, they will be more engaged. There would not be a risk of a break of communication, as there would be other modes of communication options available.
3. Reach Consumers on Their Preferred Channel
In the Multi-marketing channel, you communicate with your customers through multiple channels. Your customers are going to reach out to you or will potentially revert you in their most convenient and comfortable channel.
Your customers don’t need to wait for their favorite brands to contact them in their suitable channel, but the brand will itself interact with customers in their preferred channel. Even if the customer is not a potential customer, he will become one after noticing your brand awareness advertisement in their preferred channel.
4. Combined Channels are More Effective
When you combine two or more strategies to win over your customers, then you are doing an effective campaign. You can mix and match the varieties of channels and it will create impactful opportunities for you. You can opt for social media and television’s mix and match strategy or radio and television together strategy.
You can reach the audience or your potential customers with the help of social media. Social media is the most influential medium nowadays and that is the best medium to reach the audience. Radios advertisements are also something that is still trending, as people can listen to the radio anytime they want while doing anything they want.
The Challenges of Multi-Channel Marketing
No strategy is perfect ever; there are flaws in every strategy. Just like that, there are some challenges associated with multi-channel marketing, which you need to be aware of.
1. Efficient Management
When there is a single channel, you can efficiently manage it. Multi-channel marketing will lead to more data and more data means asking for more time. You need to devote additional time and additional resources in the name of management.
Worst comes to worst, you might also need to devote more money to create the perfect strategy for each channel. There are chances of cross-communication because of the multi-marketing channels, some aspects that are specific to some departments would be difficult for others to understand.
2. Proper Marketing Attribution
When you are following a multi-channel marketing strategy, then you are communicating to customers in various modes and are sending them many different messages. At times, the situation may take place, when a certain customer would respond to your specific message and it would be difficult for you to learn which one of your messages triggered the customer’s responsibility.
There are some marketing attribution models available, but those models also don’t get a holistic view of your all campaigns.
3. Leveraging Marketing Analytics
No matter how advanced you think you are when it comes to leveraging the marketing analytics of multi-channel marketing; your all advanced technology is nullified. For marketers, it is difficult to leverage customer data gathered by multi-channel marketing strategy.
You must be concerned with data quality while the main concern should be the integration of customer data to existing customer profiles. This challenge arises due to a lack of expertise within the organization.
4. Keeping Up With Innovations
Keeping up with innovation is not always as easy as it once was. Being a marketer you learned the trick of attracting customers with the help of social media for now, but what comes next? How will you reach more audiences in the near future? Groundbreaking innovations do not take place every year.
As a marketer, you need to come up with innovative ideas to sustain and successfully follow your multi-media marketing strategy.
5. Targeting Messages
Your duty is not just to send customers a message of your brand but your duty is to make them connect with the message. You need to make them show how they are going to be benefitted from the message. It is difficult to deliver the right important message to the right customer at the right time.
There might be times when your customers do learn about the importance of your message but by then it would be too late for you to justify the moment.
Strategies to succeed in Multi-Channel Marketing
Research your target audience
First thing first, you need to carefully research your existing customer’s preferences, their prospects, and decide on the touchpoints they prefer. You can take help from the analytical tools that elaborate and give you insights into your customer’s behavior. Once you get the insights of customer’s demographic insights then you can segment your audience.
Research your competitors
As previously stated, you need to learn to swim in every type of water; also be aware of the crocodile in the water. You need to be aware of your competitors, their actions, their strategies, and their channels. Your competitor’s actions are directly or indirectly going to affect the course of action which you may take.
Select the channels to start with
It is wise to start from scratch and then expand. Based on the first two above-mentioned strategies, you can come up with two to four channels to start with. Try focusing on the results of those two to four strategies, which you have applied to your business. For better understanding, you can also develop an app or chatbox.
Create the right message
You can have a fully crafted strategy, and recognizable brand image, but still it is not worth it if you don’t create the right message. You need to be able to fulfill your customer’s needs by delivering truthful information and in the truthful source. What is the use of information if you deliver the message through a channel, which your customer doesn’t use?
Measure your success
If you are applying so much effort in the improvement of your multi-channel marketing strategy, then you must need to measure your success every now and then. It is wise to learn whether your strategies are going in the right direction or you need to modify them. For that, you constantly need to keep track of your success.
When PIM System Becomes Essential for Ecommerce Business?
Not every business needs a PIM system in all stages of the business process, but at one stage or another, every business is going to require the PIM system. In a multi-channel marketing pattern, you will obviously have a bigger catalog and bigger data. When you have a bigger catalog, you are highly going to make some errors, there would be a repetition of data, and there would be data inconsistency.
Larger retailers have a large catalog to manage and that is nearly impossible to manage without the helping hand of PIM-Product Information Management. PIM is a system that avoids the unpleasant situations of data duplication, data inconsistency, and removes irrelevant data. PIM is a system of one single source of truthful data.
Exchanging product information In Formats and Structures
You need product data that is relevant and consistent with the whole process of the organization. There are multiple departments in the organization and at some time, there could be conflict over whose data is more updated and relevant. There would not be any conflicts between inter-departments when there is a PIM system present.
With the PIM system, different departments can coordinate with each other through a single-source-of-the-data- PIM system. In the PIM central platform, every product-related accurate information is stored with security and with easy access to the concerned party option.
You can upload relevant and consistent data of product information to your websites and product catalogs. This accurate data at the right time will also enhance your SEO rankings. Thus, to increase your SEO rankings, to have relevant product information available across all the departments; you need a PIM-product information Management System.
Challenges over the diversity of Product Information Standards
The diversity of product information means the ability to submit the data in different formats and the ability to receive the data in different formats. The issues will arise while exchanging the internal data within suppliers, partners, or customers who work in different data whose format and structures differ completely.
To sort out the diversity of product information during the exchange, the product information must be formulated through data mapping. Data mapping is nothing but transforming data formats according to the requirements.
Method of Exchanging Information
With the help of text data, voice data, product ID, visitor ID, visitor comment data, visitor login, and with the Barcode system, you can exchange the information. No matter which medium you share your data, for structural sharing you need a PIM system.
PIM system is a system, which holds all the product-related information in a consistent format and the standard format. With the help of PIM, you can perform data mapping- a process of transforming data into another format from one format. PIM can carry out that task for you, as it can transform data into a relevant format and eliminates unnecessary data.
With the help of PIM, you can link your data, which means you can set prior instructions to your data for it to be run as automation of data. In precise order, your automated data will take steps and you will have a consistent format of data.
Multi-channel marketing strategy has become a necessity and not an option. Targeting an audience at the right time has become a crucial step, if you fail to do so; your competitors would not hesitate to win your customers over. There are ups and downs with this type of strategy but with the support of PIM-Product Information Management, you can overcome challenges that come your way.