Multi-Channel Marketing – The Keys to Making it Work

As we all know, marketing comes in many flavors from television and newspaper ads to direct mail and email. So how are today’s top marketers leveraging these and other mediums to drive incremental return on investment (ROI) from their marketing spends and contributing to company profits? The simple answer: through effective multi-channel marketing integration.

When deployed as channel-specific efforts, marketing pieces deliver only a fraction of their potential value. This results in a mediocre ROI at best. A two-year study conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) confirmed that utilizing a variety of media vehicles in a thoughtful and strategic way have a higher likelihood of making a connection with your target market. By embracing a holistic approach to marketing, professional marketers can out-pace their competition by delivering an effective consumer experience while building a loyal customer base.

So what could it look like when we pull it all together? Perhaps something like this…

A cosmetics company wants to target new customers for their recently launched facial moisturizer. Using all of the collected data about their current and prospective customers, the organization puts together beautiful full-color brochures that utilize graphics and photos appropriate for their well-defined target market. The call-to-action in an introductory direct mail piece is a visit to a custom landing page within their website announcing the new addition to their product line with a special purchase offer.

The printed direct mailing is coordinated with an email campaign to their current opt-in customer base with identical branding and messaging and a link to the same URL. They include a “Live Chat” feature on the webpage to answer any visitors’ questions (and an opportunity to up-sell online customers). The new products can be conveniently purchased right there through the web page.

Two months later, about the time the newly purchased moisturizer would typically get close to empty, the email application (based on purchase date) automatically sends out a friendly reorder reminder and includes an online coupon with a link to the website shopping cart and the discount already applied to the customer’s purchase. The email also extends this special offer to any “friends” to whom the original recipient wants to forward it and then encourages those “friends” to opt-in for their own future mailings.

In this example, sales can easily be tracked online given the unique landing pages for each marketing campaign. Marketers can easily gauge the effectiveness of the campaigns and optimize them in real-time based on the formatting or messaging that proves the most effective. In addition, they can more effectively track marketing expenditures (and therefore ROI) with the sales generated from specific campaigns.

The IAB’s Cross Media Optimization Study found that an integrated approach can lift brand awareness and image by 8% to 34%, and purchase intent can be affected even more… from 5% to 1,000%. It is important to recognize the tremendous multiplier effect from the employment of multiple, coordinated marketing channels. Companies in a wide variety of industries – both business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer – are taking advantage of this effective method of running multi-channel marketing campaigns.

So what are the keys to successful multi-channel marketing campaigns?…

Get all of your marketing people and service providers working together. The most successful marketing campaigns come from diverse teams that work together from start to finish. This means agency partners must work together with your internal marketing team (and with each other if you work with more than one agency) to closely collaborate to define strategy, develop creative ideas, and plan the execution.

Really know your target customers. Understand your target audience at a deep level. Give them names and personas. Learn their preferences and personalize your communications to and with them. The more personalized, timely, and relevant your communications, the more effective they will be (but that’s a topic for a whole separate column).

Define all customer touch points. Identify in detail all of the opportunities you have to interact with your customers and define how all your employees should speak with them, how to ask for their permission for further communication, ask for their preferences, and learn more about them at every opportunity. Lay out the process of your customers’ experiences with your brand. Each customer touch point should fully support the brand image you wish to convey… it is all about the complete brand experience.

Test, test, test. You always need to test the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, however the testing of each channel individually is a bit different than testing the overall multi-channel campaign as a whole. Define your success metrics up front to ensure that you get a holistic view of the campaign results throughout the campaign.
The days of disjointed marketing campaigns are certainly numbered… If you work to integrate teams across your organization (including your vendors), you’ll be able to engage your customers in new and unique ways, build greater loyalty and brand awareness, and achieve a higher return on your marketing investment.

Top 10 Things Needed In A Successful Direct Mail Campaign

These are the top ten things that you need in any direct mail marketing pieces…we’ll use a restaurant in this example:

1. Format

A picture only aids if it is compelling and aids in telling the story. NOT a picture of an empty restaurant or dining room or your logo. If you have a photo of food or people make sure it demonstrates they are enjoying themselves.

2. Headline

This is often the major flaw of the restaurant marketing I see. All of your marketing needs to have a strong, offer based headline that answers the question in the guests mind “What’s in it for me?”

One option is including the offer in your headline, and on the delivery address side. The more outrageous or bold, the better.

3. Personalization

Tests show that this will increase response by 30%. When you speak directly to your audience you’ll get better results. When you can put someone’s name in the headline it will get better results.

It also means you should segment your lists and match the message to each list.

Existing guests should get a different mailing than those that came from a purchased list. It’s easier to get existing guests to come back to celebrate their birthday and as a result it requires less sales effort. Often a well designed postcard is good enough.

However with a new guest that hasn’t visited your restaurant before it requires more sales effort. That’s hard to do effectively with one postcard. That’s why I advocate a full blown sales letter with first class stamp with the personalized approach.

4. Call to Action

You need to give them a specific direction. Tell them exactly what to do and how to do it.

Sometimes this is combined it with the deadline below. “Bring in the enclosed certificate before XXX to receive your FREE Dinner “.

If you are mailing to a cold list of people that have not been to restaurant before you should give them directions. That’s why you should include a map to your restaurant on the back of the certificate so people end up somewhere else when they intended to come to your restaurant.

5. Story

When you justify your offer, typically your response will go up. Engage the reader. Use your own voice, as if you were talking to a familiar friend. Talk about how your restaurant is different/better than all the other options available to them what makes you standout, unique.

The reason is that once they try your restaurant you know they’ll come back. It saves you hiring some fancy New York advertising agency. It doesn’t have to be a complicated reason you just need one.

6. Deadline

Everything has deadlines to need a valid offer. I recommend you feature an expiry date in large print and underlined, designed to stand out in the middle of the postcard. On a birthday anytime during their birthday month is usually very effective.

7. Offer

Test until you find a couple of offers that make people want to respond. Keep in mind the long term value of a customer. If it costs you a $10 offer ($3.50 if you consider you are only paying for the food) to get a new customer, it’s still worth it.

Once you have them in your database, you can get them onto the newsletter list and get them coming back again and again. Once they are on your database and a regular guest it shouldn’t take as big of an offer to get them to come in.

8. Testimonials

What others say about you is at least 10 times more believable than what you say about yourself. Use testimonials on all of your restaurant’s marketing. Why keep your happy guests’ positive opinion of you a secret?

9. Ability to Track Response

Make sure you keep detailed numbers for all your promotions. Not having accurate statistics may mean that you are making marketing decisions on emotion rather than the facts. That is a problem if you make decisions based on a few people instead of your overall results.

Track each of your restaurant’s marketing pieces using the same formula each time. Track the changes you make to each subsequent piece, making only one change at a time so you know what works and what doesn’t.

Once you find something that works, keep using it until you notice a change in response.

10. Guarantee

Come up with a big, bold and solid guarantee as a marketing selling point. If a customer is unhappy it’s in your best interest to make the customer happy anyway. By promoting a guarantee you just get added mileage from something you would have done anyway.

As long as you are providing a good quality product the amount of people that will take advantage of you are very small compared to the benefits of using it in your restaurant’s marketing material.

Email Marketing Training – 4 Powerful Success Strategies

Email marketing all starts with effective direct response writing, or copy writing. The power of email marketing can be extremely lucrative when done the rite way. Once you learn the power of speaking through written words you can virtually succeed in any online business.

When some one gets to your lead capture page or web site it is vital that you have an email opt-in form on that site. This begins the prose’s of collecting emails so that you can now communicate and follow up building a valuable relationship through the power of email marketing.

When just starting out online it can be frustrating not knowing what you need to do first. But below I will lay out a simple step by step formula to accomplished success with your email marketing.

1. Relationship building – It is important to realize that marketing online is no different then a brick and mortar business. You need to build a relation ship with people that visit your store front, in the online world your store front is your web site or lead capture page.

But in order to build a trustful relationship one needs to collect some information from the customer, so that you can use your email marketing to communicate and build relations with potential customers. The way you do this is by collecting email addresses of people that have an interest in what you offer on your web site.

2. Auto-responders – In order for you to effectively collect emails you are going to need a piece of software that can collect all the emails, so that you can send out broad cast and start your email marketing efforts.

This software is what all professional marketers use to communicate and build their email list, this is whats known as an auto-responder. There are lots of email marketing companies out there but the best one I think is aweber.com.

It is important to realize that an auto-responder is an email marketing tool online and it is essential to your business success. With an auto-responder you can effectively build relationships with your subscribers, by sending out email messages that help them get what they are looking for.

3. Consistency – Email marketing becomes more and more lucrative by staying consistent and putting your web-site in front of potential people that are looking for the information you are offering, once they give up an email and a name on your web site they are giving you permission to build a relation ship through the power of email marketing.

Then as you are growing your business you can send them information and up dates about YOU – your business – products or services. These people have an interest in you already as they have shown by giving up an email address and name.

4. Direct Response Writing – Now we need to follow up with some powerful direct response copy writing, I have found that over time this gets easy. You will be communicating with your prospects through written word, the best way to do this is to speak to them as if they are in front of you, do not speak as if your giving a lecture, this is dull and you will not see significant results.

You need to be helpful, ask them questions and then give them the answers, spike their curiosity this will get them to really think of what you are saying, put the question in their mind so that they are now pondering your question, they will be moved to find out more about you and you offers.

In the end be sincere about helping and try and over deliver, offer a free report with your email marketing, send out broadcast daily, they do not have to be long and drawn out just let them know your a real person, and speak to them, help them and you will have great success with your email marketing.