I recently wrote a post on State of Search about the Integration of Marketing Channels - Here is a shorter version for you to read over.
With the technology changing by the minute, consumers today have a wide range of options when it comes to gaining information and purchasing the products and services that they need. No doubt the Internet is the latest and at present the most popular and convenient medium for marketing, advertising and even purchasing products. From placing an order for food from a restaurant to booking an airline ticket, there are multifarious products and services that are bought online every day. At the same time there are customers who still prefer more conventional methods when it comes to their purchases. They may prefer to call a company or simply visit a brick and mortar store to buy products. To connect with these characteristically ‘offline customers’ a business may have to use channels such as TV, newspapers, Yellow Pages and direct mail for advertising and marketing.
Business organizations need to ensure that their customers enjoy a flexibility to interact with their brands through any channel. Deploying a successful multi channel marketing strategy calls for strategic focus and a commitment to gauge the correct results of value generated.
The efficacy of different marketing channels can be enhanced by unifying customer data collected at every possible interaction with the customers. The business should also ensure that buyer experience is consistent across all channels. It needs to develop a strong understanding of how the customers move through the buying cycle. The business using multiple channels for marketing must also maintain the same customer policies across all channels that cover different customers.
Integrated multi channel marketing is not a mere technological issue. It is a strategic, evolutionary path that businesses, especially the retailers should follow to maintain their competitiveness in the market. By following integrated multi channel marketing approach, businesses can enjoy long terms and cordial bonds with their customers and also enhance their prospects for growth.