You know it’s time to update your marketing strategy, but you’re not positive where to start. Today’s consumers use a wide range of channels to communicate with friends and engage with brands.
So, which ones should you embrace? All of them!
Brands worldwide are recognizing the need for multiple channels of communication, so if you want to stay relevant and competitive, it’s time for your company to climb aboard the trend.
But what is multichannel communication? And is omnichannel the same as multichannel? Check out our guide to learn more about the benefits of multichannel communication.
What Is Multichannel Communication?
Multichannel communication is a term that refers to a company’s way of communicating with customers over several different platforms, including email, social media, SMS, and more. The term can be used interchangeably with multichannel marketing since it is usually wrapped into a company’s marketing strategy.
Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Communication
If you’ve ever heard anything about multichannel communication, you may have noticed that the term is often compared to omnichannel communication. What’s the difference between the two?
Though both methods rely on multiple platforms to communicate with customers, multichannel communication focuses on each platform as an individual strategy, while omnichannel communication focuses on creating a seamless customer experience across all platforms.
With omnichannel communication, it’s easier for customers to move from a Facebook chat to a phone call, all without having to start from the beginning or provide the same information all over again.
Which Channels Should Be Included in a Multichannel Communication Strategy?
Today’s companies have dozens of channels to choose from when communicating with customers. And while it’s best to have a presence on as many platforms as possible, you may need to start on a smaller scale.
So, which channels should be the focus of your multichannel communication strategy? The essential channels to get you started include:
- Print (brochures, mail, flyers, etc.)
- Web portal
Benefits of Multichannel Communication
Are you overwhelmed at the thought of communicating through all of these platforms? Once you consider the countless advantages of multichannel marketing, you’ll be eager to dive in. Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll experience once you give it a try:
1. Serve Customers Where They Are
One of the biggest reasons to invest in multichannel marketing is because it will increase your ability to serve customers where they are already spending their time. No matter your target audience, you probably have a range of customers who have different preferences when communicating with brands.
Some customers might be busy professionals who prefer SMS, while others may prefer calling your company to speak with a real person. In any case, meeting customers where they are will allow you to improve the overall communication experience—for you and the customer.
2. Get to Know Audience Preferences
A multichannel marketing strategy also allows you to learn more about your customers and their preferences. You’ll get to know the platforms they’re using as well as the times they’re active on those platforms. You’ll also have an easier time gathering feedback since customers will be more likely to answer surveys on the platforms they use most often.
Since personalization is an increasingly popular marketing trend, all of this information will give you an advantage when selling your product and serving customers.
3. Improve the Customer Experience
One of the most valuable things a company can offer their customers today isn’t a product or service—it’s the customer experience itself. Consumers will go out of their way to shop from a brand that has a generous return policy, quick customer service, and speedy shipping times. So when it comes to communicating with customers, a multichannel approach should be a no-brainer.
Multichannel communication helps to improve the customer experience by meeting the customer where they are, making it easier to get in touch and resolve customer inquiries more quickly.
4. Boost Customer Loyalty
Since it’s far more costly to bring in new customers than to keep existing customers, boosting customer loyalty should be a top priority for every brand. Fortunately, multichannel marketing will help you do just that.
By improving the customer experience, meeting customers where they are, and getting to know audience preferences, you’ll have all the tools you need to build more loyal customers. And those loyal customers will act as brand ambassadors, spreading the word about your company to friends and family.
Disadvantages of Multichannel Communication
All types of marketing have some downsides to consider, and multichannel communication is no different. Before you start planning your strategy, it’s important to be aware of some pitfalls of this method. By recognizing the possible disadvantages, you’ll be able to avoid these problems from the outset.
1. Difficulty Transferring Between Platforms
Even if a customer starts a conversation with your brand over email, they may eventually want or need to transfer the conversation to the phone. At this point, they may experience frustration as they find themselves repeating details about their problem or asking the same questions they’ve already outlined via email.
Unfortunately, many brands create a multichannel communication plan without giving thought to how customers will transfer from one platform to another. Avoid this issue by making sure you have a streamlined approach to conversations across channels.
2. Inconsistency in Branding and Experience
If a customer is engaging with your brand on Facebook, Instagram, email, and through print ads, they expect the branding to be the same across all channels. Yet, many companies struggle to streamline the look, feel, and level of service in a multichannel marketing approach.
Make sure your customers get what they’re seeking by creating a cohesive strategy across every platform.
Create Your Multichannel Communication Strategy Today
Multichannel communication is one of the best ways to expand your customer base, increase customer loyalty, and get to know your target audience. If you’re ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level, ROI Solutions can help. Contact us today to find out how to improve your business with our multichannel and omnichannel call center services.