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5 Practices of Successful Multichannel Marketers

June 15, 2012 By David Lowndes
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As a marketer, one of your biggest challenges is engaging prospects in an increasingly crowded and diverse business environment. Single-channel campaigns are the marketing equivalent of putting all of your eggs in one basket. The smart money's moving to integrated, multichannel campaigns because multiple channels produce better returns. In retailing, for example, the consulting firm of Deloitte says multi-channel customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers.

As with any marketing program, multichannel campaigns require strong, consistent messaging and creative design, and well-timed, accurate implementation. Here are a few additional practices that will help your multichannel communications produce optimal results.

1. Targeted Prospects
Mass-marketing campaigns average a 2 percent response rate and are on the decline
, according to research and advisory firm Gartner. Segment your universe of prospects and direct your messages to those segments for which your product or service is most relevant with respect to their problems, needs, desires, lifestyle or other meaningful variables.

2. Personalized Communications
Personalization increases response rates. Caslon's Response Rate Report, which compared results of generic versus personalized campaigns for six vertical markets, found that personalized campaigns for insurance and financial services companies averaged returns of 10.8 percent, versus 2 percent for nonpersonalized campaigns. Results among retailers were even more dramatic—19.9 percent versus 1.9 percent. Today's variable data printing and electronic media make personalization easy and relatively inexpensive.

3. Defined Customer Touch Points
Map out in advance all opportunities to interact with your customers and determine how your employees should communicate with them. A word to the wise, however: sometimes, less is more. A Journal of Marketing study indicates that too much communication can create negative reactions. While using multiple channels aligned with customer preferences mitigates effects of over-communicating, at some point  "enough is enough," as the title of the study states.

4. Communicate Through Channels Your Prospects Prefer
As reported in the January issue of Target Marketing, 50 percent of U.S. consumers say direct mail gets more attention than email, 37 percent watch TV for daily consumer product info and only 6 percent called social media and blogs "trustworthy," while 21 percent found newspapers and websites trustworthy. Additionally, the type of offer influences which channel you should use. The same article notes that mail was preferred over email by 41 percent of consumers receiving sensitive health information, 36 percent for both insurance and financial services offers.


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