online marketing affects offline purchase behavior and how offline marketing affects online behavior. If you website has a 3% conversion rate, what about the remaining 97% of your visitors? If you send out 50,000 coupons and get a 2% direct response rate, what about the other 98% of those who got the coupons? Is there a way to measure what they do? Enter multichannel analytics. Multichannel analytics is a process where all marketing channels are analyzed to develop a more complete view of visitor behavior” (Kamenar, 2010).
If you own a local store, what conveniences do you provide to your customers? Do you have a website that offers products online and your website’s visitors can easily order them? Do you have telephone sales representatives who can assist customers with their questions? Do you send the letters out to the customers advertising your products? “The days when companies could buy a magazine ad or a 30-second primetime spot and have a well-rounded marketing strategy are long gone. These days, having a web strategy is not only important but increasingly complicated. Just in the last 10 years, companies have gone from thinking about advertising on websites and with search displays, to having to incorporate blogs, social networks, and mobile platforms”. (Thompson, 2012).
From a multichannel marketing perspective it is extremely important to think about the customer’s mind and try to offer as many advertising solutions as possible to reach out to a busy consumer. Multichannel marketing uses a variety of advertising sources – direct mail, online solutions, email, social networks, telemarketing – to attract potential customers and retain existing customers, however sometimes executives may fear that one channel takes business away from another. For example, if the product is being advertised through the catalog and the website and the customer decides to purchase the product through the website, the managers may assume that the website stole the sale from the catalog, but in reality the customers who interact with the company via multiple channels are more profitable and loyal than customers who have found the company through a single channel due to the factors listed below:
- 1. Efficiency. The better the target market is informed about the product, the more profitable the company is, however it is important to keep in mind that the message must remain consistent throughout all marketing campaigns even though optimization strategies for each channel and audience vary.
- 2. Increased interaction with customers. The more advertising channels the company uses, the more opportunities it has to attract customers and the stronger the brand becomes. The company that advertises via online channel and direct mail has more chances to connect with customers comparing to a company that uses only one channel.
- 3. Increased chances for a message to be received by the target market. The more the target market hears about the company’s brand via multiple channels, the more successful the marketing efforts are.
- 4. Immediate feedback on the marketing campaigns. It is easy to determine which channels are performing well and which are underperforming defined goals.
- 5. Numerous alternatives. Multichannel marketing offers various options to purchase a product based upon customer’s preferences. Some people prefer to visit the company’s website and place an order there, others would prefer to pick up the phone and talk to a customer service person.
- 6. Better customer interaction with a variety of information available for understanding of customers and determination of opportunities for increasing return on investment.
The companies that specialize in multichannel analytics help to determine marketing spend optimization by:
- attributing sales to the correct channel.
- understanding all customers’ touchpoints that influence sales.
- increasing the volume of acquisition and reduce cost to acquire.
In addition, multichannel companies determine the most relevant channels to engage customers, identify the lifetime value of each customer, define how customers’ online and offline activities are correlated with sales results, focus on delivering return on investment and added value and improves loyalty.
There are vendors that uniquely focus on the multichannel data integration and customer intelligence. For instance, iJento database-centric Analytics organization, founded in 2000 helps to understand individual customers’ behavior and better target and personalize content and marketing efforts for improved customer engagement. Enabling more personalized and timely communication, being able to track behavior of existing customers leads to increased customer retention and upselling opportunities.
Multichannel analytics provides marketers with data which is being thoroughly scrutinized, however it may sometimes become challenging because the journey of processing the data coming from multiple sources (channels) is a multi-step series of actions and may require partnering with analytics vendor (if there is no in-house analytics):
- 1. The data is being collected from online web analytics – Google Analytics, Web Trends, Call Centers, Direct Mail lists.
- 2. The data is being manipulated and analyzed via multiple solutions –Access database, SQL server.
- 3. Appropriate analysis – segmentation, targeting and attribution analysis – is being conducted based on the data results.
Despite of the advantages of the multichannel marketing it should be used very cautiously and it is critical to consistently keep track of the channels that bring more valuable leads and result in a higher return on investment. For example, Strongmail, a provider of interactive marketing solutions for email marketing and social media, released the results of its “2012 Marketing Trends” survey which provides unique insight into how businesses plan to budget and prioritize marketing dollars in 2012 year.” The survey was conducted in November, and 939 businesses participated. Of them, 92% said they planned to increase or maintain their marketing spend in 2012, and 60% said they planned to increase their email marketing budget, compared with 55% for social media and 37% increasing their mobile spending or search (such as SEO) spending. The top email marketing initiatives for 2012, according to the survey, are increasing subscriber engagement (chosen by 48% of the survey participants), improving segmentation and targeting (44%) and growing opt-in email lists (32%)” (Thompson, 2012).
Kamenar, J. (2010, January 29). Understanding Multichannel Analytics. Retrieved July 2, 2012, from www.webanalyticsinsight.wordpress.com: http://webanalyticsinsight.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/understanding-multichannel-analytics/
Thompson, M. (2012, January 4). Multi-Channel Marketing: Meeting the Challenges of Digital Advertising. Retrieved July 3, 2012, from www.econtentmag.com: http://www.econtentmag.com/Articles/ArticleReader.aspx?ArticleID=79671