How to Develop a Powerful Multi-Channel Marketing System?

A multi-channel marketing system is like a PAC-Man game, following your customers wherever they go. Unlike the game, you as a ‘good ghost’ will let your customer eat all PAC-Dots, fruits, and blue ghosts.

Yes, the idea is not to annoy your customers but to create interest. As you follow your customers through different channels, you’ll end up tracing their journey.

Your job is to divert them to your track by analyzing your customer journey path. Ultimately, to achieve your goal – sell your product!

Yes, let’s understand more in detail, starting with the definition of multi-channel marketing system.

What is a Multi-Channel Marketing System?

A multi-channel marketing system is a practice of interacting with customers through direct and indirect channels. In this approach, you’ll let your customers decide when and where they want to buy.

As a marketer, your goal is to reach them wherever they go in search of products. Yes, that’s why you need multiple marketing channels to target your audience everywhere – meaning, multi-channel marketing approach.

Various Marketing Channels

In recent years, apart from offline channels, online marketing channels have proven to be more productive. Hence, marketers are focusing more on digital marketing channels. Have a look at some of the best offline and online channels below:

Offline Marketing Channels

  • Retail Shops/Physical Stores
  • Text messages
  • Print advertising
  • Business card
  • Mail-order catalogues
  • Direct mails
  • Radio advertisements

Online Marketing Channels

  • Websites
  • Content marketing
  • SEO
  • Email Marketing
  • SEM
  • Social Media Marketing
  • PPC (Display Ads)
  • Video Marketing
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing and more

As you can observe, most of the offline marketing channels involve one-way communication. Whereas, online marketing channels display a two-way conversation with the users.

And, this two-way communication with consumers forms the core of multi-channel marketing practice. Now, let’s understand the importance and benefits of a multi-channel marketing system.

Why Implementing a Multi-Channel Marketing System is Crucial For Your Business?

Imagine you are trying to create brand awareness for your new product. In the first scenario, you will advertise it only through a print ad in a newspaper.

In the second scenario, you are using two more channels (mobile marketing and social media) along with print ads to advertise your product.

So, now think which strategy is more effective?

Obviously, it’s the second strategy that has the potential to target more consumers. Because you are targeting three different segments of the audience; as a result, your product will gain more visibility and sell more.

The second strategy is nothing but multi-channel marketing system. It’s useful and helps you in smartly allocating your budget for advertising. Here, your consumers will see the same ad in multiple channels.

Surely, leading to more conversions. Furthermore, let’s see some advantages of multi-channel marketing system.

Some of the main benefits of multi-channel marketing system are:

  • Improves customer engagement
  • Helps in creating personalized campaigns
  • Promotes data-driven marketing
  • Gives a clear picture of consumer behaviour
  • Allows you to reach your audience at the right time and the right place
  • Assists in customer (audience) extension and increasing your customer base
  • Creates a brand awareness
  • Reduces your ad spend wastage
  • Aids in better ROI
  • Helps in reaching your consumers faster through multiple channels
  • Perform people-based marketing

You must have noticed that multi-channel marketing system is all about giving a choice to the customer. And, mapping customer journey from beginning till the end (from brand awareness to purchase of the product).

Yes, the consumer journey map is one of the essential aspects of multi-channel marketing system.

What is Customer Journey Map in Digital Marketing?

In simple terms, a customer journey map is a visual representation of your customer journey through different channels and touchpoints. It’s a crucial aspect of multi-channel marketing system.

We all would have dealt with annoying ads at some point in time. Yes, haven’t you ever come across an irrelevant ad bombarding you in an app or website?

It is only because a brand didn’t interpret its consumer behaviour accurately. As a result, you end up seeing an irrelevant ad in all devices or platforms you visit.

You, as a marketer, should avoid this mistake and learn more about your buyer persona. Hence, drawing an accurate user journey map is critical in a multi-channel marketing system.

Your work here is to analyze which track your customer is taking to make a purchase.

Meaning, 1) Understanding which channel is the starting point (brand awareness) and which is the endpoint (the purchase). 2) In between, which channel(s) has triggered the purchase of the product. 3) And also why your customer is taking this particular path?

Customer buying journey happens in six main steps:

Brand Awareness

Familiarizing your brand or product to your customers is the first and foremost step in marketing. Your consumers become aware of your brand through various online or offline channels like social media ads, TV, newspapers, video ads, and so on.

Consideration

When your customers are familiar with your brand or product, they tend to conclude whether they need to buy this product or not. Finally, when the decision is made to purchase the product, they move to the next stage – research.

Research

At this stage, customers want to know about the product in detail. So, they start researching through organic search, website, social media and more.

Purchase

Finally, if your consumers are convinced, then the purchase happens. Your customers may buy through websites, in-store or even an app.

Experience

In this post-purchase stage, your consumers give feedback about your product which they bought. Just know that customer experience feedback can be positive or negative. And, it’ll help you in optimizing your products/services.

Loyalty Expansion

After using the product, your customer might recommend it to others through online reviews, customers feedback or even word of mouth. Of course, loyalty expansion only happens when your users are delighted with your product. It helps in getting new customers, and your brand grows!

In the steps mentioned above, one thing is clear – it’s all about your customer’s choice. The only thing you can do is keep reminding them about your brand’s presence through retargeting.

So, you should accurately map your customer journey – the crux of multi-channel marketing system.

How to Create a Customer Journey Map For Your Business?

Understanding your customers in and out helps you in creating a useful customer journey map. You need to set robust digital strategies to gather and analyse customer experiences.

Although it is not an easy task, it is instrumental in a successful multi-channel marketing system.

Below are the prime steps in mapping the consumer journey path:

Identifying Your Customers

Find out who your customers are and analyse their buying behaviour thoroughly. You can identify your audience through different platforms, devices and in-store purchase data as well.

In case, you are an offline brand; then you can make use of data onboarding platforms like Audienceprime to bring your offline customers online.

AudiencePrime is an exclusive platform for brands to leverage their data for building multi-channel marketing strategies.

Also, it works as an identity resolution platform which helps you get a holistic view of your customers.

Register with AudiencePrime today!

Determine the Touchpoints

Digital touchpoints are the points of contact with your customers. That’s where you directly interact with your audience. For example, social media channels (brands pages where you can interact with customers), email marketing, paid ads and more.

Touchpoints are nothing but channels that your users are using to reach your brand. And, listing out all these touchpoints will give you a blueprint of the map. Touchpoints are integral to a multi-channel marketing system.

Explore Your Buyer’s Goals

Analyse your customer’s mindset about shopping. Meaning, understand what kind of products/services they need. Examine the factors your users are considering while trying to purchase such as price range, quality, brand recognition, and so on.

Address Your User Concerns

It is crucial to fix the problems your consumers are facing on the buying journey. First, analyze why some consumers are choosing your product but leaving without making a purchase. And, solve it.

Now the last stage is taking a buying journey yourself. Yes, it aids you in fixing the loopholes on the map. Next, we’ll move on to attribution models and their role in a multi-channel marketing system.

What is Attribution Modeling in Digital Marketing?

Attribution modelling is a marketing approach that identifies the touchpoints (channels) that drives the user towards conversation (purchase). It’s crucial in a multi-channel marketing system.

Example:

Let’s assume that you are trying to buy a jacket from a particular brand. The first thing you do is go to the brand’s website to check the prices. And it hardly happens that you make a purchase as soon as you decide to buy.

First you do a lot of research, compare prices on different platforms, and maybe two days or a week later, you make the buying decision. Each of the channels you visit for your research is the action point.

Similarly, as a marketer, you have to track the footsteps of your customers and understand which touchpoint has the most or least contribution in the sale.

Analysing these multiple touchpoints through a graphical representation gives a clear picture of consumer behaviour. Hence, attribution modelling or multi-touch attribution approach is important in a multi-channel marketing system.

What is Multi-Touch Attribution?

Multi-Touch attribution is a martech approach which assists in allocating the credit to different touchpoints that lead to a sale. 

In fact, here you can measure the value of touchpoints across devices, platforms and campaigns. Hence, multi-touch attribution is one of the trending approaches in multi-channel marketing system.

Multi-Touch Attribution Models

Multi-touch attribution models are the pictorial representation of the values assigned for each touchpoint. You can include any of these six multi-touch attribution models in your marketing strategies.

But, first, you should get the concept of these models. That’s why we’ll discuss the models through a simple scenario.

So, let’s mix up the PAC-Man game and your jacket buying journey.

Yes, there is a maze (marketing strategy of your business), four fruits in different corners of the labyrinth (touchpoints/channels), PAC-Man is your consumer, and you are the ghost. Finally, assume that the ‘jacket’ is in the middle of the maze.

Now, let’s name each touchpoint as a social media account, display ad, website and blog.

To make a purchase, your consumer (PAC-Man) will reach these channels on different routes. And these routes are nothing but the models.

What Are the Different Types of Multi-Touch Attribution Models?

Linear Multi-Touch Attribution Model

In the linear model, you believe that all four touch points, namely social media accounts, display ad, website and blog, have an equal share in leading your PAC-Man to the purchase. All channels get equal revenue credit for the sale of the jacket.

Time-Decay Multi-Touch Attribution Model

In the time-decay model, you will assign value to each touchpoint in ascending order. Meaning, the channels that are closer to the purchase have weightage.

If PAC-Man first enters social media account and blog, then through the display ad and website (where conversion happens); you’ll give more percentage of credit to display ad, and even more to the site. Here the last interaction point gets the highest value.

U-Shaped Multi-Touch Attribution Model

As the name suggests, the initial and the last interaction point get more credit.

Yes, suppose PAC-Man sees the ‘jacket’ in a social media account first, and in the end purchases through the company website, only these two channels get more credit. 

The other two get less value even though he has passed through those channels in the marketing process.

W-Shaped Multi-Touch Attribution Model

The W-Shaped model is almost similar to the U-Shaped model, but here there will be an additional channel that attracts your PAC-Man.

Yes, while three touchpoints get equal credit, the other two will share the remaining credit equally. Means, a video of the jacket might be an additional factor that leads to the purchase.

Custom Multi-Touch Attribution Model

In a custom model, there is no particular pattern of assigning values. Here you get to determine which touchpoint contributes more in selling the jacket.

PAC-Man will take any route to the jacket, but you’ll decide which channel attracts him more towards the sale. It might be a social media account or display ad and website or blog.

Full-Path Multi-Touch Attribution Model

Full-path model is considered to be sophisticated of all the models. Although it is like a W-Shaped model, any additional customer-close touchpoints will share a minor credit. If four channels get 22.5% each, two other channels get 5% credit each.

Ideally, these multi-touch attribution models make your work more manageable. Using these models, you can build effective marketing strategies to advertise your products/services.

Hence, multi-touch attribution models are prime approaches in multi-channel marketing practice.

What Are the Benefits of Multi-Touch Attribution?

Marketers across the world face difficulty in sorting out the digital traffic and deciphering the goal of the customers. Thanks to multi-touch attribution, now you can use them to track your brand’s performance across various channels in a multi-channel marketing system.

Below are some of the main benefits of multi-touch attribution:

Helps in Distributing Your Marketing Budget Accurately

Yes, when you know which channels are alluring more customers towards sale, it’s easy to allocate your budget. You’ll identify the performance aspects and the pain points before allocating the budget for advertising your products/services.

Increases Your ROI

Now that you know which channels are more effective, you’ll reduce your ad spend on those platforms which are the least contributors to sale. Higher the ROI, the better your business grows. It is one of the prime aspects of a multi-channel marketing system.

Assist in Planning a Real-Time Marketing Strategy

You can carefully examine how multiple channels interact in a sales cycle. Then, create a real-time advertising strategy for your business.

Addresses the Pain Points of B2B Marketing Strategies

Various companies are involved in the B2B sales cycle, and this creates a problematic situation of assigning revenue credits for some channels. So, multi-touch attribution models bring you out of this tight spot by giving a clear picture of the performance of each channel.

Get an Overview of Your Buyer’s Journey

It’s not easy to trace your consumer journey, especially when it involves multiple channels. But with multi-touch attribution, you can easily map out the entire sales cycle of your customer. Hence, multi-touch attribution models play a vital role in a successful multi-channel marketing system.

Better Campaign Management

The more you know your audience, the better it is to target. Yes, optimizing your campaigns according to customer preferences is one of the main points to consider in a multi-channel marketing system. And no doubt, by utilizing multi-touch attribution, you can entangle the complexity of campaign management.

With these benefits, we’re at the end of our elaborate discussion regarding the multi-channel marketing system, customer journey path, and multi-touch attribution.

Conclusion

As you grow digitally, your customer preferences grow as well. Fulfilling those preferences becomes the core of your business’s growth. Hence, it’s critical for you, as a marketer, to implement more sophisticated marketing strategies that help in reaching your audience effectively.

Surely, multi-channel marketing system accelerates your journey towards economic growth. 

All you need is a proper marketing strategy to tackle the complexities of digital marketing. As a marketer, you need futuristic goals to be successful in this competitive world.

No wonder, multi-channel marketing system forms the basis of all your marketing efforts in the near future.

About Akshatha Vinayak

I’m a technical writer who has a keen interest in digital marketing. I avidly follow the MarTech and AdTech industry and even enjoy writing about them. As a writer, I love to bring out more engaging and creative content for my audience. I’m also fond of writing travel blogs, articles on feminism and silly poems (sometimes). When I’m not writing, you’ll find me shopping like crazy or being a bookworm.

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