As a marketer, you only have to digest a few statistics to understand that your marketing strategies demand a multi-channel approach—more so than any other time in modern history.
Chew on these statistics for starters:
- We’re now spending an average of 23.6 hours online—up from 9.4 hours in 2000. Most of that time (17.6 hours) is during personal hours; not at work.—USC Annenburg
- 84% of Americans are accessing the internet from smartphones—a percentage that has significantly risen from the 23% that was reported in 2010.—USC Annenburg
- Americans are now spending more than 5 hours a day on their mobile devices.—Flurry Mobile
- The average American is connected to internet through 3.6 devices.—Globalwebindex
- Nearly 40% of Americans own a smartphone, tablet and desktop.—Pew Research Center
- More than 17% of Americans own a smartwatch or other wearable device.—Statista
These numbers will only continue to shift as smart TVs and smart speakers become more mainstream at an accelerating rate. More than 50% of households in the United States now own a smart TV, while more than 40% report that they own a streaming media player like Roku, according to a survey by Park Associates. And nearly half of Americans anticipated having a smart speaker (think Amazon Echo) by the end of 2018, according to a recent Adobe report. It’s understandable why multi-channel marketing has been emerging as an essential component of any strategic marketing plan. But achieving that level of scope—reaching consumers on so many different channels—could be cumbersome, costly and inefficient without the right tools and the right approach. This condensed tutorial offers insights on why you need a multi-channel marketing strategy that has email, SMS and push notification at the heart of it, and how you can effectively and efficiently increase brand awareness, boost customer loyalty and gain more sales through marketing automation.
Developing an automated multi-channel marketing strategy
Lots of screens. Lots of switching back and forth between those screens. Lots of distractions. That’s what you’re up against in trying to get the eyes of your targeted audience on your brand’s messaging. The ability of online users to quickly scan your content just about anywhere they go has its benefits and drawbacks. Of course, you have even more opportunities for brand impressions and engagements, but so does everyone else. It’s incredibly crowded. Developing a multi-channel strategy that adapts to your audience’s online behavior and maximizes your efforts primarily relies on targeting these three channels—email, SMS and push notifications. And executing it requires an effective marketing automation platform. This combination allows you to ensure your brand’s message is reaching your audiences at the right time in the right place. You’re able to get access to data that captures the details about which channels your audience is using most. And, with those insights, you can effectively show up with a relevant message that encourages more engagement. Take a look at these 6 steps toward an automated multi-channel marketing strategy that generates more impressions, more engagement, and more sales.
1. Outline your campaign goals.
When setting up a multi-channel campaign, it’s important to outline your primary goals. It’s not enough to simply say you want to increase sales. A lot happens on the way to boosting sales. And it’s those areas you need to identify before moving forward. The micro-goals of a campaign may include increasing brand awareness for one segment of your targeted audience, while another may be focused on increasing conversions by providing incentives. For example, a retailer may have a goal of increasing sales by 5% through a campaign that encourages repeat sales or tries to recover potential sales because of cart abandonment. A B2B company may be focused on customer retention, ensuring that it reaches more contract renewals. As a result, determining customer satisfaction could be a higher priority. Utilities may have a goal of decreasing the use of manpower needed to keep customers paying their bills on time.
Here’s an example:
In this case, Sprint regularly uses emails to promote upgrades that are specifically available to users. And the cellular provider also uses a combination of emails and SMS to keep users up to date on bills. With so many micro conversions that can lead to a macro conversion, i.e. a purchase, you need to develop an integrated strategy that provides a comprehensive view of those various goals.
2. Refine and review consumer data.
Through the data your marketing automation platform is collecting, you can get insights about the patterns in online behavior among your users. Using this information, you can start creating more defined user profiles that go beyond personal data, such as name, geographical location, job title, etc. Your user profiles will now be further defined to reflect users’ online behavior, including the devices they use to conduct searches, browse for products and services, and make purchases. You also can pick up on other details, including frequency and timing of purchases and viewing patterns.
3. Segment your audiences.
Using the information you’ve gathered in the previous steps, you can start developing more highly targeted multi-channel marketing campaigns—capturing the goals previously outlined and user data. User behavior will shed insights on how you should segment them for each goal. For example, users who buy more frequently on multiple channels may be put in a different category than users who only purchase during holidays or other special occasions, and seemingly at the last minute via mobile devices.
4. Determine a mix of campaign channels.
Next, start identifying the right mix of channels to use for each campaign based on users’ behaviors and the associated goals. It will be clear that some user segments may require an integrated approach of email, SMS and push notifications to enhance the multi-channel experience, while two channels, such as Email and SMS, may be ideal for others. For instance, if a user is starting a search from a laptop and then later making a final decision on mobile, your engagement strategy can be designed to more effectively deliver the right incentives on the right device at the right time. The data also will give you insights into how frequently messages should be sent to each segment based on the level of their engagement.
5. Create personalized messaging.
As you identify the goal for each target segment, consider the different ways that people view messages on each channel that you adopt. The messaging should be consistent across channels—like they are all synching in a seamless, cohesive experience. However, make sure you’re tailoring each message in a way that reflects the channel. Don’t just pay attention to the length and tone of the message. Think about how one micro impression can serve to get a user closer to a purchase.
Here are a few examples:
In the case of cart abandonment, an email could be used as a first reminder that the user still has some beloved things hanging out in their online shopping cart. It can provide images of the items. A second or third email can be used to promote a current discount that can be used to purchase the abandoned cart items, as Uniqlo did here. Crate and Barrel and Gap, like many other online stores, send SMS updates on the delivery schedule, including the arrival of the package. Even after a customer has made a purchase, you can still give helpful suggestions. In this case, Rent the Runway used a push notification to promote a complementary product for the purchased item when the user visits the site again.
6. Measure your campaign results.
As with any other digital marketing campaign, measuring and tweaking your multi-channel strategy is critical to optimizing your results. While the outcomes may be showing that you’re heading in the right direction, you can explore ways to further optimize by determining which channels are underperforming when compared to others. Since an integrated approach is important to your results, one channel could be tweaked to significantly boost overall performance. With the increased importance of developing a multi-channel marketing strategy, it’s important to have a user-friendly marketing automation platform that gives you the ability to easily access and analyze data, segment your users and identify the right channels to use for your message at the right time with the right frequency. It can set you on the path to more impressions, more customer engagement, and more sales. Talk to us at Delivra about what marketing automation can do for your multi-channel strategies. We’re looking forward to showing you a demo!