Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Marketing: Identify the right channels of communication

Robert Gray writes in Marketing Magazine:

Generating high levels of response, conversion or brand engagement is never easy in direct marketing. Unquestionably, it is vital to pick the right channels. However, as channels have proliferated — mail, email, SMS, telemarketing— settling on the appropriate ones and giving them the optimum weighting is becoming more problematic.

“Consumers have preferences for different channels at different times of the day,” says Robert Keitch, Director, Media Channel Development Direct Marketing Association. “No one channel is going to do it for you — end of story. The days of having a simplistic mix are gone.”

It comes down to understanding who the customer is. ”Consumer habits are evolving; for example, people now spend more time interacting with the web or their mobiles than sitting passively in front of the TV. Richard Higginbotham, Head of Marketing, CDMS, a marketing services provider, believes many marketers have as yet failed to exploit this shift.

“Once the customer has been identified, successful multi-channel implementation allows the marketer to actually contact the customer through the channel he/ she prefers,” he says. “Ensuring customers are receiving communications through a medium to which they are responsive is key to producing customer satisfaction and improving RoI.”

There is plenty of evidence that a multichannel approach to direct marketing tends to deliver far better results than concentration on a single touch-point.

Channel selection plays a key role and should be based on an understanding of how the target audience wants to interact with a brand, coupled with knowledge of their stage in the buying cycle.


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