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BizReport : Advertising archives : October 17, 2014

Top 3 tips to create a multi-channel strategy that works

Communication from online brands to consumers can often feel impersonal - without face-to-face interaction, they struggle to connect with their audiences on a personal and meaningful level. Brands often have to rely on consumers accepting and then acting upon messages in an inbox or through a mobile app.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How important is it for brands to become multi-channel?

Stacy Adams, Vice President of Marketing, MBlox: It's absolutely essential. Consumers live a multi-channel life, moving constantly and fluidly from one medium to the next, and often utilize devices simultaneously. A brand must be able to make those transitions just as seamlessly. It is critical that a brand's message be communicated not only through this variety of channels, both traditional and mobile, but done so in a way that capitalizes on the channels' strengths. Before a brand bothers to fight for the chance to engage its audience, it has to be knowledgeable and ready to reach that consumer at a touch point designed specifically for him or her, whether that be TV, print, social, email, voice, SMS, MMS or push notifications. Anything less is wasted effort. Offering a multi-channel engagement approach is integral for companies to build long-term brand advocates.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips to create a solid multi-channel strategy?
Stacy: Start with the data - Data should inform every stage of your strategy development. Examine the customer journey between platforms and devices. Allow metrics to determine how each channel interacts with others and which touch points will draw your audience in.
Know your audience - Go where consumers already spend their time and create an experience that mimics what they already like and choose. People are tired of being interrupted with pushy hard sells - like strategically placed ads that are too easy to accidentally click. Make the relationship more organic and mutual, through a keen awareness of who they are and what they want. The more closely you mold your brand experience to them, the more successful and positive the interaction will be.
Be flexible - Flexible engagement is the driving force behind multi-channel strategies, and it is a process that you must be prepared to constantly evolve. Your brand must be nimble in its response to real-time execution and feedback. Be prepared to rework and reprioritize your strategies continually.

Kristina: How does StarStar solve a problem for online brands?

Stacy: StarStar gives consumers the opportunity to initiate the conversation by dialing a short code (i.e., **SEARS) then taking action on the message, be it a mobile coupon, an app download link or even password authentication. In addition, StarStar provides online brands access to consumer data, including location, so these brands can drive further relevant content from highly targeted behavioral insights.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: advertising, advertising tips, MBlox, multi-channel advertising

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