The Multi-Channel Marketing Mandate: Be Where Your Customers Are!

There are a few benefits of focusing on “B2B Marketing” as a topic. One of my best perks is that I occasionally get the honor of speaking at amazing industry events like Content Marketing World and the MarketingProfs B2B Forum (shameless plug: please join us!)

Another benefit is that I obtain access to research reports that cover some of the key challenges for the Business Marketer. And so Kimberly McCabe from Sitecore found me on LinkedIn and offered to send me a report they commissioned with Forrester on Multi-channel Marketing.

While it is registration-required, I will provide a nice summary here for all of you.

Why is Multi-channel Marketing important? Because more and more, our customers are using multiple channels to find the information they need. They are relying less on your website and the relationship with your sales representative than they used to. And they are increasingly finding the information they need to make business decisions on their own.

Why is multi-channel marketing important? Because you need to be in all the places where your customers are searching for information and help them find it…

Is there a gap? Heck yeah! According to Mary Meeker, there is a $20 Billion Digital Marketing Channel gap made evident by the % of advertising dollars spent on internet and mobile channels vs. the amount of time spent in those channels by today’s digital consumer.

In other words, businesses don’t spend enough money on the channels where people are spending increasing amounts of time.

And that is why Forrester called their report “The Multi-channel Maturity Mandate.” According to Forrester:

Today’s customer has much more control over the buying process than today’s marketer does. Now that the Web and social media are part of virtually everyone’s daily life, buyers have more choices (more sources, more outlets, more offers) and more opinions (from pundits to peers) to consider.

Multi-channel marketing is the new reality of how businesses can better meet the needs of customers in the wide array of choices and content they use.

And to me, multi-channel marketing is the 2nd core piece of Content Strategy, which seeks to provide the content our audiences are searching for, in all the places they search.

5 Key Multichannel Marketing Findings 

The study concluded that achieving maturity in multi-channel marketing can deliver significant increases in business benefits, mainly from the expanded reach achieved through an optimized marketing mix.

This supports the evidence from content marketing best practices that demonstrate how you can achieve higher levels of engagement earlier in the buying process with effective content targeted by buying stage.

Interestingly, the study also showed increased customer satisfaction from those companies who were identified as more mature! So with a focus on multi-channel marketing, you can engage with more people and improve their satisfaction with your brand at the same time!

The five key findings:

  • Marketers are familiar with multichannel marketing as an area of focus for improved marketing ROI with 40% of those surveyed assessing themselves as mature practitioners of multi-channel marketing.
  • It’s not a matter of will, but of skill. Skill gap was identified as the main obstacle to more efficient, integrated marketing.
  • Those marketers who identified themselves as mature have demonstrated significant business gains in overall campaign performance and ROI.
  • Mature multi-channel marketers were more likely to be early adopters of innovative technology, more likely to have a good relationship with their colleagues in IT and more likely to have a closer alignment with sales.
  • Even the mature multi-channel maketers considered their marketing programs to lack true integration and believed that further optimization was possible.
Want to become a mature multi-channel marketer and achieve higher business results with your marketing efforts? Then follow these 3 simple steps:
  1. Look to implement the latest technology
  2. Work closely with your IT colleagues to implement it
  3. Align as closely as you can with sales.
For more information, charts and a lot more detail, you can download the Sitecore-commissioned report from Forrester on Multi-channel Marketing.

About the Study

Sitecore commissioned Forrester Consulting to research current and planned practices in multichannel marketing with 226 marketing professional from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.

Is your business focused on multi-channel marketing? Let me know what you think in the comments below and follow the conversation on Twitter,  LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+.

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Michael Brenner  is a Top CMO, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Influencer, an international keynote speaker, author of "Mean People Suck" and "The Content Formula" and he is the CEO and Founder of Marketing Insider Group, a leading Content Marketing Agency . He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael helps build successful content marketing programs for leading brands and startups alike. Subscribe here for regular updates.

6 thoughts on “The Multi-Channel Marketing Mandate: Be Where Your Customers Are!

  1. indeed,. This is one reasons why we are seeing the rise of niche social networks and platform that are 99% relevant to a particular group, audience, buyer and or prospect. Why spend lots of time and money on facebook if your buyer doesn’t spend anytime there???

    great post thanks for sharing.

  2. Customers and prospects are engaging with your brand in many different ways. It’s important to have a presence across various channels so that you are in control of the message. A lot of content today is user generated, and it’s important to be aware of what is being said (and found) about your business.

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