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Multichannel marketing; not even an option, it should be the standard.

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As somebody who is well-documented for being ever so slightly grumpy and mildly critical of the industry that feeds him, I’m actually feeling pretty chipper, and it’s all down to you. Godin bless you.

Well, some of you.

Those some of you being the inspiring bunch that were shortlisted at the 2013 B2B Marketing Awards in the category of “Best integrated or multichannel campaign”.

For the upcoming publication and supporting event (wonderful multi-channel example right there) The Evidence, I have written a chapter and am creating a presentation that answers the question “How can I best use multichannel marketing?”

It’s one of a number of chapters from various practitioners who will answer similar questions across the broad spectrum of today’s B2B marketing landscape.

And if the written word isn’t for you then why not consider the live event, with actual real people talking words at you about these topics.

Anyway, to whet the appetite and to go some way to explain that upturn in mood for me, here’s some of the good stuff on multichannel I found:

Multichannel shouldn’t be even be a choice, it should be standard.

My greatest lesson from an esteemed colleague of mine (and arguably the best sales person I have ever met) is persistence. Never giving up is key. When you consider that nearly all B2B purchases are the customer spending somebody else’s money (their company’s’) and that they will need encouragement and reminding throughout the sales cycle (which could be months or years for some of you) then you will need more than one knock at the door and multi-channel is the only way to send a series of encouragements and reminders to move your prospects along to being customers by sending the right format at the right time.

We don’t all live on the internet.

Well, not all of the time. Some of the best campaigns I reviewed this year were balanced between offline and online channels. There is no silver bullet here, but in the recent past we have be so fixated with using digital we have forgotten the value and appeal of more traditional channels. In recent year Direct Mail rates have dropped off a cliff. This has created a brilliant opportunity to gain cut through as quality DM still makes for a great initial route to get attention – consider this; when did you last get a really good piece of direct mail on your desk? Don’t target the world, but identify “top prospects” and wow the without somethingt hat really stands out.

Persona-drive all you do.

Not exactly a new idea but one that has had a mini renaissance of late, the persona-based approach to marketing is a critical component. When you consider that the average B2B purchase will involve 2-4 different departments, probably at different stages of the process, we must understand who these people are and what information they will require in what format (via which channel) to give ourselves the best chance of success. Don’t assume it’s the same for all – it insults them and lessens your chance of success.

Stand out creative stands out.

I recently blogged on the horror that is stock photography and our seemingly unshakeable addiction to it, but again the shortlisted group for this award showed that well thought-out and executed creative-led campaigns can be enormously successful. In a world of bland, grey, pin stripes, we seem to have forgotten that the audience we are targeting are real human beings. Real human beings with emotions, a sense of humour, a wide appreciation of the colour spectrum and an occasional wish to be entertained whilst at work, the evidence for multi-channel shows not only should you use more than one channel in a well-considered order but the messaging for each can be vibrant and engaging. Do this and you will get more interest. Interest can turn to desire and desire can ultimately lead to action; which might be a telephone call, meeting or sale that not only makes you look good before your boss, but will undoubtedly mean a lot this ever-decreasingly less grumpy guy over here.

See you at The Evidence Event in March.