If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it is this: share a vaguely useful colourful chart on social media channels, and your ship will come in.

With that in mind, I have created yet another visualisation, this time dedicated to multichannel marketing

There are so many different ways of reaching customers these days, and I wanted to provide a really straightforward overview of some of the most important routes to market. 

So without further ado, here’s the chart. Click on the image to see a bigger version...

The Offline / Online Marketing Landscape

A few brief notes

  • I’ve probably forgotten to include some incredibly obvious marketing channel. Be sure to let me know when you spot it!
  • For the purposes of clarity I have taken a wide-angled view. ‘Websites’ is a catch-all word that covers a lot of owned media, and perhaps a bunch of earned too. 'Stores' might be relevant for retailers, but not for other offline businesses ('Offices'). Also, my focus is on channels / platforms, as opposed to marketing techniques (e.g. 'behavioural').
  • If in doubt I will have placed a channel in what I consider to be the most suitable area, even if it could live elsewhere. Yes, PR can generate leads, but it mainly aims to raise awareness and positively shift consumer perceptions. 
  • Offline lives at the top, and online is at the bottom. Don’t read anything into that – it’s just the way I poured my thoughts onto the page. That said, offline advertising spend is still many times larger than online... let's assume that it still works.
  • While I’m on the subject of measurement: it isn’t always easy, especially in an offline world. The most difficult area is the offline / brand side (TV, print, radio, outdoor). It takes time, it requires the dark art of extrapolation, and it isn’t cheap. By contrast, the online / sales side is much more straightforward, much quicker, and – for that matter – much more accurate. I was going to illustrate this on the diagram, but it looked messy, so I didn't. 
  • Moving on to data, the offline / brand side does not normally bother with too much targeting, whereas the online / sales side relies on data to drive results. As TV evolves this should change, but for now there’s still a great deal of shotgun marketing going on. This does not imply that retargeting is flawless... it isn’t.
  • Note that mobile lives slap bang in the middle of everything. I firmly believe that mobile is the glue that binds online and offline channels together, and it is also the most likely solution to our measurement headaches, should anybody want to solve the problem. I've also thrown 'Content' in there, as it is a channel in its own right.
  • Some fonts are bigger than others. Largely this is to do with space constraints, and to separate one channel from another, though there is some semblance of meaning. Visual designers can give me a good thrashing in due course.
  • I originally labelled this chart as a Venn diagram. Smarter people than me have pointed out that this is actually a Euler diagram. I hereby award you 50 points if you spotted this. I stand corrected, and have tweaked the chart accordingly.

Anyway, I hope this proves useful as a top-down view of what is an increasingly complex multichannel marketing landscape. My colleague Ben suggested that in future it may look like a big grey circle, and he's probably right (though perhaps the colour will be tie-dye, or something less dull). 

If you have feedback then do leave a comment below, or otherwise send word via Twitter. I'll do another iteration at some point. Probably.

Chris Lake

Published 30 September, 2014 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (13)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Matthew Pover

I'd challenge your placement of TV Chris.

To my mind, it really ought to go with Mobile and Content in the very centre of your diagram.

Yes TV drives brand awareness - which halos across all active marketing channels (retention and acquisition), but it also drives measurable response.

This response comes through every live touchpoint, arriving on-site, in-store and via lead gen channels too. The most immediate response being to the website within seconds of broadcast. Contrary to your notes, this is trackable and attributable inexpensively (TV can also be optimised in-campaign to enhance the efficiency of the immediate online response ... ahem ... provided you know the right people).

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Lara Soltan

Interesting and humourous at the same time. I like.

almost 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Hi Matthew,

You may well be right! I just think TV advertising is primarily a brand medium. That's not to say it doesn't drive sales, but it is largely concerned with moving the brand metrics in the right direction. I suspect many TV advertisers do it because that's what they've always done.

Isn't it actually *really* difficult to accurately prove ROI from TV? It's surely a broad brush approach to measurement, and it is pretty much impossible to separate other channels. You can attribute TV ads to sales, but as with all forms of attribution there is a required leap of faith to take. Compare that with, say, something like PPC, which lives on the other end of the measurement spectrum. The less easy to measure, the bigger the leap of faith.

All of this will change as the infrastructure and tech evolves - it's going to be a massive growth area, and it's potentially very exciting - but I remain a bit sceptical about the true value of TV ads.

c.

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Mark Bolitho, New Business Director - Ecommerce at more2

Hi Chris, nice Euler diagram.

One quick observation: I'd link direct mail strongly with online. I can reel off the names of many pure play brands and retailers driving double-figure conversion rates with paper - hugely effective medium, but often ignored by 'digital' businesses.

Cheers,
Mark.

almost 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Hey Mark,

DM is in that zone simply because it is offline media... print that arrives on your desk, or through your door. As you say, it can be hugely effective if done correctly. It is telling that the likes of Net-A-Porter and ASOS invested in offline printed media / magazines, and also that many of the most successful online retailers come from catalogue backgrounds.

c.

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Matt Bowden

I like this a lot but you said:

"mobile is the glue that binds online and offline channels together"

So you must be stopped at all costs!!!

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Shalin

This clearly explains the platform based marketing in today's world. But there is a problem. How come ppc and other advertising comes under sales. Shouldn't it come under marketing?

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Terry Bonner

Very good diagram- I like it!

One thing you may want to include is 'Consumer word of month' within the Offline channel

almost 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Matt - Wow, that definitely sounds douchey, I'll give myself a good telling off. Monstrous.

@Shalin - It's more that PPC and the other forms of marketing in that section are used as a proven generator of leads / sales, whereas on the other side of the chart things like TV ads and PR are more about shifting the brand metrics. That's not to say they don't influence sales, but PPC is highly measurable - we know sales occur as a result of it.

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Mr Euler

Aren't Offline and Online mutually exclusive by definition?

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Bill Baird

Possibly the most hilarious intro to an article I've seen all year (and I scan about 30 a day).

almost 3 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Ha, thanks Bill! It's the truth, I tell you!

almost 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Viktor Iwan, Director at PT. Doxadigital Indonesia

Nice ! I tried to correlate between your chart to terminology of Inbound Marketing coined by hubspot and "Outbound" Marketing. I think this is all corellated

almost 3 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.