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The current focus on multichannel and omnichannel strategies, highlights the need to prioritise investment on the relevant marketing channels for a company. It's not practical for most to manage all channels and certainly you need to prioritise resources on the channels which will give the best returns. Should you focus on digital marketing channels? Or can offline channels still deliver good ROI? To help the process of channel review and selection, I have developed this list as a starting point for a comprehensive view on all current channels available to organisations.
Here is my initial list of channels, you can see I have categorised each channel. Please review the channel list and let me know if key channels are missing. I'm hoping this will be a comprehensive list that can be used for strategic review, so I have provided it as a Google Docs spreadsheet list of all channels as a the list to be complete and updated regularly. Please let me know what you think!
With so many marketing channels; so little time the idea of using such a list is to:
Deciding which channels to use for what purposes is a critical element of business strategy regardless of whether you're an Marketer in a B2B or B2C firm. Get it right and you can reap the rewards of reaching and retaining your customers. Get it wrong and you could spend a lot time and money trying to either persuade customers to shift channels or chasing a market that isn't there.
Tealeaf researched consumer channel choice in a typical purchase journey. As you'll see there is a large gap between the channel leaders and the lagards. However this gap may well have closed since the research was carried out back in 2012:
Customer research and journey mapping is key to identify which marketing channels to pursue. However what is critical is that you build up a set of core services (CRM, order management and product offers) that all of your channels can consume. Having these core services available will allow your business to quickly roll out services on emerging marketing channels.
Based on the commonly used definitions; multichannel is considered the use of more than one channel for transaction or delivery. Often one channel is digital and the other physical (stores and an ecommerce website). Omnichannel is defined as the use of all channels available for service, distribution and transaction within a unified experience.
Given the breadth of channel availability for marketing, it is not necessary to distinguish multichannel and omnichannel.
Please do review the channel list and let me know if any channel is missing. I want the list to be complete and updated regularly.
Also, how does your firm select relevant channels to invest in? Do you go after everything or have you taken a conservative approach? Let me know in the comments.
By David Sealey
David is a regular contributor to Smart Insights and other blogs. He typically writes about strategy, innovation and optimisation in digital marketing. David is currently Head of Digital Consulting at CACI. You can read more of David's work at Storm81.
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