Attention spans: They just aren't what they used to be. It's hardly our fault—nowadays, there are more distractions than ever before, all vying for our time and interest. We've got our smartphones, tablets and Internet-connected TVs, bringing us on-demand Candy Crush and e-books and a thousand TV series to binge watch. We've got our Facebook feeds and our Pinterest boards and our LinkedIn groups. And then there are the old standbys: the text messaging, the Web surfing, the viral news stories mom emails us en masse.
This media environment presents a new, always-evolving challenge for marketers. It's no longer enough to pick one channel and bank on reaching your audience—do that, and you risk your message getting lost in the online ether. You need multiple channels, as many touch points as possible to get your marketing communications seen and remembered.
Still, there's more to multi-channel marketing than bombarding your target audience with emails, videos and direct mail—you need a focused, well-planned effort. Here's how to do it.
1. Do the prep work
Going into any marketing campaign without a clear grasp of the target audience is a bad idea, but it can be disastrous for a multi-channel campaign. If even one channel is off target or ineffective, it can sink the whole effort, leaving your client with little to show for in ROI. Before you launch a campaign, research everything from the target audience to your client's prior marketing efforts.
"Any marketing campaign has to begin with a good analysis of what has been done in the past," explained Jillian Flesh, process improvement manager, The Flesh Company, St. Louis. "What worked? What didn't? Why? What was the ROI, even if it was a negative ROI? Distributors need to use a good interview process to gather this information and customer expectations, before considering offering any solutions," she continued. "They also need to develop a good process for identifying prospects based on their successes and failures."