Multi-channel marketing – visualised

multichannel marketing for mobile

Once the objectives for a new digital strategy are defined, but before racing into tactics like facebook and Twitter, consider the difference between channels and touchpoints, your customers behaviours and how to provide influential content for each phase of the customer jouney.

(At the end of this article there’s a visual flow diagram which summarises everything very simply)

gutenberg printing press
I want to start by drawing a comparison between Steve Gutenbergs printing press in the mid 1450s and the Internet today, brought to my attention by Sir John Hegarty at BBH. The printing press was originally conceived with the sole objective of printing Bibles. It was 25 years after its invention that it was adopted for mass communication and hundreds of years later used for printing everything from newspapers and magazines to doorstop flyers and magazine inserts we know today. The press was technological advancement of its day or a channel so to speak, and the communications or content were touchpoints, that engaged with the readership.

Arguably, huge print runs of mass-market impersonal marketing materials now have very little impact when compared to personalised, targeted communications presently. I think this is why marketeers are now so drawn to social media – its a free & easy medium for publishing noise about brands and products – and that’s the problem, used incorrectly they are almost useless, but brands and organisations are quick to draw insights about their effectiveness and value before studying how targeted or engaging the content.

Measure how consumers behave…

I recommend using Google’s ThinkInsights or Experians Mosaic tools to better understand your consumers rather than purely reaching assumptions based on what’s worked in the past (and what hasn’t). Once you have a view on audience needs and behaviours you can plan a critical path from awareness & influence to eventual engagement & ultimately – selling. This is the buyer journey.

So before you race into tactics and actions first consider,which are Channels and which are ‘Touchpoints’. The table below shows the ‘content marketing matrix’ as defined by Smart, which is a and almost exhaustive plan of every channel available to marketeers – not to be confused with touch points!

The digital content marketing matrix

Channels vs. TouchPoints – explained!

Let’s start with an example. A touchpoint could be described as me posting a picture of a cat dressed as Chewbacca holding a mini light-sabre and ask my friends for comments or captions. The engagement rate that comes from this is no accident.

chewbacca the cat

This is because:

  • Rule 1: it’s very, very funny
  • Rule 2: most of my friends love Star Wars. Finally
  • Rule 3: I have invited interaction.

When people like or leave a comment this is known as a Touchpoint, and for me this is the only valuable type of social media.

So how is this relevant in the multichannel sales journey?

The above example is very simple, but does illustrate there is strategy in every successful social media communication – very little is achieved by accident alone.

Depending on your consumers stage in the sales journey, you can plan which type of channel to use and deploy the most relevant content. For instance, try to understand whether your buyers are in the awareness, influence, or pre-and post sales stages and ensure you have targeted communications for each.

A multichannel sales journey – illustrated

The diagram below is an example I have illustrated to show how channels might look and serves as a concise digital strategy, which can be adapted to suit most campaigns. It’s up to the creative teams to develop the meaningful engaging content though, certain that its inline with a cohesive strategy.

Multi-channel sales journey

Multi-channel marketing strategy, copyright 2014

Interested in how a multi-channel sales journey might look for your latest campaign?

to agree/disagree or discuss any of the points above, please do leave a comment. I’m always interested in hearing other experiences or views.
If you’re frustrated with the performance of your digital marketing effort, & would like a multi-channel plan researched and created for your business, please contact me here: or call 0203 287 4910

Useful resources

By Paul Stratford

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