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Five Multi-Channel Marketing Traps

Posted on 6.09.2006

Multi-Channel marketing, providing current and potential customers with several options to research and purchase your product, is an important facet of today's marketplace.  Comscore reports that just 17% of search-related sales occur in the same session.  In contrast, 83% of purchases (63% offline) are latent.  Therefore, it's important to optimize your mulit-channel marketing strategy.  Here are five traps to avoid:

1.  Inconsistent Brand Across Channels:  It's important to ensure the brand you are selling remains the same, whether sold at a brick-and-mortar location or online.  It's easy to drive away customers if they see something they like on your site, only to drive across town to your store and not be able to find it.  The bait-and-switch is deadly.

2.  Conflicting Policies:  How many days does your customer have to make a return?  Is it the same across all channels?  Is the coupon found on your website the same coupon found at the store, in the paper or in your marketing email?  Inconsistency always breeds mistrust and drives away potential revenue.

3.  Poor Customer Service Across Channels:  Do your customers receive the same service online as they do at your location?  Don't promote a 24-hour turnaround time if you can't follow through.  Treat your online customers as if you were standing right in front of them with the mantra "The Customer is Always Right."

4.  Lack of Integrated Customer Data:  What good is mulit-channel marketing if you can't take advantage of the data?  Are you pulling all of your data together to refine your strategy and make improvements where needed?  Where are you seeing the best response?  What channels need work?

5.  Inability to Move From Mass Marketing to Mass AND Targeted Marketing:  When marketing across channels, it's important to capture data - and use it.  Mass marketing will work in some cases, but your efforts can be even more fruitful if you're able to target market as well.  Identify which customers are using which marketing channel and attack.  Certain customers will respond to mass marketing, others will respond much better to target marketing.  It's a personalized experience that multi-channel marketing is built for.

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