Integration and Multichannel are words on the lips of almost every marketer in the world.  Whether you are an offline marketer or digital marketer, developing integrated, multichannel marketing campaigns is now a critical element of planning and strategy, but the skill-sets to be able to do this effectively are often lacking. 

In Econsultancy’s course on ‘Multichannel Marketing‘, I’ll be exploring how integration really works and how to plan, execute and measure campaigns in a multichannel environment. Read this extract below of some of the themes that are discussed in the course.

As we continue to move at a pace into all things consumerism, so does the change in how the communications landscape is structured. In the old days it was quite simple. There were less TV stations, less radio stations, less newspapers, less magazines and generally less media. Let alone this new-fangled thing called the internet!  If you wanted to reach a consumer, you pretty much knew where they were and how to do it.

Today, that has all changed. Marketers are now facing a fragmented media landscape where the sheer number of channels available to the consumer has increased many times. The arrival of the internet in the early 90s signalled the beginnings of what in the noughty’s is undoubtedly creating a shift in power from brand to consumer and is increasing the complexity of the communications process. 

People don’t just read newspapers anymore. They don’t just watch TV. They don’t just listen to the radio and they don’t just research and buy online. Today’s sophisticated consumer (in some circles referred to as the ‘pro-sumer’ or Generation C audience) are multi-tasking, multichannel, fickle, time-poor, attention poor and in some cases, not very loyal. So, they are doing many things in many channels and often simultaneously. Watching TV and browsing the web. Looking at a newspaper and responding to an ad via a QR code.   

There is a strong correlation between TV and search. We know that when you run TV ads, within the first 5 minutes of your TV spot being aired, there is an uplift in searches for that product or brand on the web. We know that Direct Mail & Email work well together and we know that within the digital channel alone, display advertising can increase conversion rates from natural search.

So what does all this mean for marketers? Well, as I alluded to earlier, it’s complex. Marketing campaigns need to address consumers in all channels, if they are to really hit the target. But it’s not a case of simply running the same creative in lots of different places (what’s known in the industry as ‘matching luggage’). No, integrated, multichannel marketing is much more than that. It’s about identifying channel synergies. What influences the consumer and moves them through the customer journey from need to purchase to advocacy. 

Some brands are getting this right. Many are still getting this wrong. The challenge for our industry, which through events like Econsultancy’s Multichannel Marketing 1-day training course, is being addressed, is to help brands understand the role of channel integration, which channels do what, the potential pitfalls, the complexities surrounding creative integration, tracking & measurement, and of course, the complexities with budgeting and evaluating overall ROI.

If we consider the digital mix alone, it is now vast. The world of online consumption has shifted from ‘destination’ marketing, to what I call ‘distribution’ marketing. Some refer to this as atomisation. So, even online, there is diverse ‘channel’ choice.  Overlay offline and you’ve got a very complicated picture. 

So, come and join me for a day and let’s talk about how channel integration works and the importance of planning campaigns in a multichannel way.

See you soon.