With all the hype surrounding digital media and social media these days, businesses may be tempted to put all their eggs in one basket when it comes to maximum ROI for their marketing dollar.
That may sound like an easy fix. But the truth is, different customers prefer different online and offline channels at certain stages of the buying cycle, and a one-size-fits-all solution is unlikely to exist.
Last year, 24 percent of U.S. retail marketers were still spending more on offline marketing than digital marketing. Other studies show offline is particularly effective when targeting local audiences and specific audiences. In many cases, digital and traditional marketing methods work best in conjunction with each other.
A clear example is click-to-call marketing through which customers click on mobile ads to automatically connect to live sales representatives. The combo is so successful that global click-to-call spending reached $5.9 billion last year and is expected to reach $12.7 billion by 2020. Research shows customers responding by phone convert 10 to 15 times more often than those responding online, and that 25 percent of all offline commerce is influenced by phone calls.
These days, savvy marketers are constantly working to find the best mix of channels for their needs; in fact, 45 percent of retailers cited the formation of omni-channel strategy as a top business priority in a recent Forrester survey.
“Unless you can successfully market your product or service to the various levels of the channel that leads to the end customer, that customer will never even have the chance to do business with your company, much less become a brand advocate,” advises Stuart Leung on Salesforce.com. “You have to focus your efforts on the right channels, in the right way, at the right time.”
When putting together your omnichannel marketing plan, consider the following suggestions:
- Know your audience. Today’s tools can provide scads of data about which channels and forms of messaging your customers prefer. Make your primary marketing messages adaptable across a variety of channels.
- Allot marketing funds to different channels based on their relevance to your audiences, ability to effectively deliver the message, likelihood of the target audience acting on the call to action, and cost.
- Consider how call marketing, billboards, TV and radio ads, print ads, direct mail, fliers, packaging and participation in trade shows can reach different customers in different ways.
- Think about how best to market to distributors, retailers and others in your chain besides end users. “Selling a product or service is seldom as simple as one buyer interacting with one seller,” notes Leung. “It involves an entire sequence of buyers and sellers, each purchasing then passing along through multiple individuals, stretching from the original producer all the way to the final client.”
- Be aware many users today access more than one channel at once — for example, surfing the internet and/or checking their mobile devices while watching TV. “Any trans-media campaigns that incorporate offline elements always drive the viewer online in some fashion, usually to a custom landing page or microsite,” advises Kent Lewis on Atipso.com. “That’s the best way to control the experience, measure efficacy and develop a long-term relationship.”
- Optimize content marketing as a way of offering valuable information (and hopefully building trust) with key customers as they move down the funnel. Between 66 and 90 percent of the typical buying journey is complete before a customer ever contacts a business.
- Research all social media marketing possibilities. Use posts and paid ads to drive traffic to your website, research potential partners and establish business relationships. Complement that content with email and/or text marketing to catch customers who aren’t continually on social media.
- Track return on investment for your various campaigns so you know where to place future marketing dollars.
“Buying is no longer a linear path,” Daniel Newman recently advised in Entrepreneur. “The purchasing journey can become a bumpy ride with lots of detours that eventually can lead to frustration for your customers. That’s why you need to make it as easy as possible for them to get from point A to point B, and why you need to adopt an omni-channel approach to marketing.”
Dial800’s CallView360 tool continually measures the performance of your call marketing campaign so you can compare ROI. Contact us at 1-800-700-1987.