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How to select the 5 best marketing channels from 30+ alternatives

Small businesses have particularly limited resources whether it is people or budget, so it's crucial to select the most cost-effective communications to invest in. That means, free and low-cost marketing channels. In this guide, we will help you identify the best channels using two simple frameworks, so that you're not starting with a blank piece of paper or screen and can work through the options. We'll review both online and offline techniques starting with 30+ channels to consider and then at the end, as a summary we'll help you zoom in on the top 5 to make it more manageable.

Using the Marketing Bullseye to select marketing channels

The Bullseye was recommended by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Maiers in their book Traction, a nice hook to show the challenges of gaining visibility online to drive customer acquisition. Justin is founder of search…

Planning how companies communicate with customers has always been an important aspect of marketing strategy. But the introduction of new omnichannel marketing technologies in the era of digital disruption makes it even more crucial today

The pace of innovation continues to drive new options for reaching customers across a number of key channels. Savvy business leaders know that to thrive in this market, they must be ready to adapt and develop their strategies. For example, Omnichannel marketing is now recognized as an essential approach for all businesses with an online presence. But how does omnichannel relate back to your customer? Twenty years ago, when digital channels didn’t have the diversity and importance they do now, the choice of which channel to use and how best to connect with customers didn’t influence customer service outcomes so heavily. Today, however, customers have an astounding number of options for communicating with companies — and businesses…

What are the essential parts of a multichannel marketing plan template?

Multichannel marketing, or omnichannel marketing, is the process of utilizing online and offline marketing communications channels to target and engage with your customers. As outlined in our popular Learning Path module, structure a plan using the RACE Planning framework, the purpose of a multichannel marketing strategy is to empower marketers and managers to plan, manage and optimize the resources needed to achieve business sales targets. The timeframe is typically annual but potentially longer-term, such as 18 months to three years. Examples of communications channels could include, for example: Websites Physical stores Catalogs E-mail marketing TV Text messaging Blogging Direct mail The goal is to deliver leads and sales targets for defined products and services, which can apply to an organization as a whole, or a single market if there are multiple markets and product or service categories. An effective omnichannel approach to marketing…

9 pointers for strategic marketers to implement and benefit from cross-channel marketing

What is cross-channel marketing?

Cross-channel marketing is a customer-focused digital marketing technique used by marketers globally to provide an integrated experience across all paid, owned, earned media, and digital experiences. It is a powerful way of designing your marketing strategy and implementing data and analysis to create omnichannel customer journeys towards your goals. Implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy can be a little intimidating. You need to take care of multiple channels while designing your campaigns. Keeping track of every campaign and integrating their analytics is certainly not an easy task. That's where our RACE Framework comes in. So, before we dive into cross-channel marketing, let’s take a moment to assess your business' marketing needs. Did you know you can book a free 1-2-1 membership consultation to discuss your objectives in the context of our omnichannel…

What's the meaning of omnichannel today? Definitions and examples of good and bad omnichannel strategy

The promise of omnichannel was to connect brands and customers digitally, meaning they could continue to build their relationship in each subsequent interaction. For the most part, omnichannel hasn’t delivered that. To understand bad omnichannel marketing, picture yourself in a funhouse surrounded by mirrors. In every direction, you see your reflection in distorted shapes and sizes. The mirrors change appearances, not who you are and what you believe. But if you spend too much time in front of the mirrors – social networks, blogs, or which ever channels you use to present your brand – you can become disoriented and so can your customers. In these cases, the results of omnichannel marketing feels disjointed to the customer and unmanageable to the marketer. The whole point of ominchannel was to be wherever your potential buyers "hang out." Instead, these…

Digital tactics can be a boon for bricks and mortar retailers

Within many multichannel retailers, digital teams work primarily to e-commerce KPIs – traffic, conversion, units per order, unit value and so on. As a consequence, digital activity that might benefit the physical store estate is often deprioritized or completely ignored. However, digital marketing presents some of the best opportunities to drive footfall and in-store sales. [si_guide_block id="30829" title="Multichannel retail proposition audit and competitor benchmarking template" description="Review and improve the effectiveness of your e-commerce site's capability, including how it integrates with the other channels that are part of today's omnichannel retail."] Here’s a checklist of 5 things you can do straight away:

1. Improve the store-related areas of your website

It’s likely that a large number of your visitors are already looking for store information on your website or app. First, make sure that your store locator is up to scratch, especially for mobile users, and make sure…

Marketers should look to form more diverse, holistic strategies capable of operating on their own schedules rather than being subject to Google's short-term outages, bugs, and penalties

For SEO marketers, Google is an unpredictable ecosystem. One day, the sun is shining and you’re basking in its favour. The next, a hurricane hits and your carefully crafted content flies out the window and is nowhere to be found. Rumours of indexing issues are at the heart of the latest troubles. Google has admitted a certain amount of delay in indexing and displaying new content, but the extent of the current problem is a mystery at best — just like a lot of Google’s behind-the-scenes activity. [si_guide_block id="122303" title="Download our Business Resource – Omnichannel marketing planning guide" description="Our omnichannel planning guide will outline the differences between omni and multichannel marketing and then help you create a strategy and roadmap for achieving your own…

Chart of the Day: Public are largely unfamiliar with purchasing through chatbots

Chatbots are a viable option for companies who want to be ever-accessible to their customers. Able to help with common problems such as late deliveries or changing profile information, chatbots can always elevate more complex tasks to a human representative if need be. One task that customers aren’t ready to trust chatbots with is making a purchase. Research by SUMO Heavy has found that just 11% of people have tried making a purchase through a chatbot, with just 5% saying they would do so again. A quarter of people said they were not open to trying it and 43% said they were unfamiliar with the concept altogether. When reading this data, it's important to distinguish the different platforms that chatbots can be provided through. Chat services available directly on a…

Boost in-store sales with social media. Infographic illustrating the many ways in which retailers can integrate their social presence with the in-store experience.

The topic of omnichannel marketing seems to be on the lips of most retailers these days. In a time when customers have multiple points of contact with retailers, the expectation is that their experience is seamlessly integrated across any and all channels.

Whether a customer is shopping in-store or scrolling through Instagram, consumers now expect each touchpoint with a brand to be consistent.

The gradual move to omnichannel marketing represents a significant shift in the thinking of retailers. No longer seen as competing opposites, the online world and the brick-and-mortar shop are now seen as complementary pieces of the whole experience. When strategically integrated, all these elements can work together to help the business thrive.

Retailers stand to…

Chart of the Day: A shockingly low rate of personalization of the customer journey is revealed

The growth in use of mobile devices and increasingly complex customer journeys means that multichannel retailers need to deliver customer experiences that that integrate across customer journeys as consumers increasingly use multiple channels on the path to purchase. Given the growing importance of omnichannel marketing, UX consultancy Practicology has teamed up with Google in a recent benchmark report, to review omnichannel experiences across Europe. Retailers are strongest in providing integration with store information, for example through store locators and also returns. Integrating personalization across channels performs has the lowest score with using in-store technology also scoring relatively low. Although this report focuses on retail, you can use our popular free multichannel marketing benchmark templates to review your performance across different digital marketing channels and customer experience.

Research source

Source:  Download…