September 26, 2017 9:26 pm
Published by vineetpan>
How should SMBs plan their multi-channel marketing strategy?
As a Small or Medium Business Owner, the constraints are numerous and keep breathing at you right from the word go. You know that sales are the lifeline for your business and the targets have to be met at any cost – while you have one eye on your competitors, who are nibbling away the market pie at rapid pace. In the past you have seen various marketing efforts, often executed in isolation, proving to be complete duds – a demoralizing waste of time, resources and the perennially scarce ‘finances’.
In a survey conducted across USA and Canada in 2013-14, with a sample size of 700 SMBs, the predominant outcome was that the companies spend 40% more time and effort on:
[a] Identifying the flaws of the marketing campaign – postmortem and ‘lessons learned’
[b] Performing a slew of changes to the website & landing pages in retrospect – after the campaign is closed for good.
This survey outcome sums up the fundamentally flawed and ‘reactive marketing strategy’ adopted by both the SMBs and their hired agencies.
So, as an SMB, before any funds or resources are allocated for the marketing campaign, the following questions must be answered by the marketing think-tank.
[i] Why do I need a marketing campaign at the moment?
[ii] What services / products are in immediate need for a marketing push?
[iii] Who is my audience (demography)?
[iv] Where is my audience (Channel)?
Once the answers to these queries are brainstormed and documented to satisfaction, your business is ready to talk marketing.
Wait a minute…Is your house in order?
I mean do you have a website which can respond to the above queries?
Does the website have a tracking mechanism in place to track and monitor the visitor footprints (You can use any analytic tool of your preference like Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, omniture…etc.)?
Is your website/ blog integrated with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram…etc. ?
One of the lessons from the survey is that the website design and marketing strategy cannot be done in isolation. The inputs from the marketing team play a crucial role in the campaign outcome. So, ideally the UI / UX and the marketing team should be part of the design discussions right from the first day. This alignment sets the ball rolling in the right direction.
Now, I guess we are ready to kick-off the much needed marketing exercise….
A few more hoops to go and then we are into the game…
We know that our customers can be present anywhere in the world, in any time zone and on any device of their preference. In many cases, your audience will jump from one device to another within a small span of time. This certainly adds to the complexity of a marketing strategy. It’s a challenging proposition to engage your audience across a gamut of devices and still keep them hooked to your value proposition and marketing message…
So, how do you keep your customers engaged all along the buying cycle – rather the multichannel buying cycle…?
STEP1: Now, that the designing of the site is underway, with the marketing team in the ranks, it is also important to create a website which is device-agnostic (Responsive) and which can be viewed with the same clarity across all the screen sizes, operating systems and browsers – desktop, smart phones, tablets, laptops etc…
STEP2: Message consistency across all the channels is key to the engagement – all the channels should speak the same language – social, paid, organic, print and electronic media should sing the same marketing tune
STEP3: Segment your data – separate data buckets for Social, organic or paid – Further segment data in each of the mediums – For example Social data should be further segmented based on the channel utilized…Facebook / Twitter / Instagram. The same applies to the Paid medium – segments for search and display network. Segmentation is key to an accurate data analysis and channel value attribution – i.e., the ROI for each of the marketing channels.
The above simple approach pretty much takes you through the starting blocks, as a business owner, to create a robust foundation for your multichannel marketing strategy. Please remember that a sound multichannel implementation is the precursor to a successful Omni-channel implementation as your organization grows in size.
Reach out to us if you have any queries: