Multi-Channel Marketing: Building Customer Journeys Across Multiple Devices

Back in 2017, Delivra's then-digital marketing manager went on a podcast to talk about multi-channel marketing. And while plenty has happened over the past week, not to mention the past 3 years, the information they discussed is still relevant, so we've decided to bring it back.

From 2017:

In this modern age of multiple devices, multi-channel marketing is the new norm.

As today’s brands look to find new ways to build customer journeys and connect with them in multiple digital arenas, modern marketers need to understand the challenges and benefits multi-channel marketing can bring to your engagement strategy.

More communication is not necessarily a bad thing, as long as brands can offer a seamless experience and transition between devices. In fact, this is important for 9 out of 10 customers, according to the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Our digital marketing manager Corey Trojanowski was interviewed on More Than A Few Words, a marketing podcast, with host Lorraine Ball.

In the conversation, Corey and Lorraine talk about marketers creating a multi-channel marketing response for their customers and prospects, and how multi-channel drip campaigns can play a key role in lasting business relationships that drive revenue.

Audio transcript:

Lorraine Ball: Welcome to More Than a Few Words, marketing conversations for business owners. This is Lorraine Ball, and today I’m really excited that Corey Trojanowski from Delivra is with me. Corey, welcome to the show.

Corey Trojanowski: Thanks for having me, Lorraine. A pleasure to be here.

LB: I’m so excited because there are a lot of email products out there and to have a local company, you know, I’m an Indy girl, and it’s nice to have a local organization that is really actively engaged in this market well represented. So thanks for being a part of the show.

CT: Absolutely. Delivra has been around since the late 90s, kind of since email came in. Yeah, anything we can do here locally in the community and help spread the good word of email, that’s what we’re all about.

LB: Awesome. When we were talking about this particular show, one of the things that really intrigued me was the idea that email … everybody thinks about it as that one touch, but you really have the capability with email marketing tools today to create a multi-step process, to follow up whether it’s because somebody filled out a contact on the landing page or just in response to a phone call. And I’m really intrigued by some of the suggestions you had about multi-channel drip campaigns and follow-up.

CT: Yeah, for modern marketers today, the only way to fully engage and stay on your customers and your prospects, keeping top of mind is really with the multi-channel approach. When you think about multi-channel marketing, it involves reaching out to your customers or prospects through a multitude of different methods. Sure there’s email, but then you can throw in direct mail, digital with your website, display ads, SEM, and things like that, social, and even from a B2C standpoint, you can throw in billboards, TV, radio, things like that, text messaging. These are all platforms that marketers can use to target customers and engage with them. As the number of marketing channels grows even further, designing appropriate marketing campaigns for all of them will be key for your company to rake in top-tier customers.

Customers prefer brands that have an integrated marketing approach, but a lot of businesses, including bigger, traditional ones, are still hesitant to adopt multi-channel marketing.

LB: That really brings me back to when I was doing marketing. Long before we did digital marketing, we always talked about this idea of integrated campaigns. You started with a message that you wanted to get out, and then you looked at all of the tools at your disposal, and as people move to digital, they really became a little more channel-specific. We’re gonna talk about email. We’re gonna talk about social. What you’re getting to is sort of coming back to that place where you really look at everything in your arsenal and find the right place for each piece to play. Some channels work better than others.

Here, we can see a lot of multi-device activity happening in the customer lifecycle. The most popular multi-channel marketing pairings (at least in this study) seem to be:

  • TV / Mobile
  • Computer / Mobile
  • Radio / Mobile
  • Computer / Radio

So, it’s really in a brand’s best interest to take advantage of cohesive multi-channel marketing.

CT: Well, that’s right because as a marketer, we’re constantly battling for the attention of our customers. When you silo that message, you’re really only catching them within that one space. The prospect today, they’re online, they’re checking the web, they’re checking their inbox, but they’re also checking their social feeds, they’re downloading apps, text messaging, live chat, and on multiple devices too. It’s not just one anymore. So, it’s really a challenging time for marketers to try and master staying in front of the customer. They really need to come up with a strategic, multi-channel approach that takes into consideration consumers increasingly … Their habits. They’re just becoming more and more complex, and multi-channel helps accomplish that.

LB: I think so. One of the things that we ran into recently that surprised us a little bit, but really demonstrates that multi-channel marketing is more than just modifying the way an ad looks on email or on social. That these channels are really different and people are looking for different information. We have a client, Randall Beans who on Facebook, their audience wants to know what’s going on in the farm. They want to see the fun personalities before the brand. In email communication, they want recipes, and if we send them anything other than recipes, they pretty much ignore it. So, that really hit home for me, this idea that it’s not just different channels, it’s different content for those different channels.

CT: Absolutely. I’ll give you another example here. So, we at Delivra we have a client that sells tickets for events. So, a customer of theirs would open up an event email invitation, let’s say and decides to purchase some seats for the upcoming event. They want to make sure that those customers remember to show up, right?

So, the communication doesn’t just end right there at the transaction email of like, “Thanks for your purchase. Here are the tickets. Hope you show up.” There’s that multi-channel approach again where they also might get a text message the day before the event reminding them and maybe giving them some parking information, for example. It might get some display ads that are tied into that same campaign getting them to repurchase and come back for another event.

It’s all because of that first initial event, that first trigger from the email that takes … It’s almost like a domino effect. It just takes all these other actions into place and opens up all these other doors to communicate with them across multiple channels.

A good step for companies to take is to leverage behavioral information so that they can engage customers at the right time, and touchpoint. For example, there’s a satellite radio station called SiriusXM, and some cars come equipped with it. Once the customer is in the car, SiriusXM sends them an email to click and start a trial subscription. However, because research shows that customers are more inclined to click on the trial subscription if they're already on the road vs not, the message takes them to a page that asks if they are currently in their cars. If they say “yes,” they’re given instructions on trial activation. If they say “no,” SiriusXM sends a text SMS with the activation link, so they can start the trial when they next sit in their car.

This focus on multi-channel communication shows smart strategizing and has helped sustain SiriusXM’s subscriber growth.

LB: We’ve talked really about some good examples of how this is used, let’s go back now. I’m a business owner, and I think I want to approach this. How do you start the process of developing a multi-channel drip campaign?

CT: Well, it definitely starts having the tools in place. You can look at it from an enterprise standpoint versus kind of really building up that marketing tech stack and making sure that all those different pieces … It’s a free-flowing communication channel for all that customer data so that you can use all that information, that rich information. You know, behavioral data, interests, all those things that really kind of paint a persona for who those customers are and using that to your advantage and not really siloing all that data into one software here and another software here. The ability to integrate with those platforms now is more important than ever.

You’ll see so much information out there now regarding behavioral interactions and brands engaging based on those behaviors that their customers are taking. Now more than ever because of all the noise out there from a digital standpoint, if it’s not personalized to them, customers immediately swipe and go on to the next message because if it’s not pulling their attention, they don’t have the attention to give you back.

That’s why it’s important for companies to use every opportunity to make experiences more convenient for their customers. For instance, Nordstrom doesn’t just upload pictures to its e-commerce and social handles. They actually link their Pinterest pictures to the corresponding products on the website, which is instrumental in raking in their 4.4 million Pinterest followers directly to the point of sale.

LB: There’s nothing more frustrating than continuing to get invitations to an event after I’ve registered.

CT: You keep getting the same message, “Hey, don’t forget. Sign up.” “I did a week ago.”

LB: Yeah. So, the ability to use data to anticipate appropriate next steps. If someone opens the email, they go into this category. If someone opens the email and buys a ticket, they go here, but if they don’t buy a ticket, they get moved to this other bucket. Having systems that easily move people in those directions and capture their social profiles, so you have one picture of a customer and you kind of know where the customer is online and where they are in their email and are they looking at your communications on mobile or desktop. All of that information really helps you do a better job of sending them relative content that gets them to continue to engage with you.

CT: Yeah, you really need to know that audience that you’re trying to engage with and particularly, which channels they engage with. Kind of building those personas can help identify playbooks almost for different multi-channel drips based on that persona that you’re targeting: the more personalized, the better results. No question.

LB: You know it’s funny because everybody talks about personas as if this was some new marketing thing that was designed by HubSpot. It’s really going back to very traditional, old-school targeting and really getting a much better picture of your customer. Now there’s more data available today, but it still, I think, boils down to getting to know who your customer is, who’s most likely to buy, and how do they want to hear from you.

CT: Yeah, there’s no question from a content standpoint. Engaging content is a critical component to any marketing strategy that you have out there. Like you touched on too, the data and the tools, the platforms that you use to implement those strategies just as important. Say with the customer data that you might gather through your marketing automation platform; you have the ability to customize those components of multi-channel marketing based on those behaviors and what customers are doing and telling you what they like too. It’s almost like they’re reaching through the devices waving their arms, flags in the air saying, “This is what I like from you guys. I want more of this.” Pull that data. Use that to customize these campaigns to get them to engage, to get them to keep coming back. It’s also good to know the different avenues you can use for multi-channel marketing, like:

  • Google Ads PPC Ad Extensions: It’s easy to use, and the Click-to-Call Extension adds a phone number to ads, joining mobile and PPC activity.
  • Direct Mail with URLs: This allows customers to browse product offerings in print (which they like to do), but order online, using a custom code.
  • TV Hashtags: I’m sure you’ve seen TV shows like “The Voice” now using hashtags to encourage social media discussions.

Ready to take your marketing automation to the next level? Explore how you can use Delivra by requesting your demo today!

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