Customers interact with your marketing messages wherever they find them. Online or in store. Printed or electronic. Via social media engagement or tightly-controlled ‘on brand’ activity. Customers in the twenty-first century are inveterate wanderers.
And when they interact, they create touch points. Little interactions along the (often long and winding) road to a successful sale.
Sometimes the touchpoints are passive, sometimes they’re active. But they all count. They all add up.
Recognising the importance of every channel, every touch point, every message is the challenge for every thoroughly-modern marketing consultant.
I’m not usually one for marketing terminology; I’m a simple Yorkshireman who doesn’t like to speak in buzzwords. And this is especially true when “experts” can’t even agree what the buzzwords actually mean.
Is what I’m talking about cross-channel marketing, multi-channel marketing or omni-channel marketing?
There’s a textbook somewhere, with a colourful Venn diagram to show how each of the definitions overlap. And it’ll be a different Venn diagram in a different textbook.
So, for now, indulge me: let’s call this common sense marketing.
Common sense marketing which recognises that, whilst marketing channels may not be treated equally by every customer, they are all important in their own way. They each contribute to the return on investment.
And they all need to support each other. Because we don’t always know which channel will finally convert interest into purchase. Attribution is an important element of marketing but full attribution is rarely possible; especially for SMEs with a limited budget.
So let’s maximise the budget by ensuring consistency.
Ensure your public relations activity supports your PPC, your web site supports your social, your SEO supports your in-store promotions.
If we don’t know which piece of the puzzle needs to drop into place to create a new customer, we have to ensure they all sing from the same songsheet.
If one of them differs, then the drip drip drip of the marketing messaging gets confused, customers get different messages and – potentially – your marketing budget is being wasted.
It happens too often; a turf war between the web agency, the PR agency, the PPC agency, the direct marketing agency and all the other marketers looking to prove the effectiveness of their individual marketing discipline.
Which is why I advocate dealing with a single source for all your activity. And ensuring there’s an agreed, focused strategy with agreed, focused core messaging for all the different disciplines to deliver upon.
Otherwise you’re just wasting money. And, remember what I said earlier? I’m a Yorkshireman. We hate that.
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