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Which Marketing Channel Should You Ditch in 2014?

The temptation to drop traditional marketing channels in favour of more accountable digital alternatives can seem irresistible for marketing departments under pressure to show Return On Investment.

Whether to invest in TV or social media, outdoor or email is likely to end up being be a risky distraction from a far more important issue, however.

For at a time when customers are filtering out noise-based marketing communications as they seamlessly switch channels while multi-tasking, the need for an integrated, multi-channel approach to marketing has never been greater.

The power of multi-channel

On average, today's marketers now employ at least seven different channels for a campaign at any one time – a figure which is likely to rise as the choice of digital marketing channels continues to grow.

It's all about maximising the marketer's opportunities to reach the consumer, and making it easier for the consumer to respond when, where and via whichever channel is most appropriate. And the business impact is clear.

72% of consumers prefer an integrated marketing approach, according to Mashable.

Furthermore, multi-channel customers spend between three times and four times more than single channel customers, according to a report from business analytics company SAS.

TV – the perfect partner?

Econsultancy predicts that, in 2014, TV and online ‘will become best friends’.

It's a trend already highlighted by Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK, whose TV+Online: Better Together report published last year showed that using TV and online together in an advertising campaign is significantly more effective than using either in isolation.

TV and mobile, too, is an increasingly frequent pairing, MediaPost shows.

Now, Econsultancy is predicting one step further with the suggestion that online channels will 'listen' to TV and so advertising will be more relevant to what's on TV, in real time.

Don’t miss out on the multiplier effect

Maximising this so-called channel multiplier effect will deliver greater value than simply trading one old channel for one new. Effectively doing so, however, will depend on building a 360-degree view of the customer to ensure the right offer and message is delivered via the right channel at the right time.

Quality of data will be key, along with the ability of a business to collate, analyse and respond to that data, so as to be able to communicate with its customers effectively and consistently across all channels.

This is a challenge with which many still struggle, although the right marketing automation software may provide the solution. According to a recent Forrester report, marketing automation software users “Measure results more holistically”, “Have higher levels of process maturity” and “Contribute more to the sales pipeline”.

Things to think about:

A recent Econsultancy survey reported that just 8% of client-side marketers have a single platform that allows them to manage data from across all channels.

  • Just 26% of business respondents said they regard themselves as 'capable' when it comes to having a 'single customer view'.

  • If a business is to maximise the true potential of a multi-channel marketing approach, it’s crucial to have the right marketing software.

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