Marketing in a widescale manner is like firing a shell from a shotgun:
The massive blast sends projectiles flying everywhere, so chances are you'll hit something, but likely miss hitting your target, or audience.
Contrastingly, multi-channel marketing is like firing heat-seeking missiles: Each missile takes a different route, but they inevitably wind up reaching their intended targets, or audiences.
To market effectively, you'll need to do a little bit more than launching — or delivering — ads at consumers through every possible channel.
Instead, focus on adhering to conventional marketing principles, while also utilizing the latest behavioral analytics and technology.
Here are a few recent trends and lessons in multi-channel marketing that businesses are employing to establish an active, potent presence across various mediums, while making sure to stay on target.
1. Online Live Video
Operating a YouTube channel is a good way to build an audience and reach specific markets. However, using it efficiently as part of a multi-channel marketing campaign requires more than simply posting video advertorials.
Today, the most successful brands on YouTube use the platform to build audiences and brand awareness. From there, these companies' main objective is to direct subscribers to their website to convert them into customers.
To do this, multi-channel advertisers use a conventional call-to-action marketing tool that essentially tells their viewers what to do, how to do it and why to do it. However, they pair this with a modern trend: live streaming videos.
A prime example of a brand that does this well is Dunkin Donuts.
Understanding that selling coffee and donuts requires a sensory appeal, Dunkin Donuts offered viewers last year around Valentine's Day a live, inside peek of the company's test kitchen and showcased how new products are created.
The video hit both YouTube and Facebook and incorporated the company's website at the end.
2. Cloud Contact Centers
Traditional call centers have fallen out of favor since the costs to operate and maintain them are astronomical. Indeed, the price of purchasing or leasing a facility — in addition to managing annual operating costs and employee salaries — equates to a budget-eating call center. In the end, call centers offer little to no ROI. Cloud contact centers, on the other hand, require little to no capital investment and pose lower integration and start-up costs.Cloud contact centersCloud contact centers
In addition to being more fiscally prudent, cloud contact centers offer more applications than their archaic predecessor (the call center), which are limited mainly to, well, calling.
Cloud contact centers can reach target markets through more channels, such as email, chat, SMS and social media. Plus, these call centers can reach more obscure audiences, making them ideal for multi-channel marketing campaigns.
3. Customer-Turned Advocate
Potentially the most significant, current multi-channel marketing trend forward-thinking companies are adopting is allowing influencers — from everyday people to celebrities — the means to advertise products for their favorite brands.
Though not a new concept, advocacy marketing has demonstrated a resurgence, as it lends itself quite well to online platforms.
Built on a foundation of an excellent consumer experience, advocacy marketing happens when a brand empowers its customers to tell a story and rave about their experience with its products or services.
It can be organic or orchestrated, but businesses must pay attention to the behaviors of its consumers and anticipate their needs if advocacy marketing is to be used effectively.
Furthermore, providing consumers with more options through multi-channel marketing means brands must engage with their customers, provide them with options, and identify whom among this crowd demonstrates supreme knowledge of and passion for the brand.
These consumers then become featured brand advocates.
In the end, multi-channel marketing is largely about understanding modern audiences and motivating these groups and individuals to respond positively to a brand's products or services.
Though methods may change, marketing itself can be a fickle game — but keeping up with modern trends can assure your brand stays in it and remains relevant.