We’ll talk through how to structure and align your multi-channel strategy using a step-by-step sequence.
Are you, like many other small or medium size business owners feeling it’s the time to pause, regroup ideas and start a strategic review?
Perhaps you get frustrated with the same questions – but with so many components and options to consider, there’s alot to know before moving ahead.
So, where should you start?
First lets check why 4 out of 5 consumers declare brands do not know or understand them – According to IBM and Econsultancy Study. These figures were based on 2015 US market study.
Their most used channels: 90% of consumers go online and then call the call center to finalise their purchase.
The UK figures aren’t brilliant either – the multi-channel customer service is considered ok but not consistent across multiple industries.
- Over 63% of consumers are saying that they’ve stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service.
- 50% of UK consumers used their desktop computers with retail, banking and travel companies in the past six months.
- Across the five surveyed industries, consumers are most likely to have browsed retail websites using a tablet (e.g. an iPad).
- Just under a third of consumers (29%) have used a retail brochure or catalogue, while 17% have used a travel brochure.
Source for UK: https://econsultancy.com/reports
Why are they failing to execute a multi-channel strategy?
To avoid falling into the same traps or making unnecessary mistakes – Lets see where the majority of business owners struggle or fail:
- Plan or set specific SMART goals
- Define marketing campaign activities in time
- Add (real) value proposition for customers
- Set and maintain channel promotional alignment
- Control service/product offer
- Review USP differentiators
- Analyse competitors and/or underestimate them
- Budget marketing activities
- Poor and/or unconsistent service
- Measure online marketing campaigns – resulting in poor ROI.
Well, these are the main reasons. If you have failed to execute any of the above, then I can reassure you’re not alone.
So, where should we start?
“There isn’t a one type of bullet proof strategy” as Joe Pulizzi said – but a good starting point would be to begin with your business vision, mission and priorities. I’d make a list of goals you’re hoping to achieve and then jot down what, why, whom and when you’re hoping to achieve it. Set a 3-6 months time frame – no point going beyond that.A good strategy should be #agile - start with vision, priorities and best services you can provide to your customers. Click To Tweet
Did you know.. “that business vision without proper execution is just a simple hallucination”
Is multi-channel strategy the platform to go in order to win more customers and business?
A digital strategy plan would be incomplete without the multi-channel strategy.
To avoid this – you must consider the following approaches:
- Set and determine business goals – Based on your vision and current presence.
- Define and segment buyer personas group – maximum three-five.
- Identify new market opportunities – do a market research – listen to your audience.
- List solutions for those opportunities – identify challenges prioritise them.
- How to create content – educate, influence with emotional, fun messages.
- Integrate major social media platforms to reach more people, buyers.
- Create interesting (value) content and promote it.
- How to check and control results.
The recent IBM survey, suggests that the majority of marketers (still) are failing to adopt an integrated cross-channel approach.
Many of those are in: retail, telecoms services, financial services and the travel industry, – meaning that over 40% are failing to coordinate their marketing campaigns across these important channels.
So this begs the question: why are these businesses struggling to move towards a multi-channel strategy effectively? Are they lacking time, research, planning, internal skills, resources or all at same time?
First analysis showed that SMEs tend to focus or concentrate more on two-three channels – the web, email and/or phone. Is two-channel coming soon? Don’t think so.
The point of this exercise is to demonstrate how to overcome these obstacles whilst making substantial time and cost savings. It isn’t an easy task. Do not look to make many changes at once but enough that your customers will notice its benefits.
Question: Wouldn’t you rather benefit from short/medium-term strategic changes and keep your customers happy whilst getting more competitive?
Hope you enjoyed part one. Please share your comments, thoughts.
Part 2 is on the way – I draft it but needs 8-10hrs to organise, and proof read it. But will be out in 2 weeks time.
First Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net