It is interesting that after so many years of talking about the need to have a balanced marketing approach across channels that there seems to be a widening gap of consistency and presence between channels.
Why is it that trying to achieve a balanced marketing approach has been so hard?
From a customer's perspective, they think of a brand as just one entity, no matter which channel they use to interact with the brand.
One reason for channel imbalance may be that to drive awareness and visibility for the ‘next' Internet marketing approach, businesses create a negative view of other viable channels, thus creating the perception that if you use, or expend resources on these "other channels" that you are not moving ahead. The power of the Internet is about the last message written, and there will always be a last message.
The belief that direct marketing has seen its day may be driven from an endless push that to mail a package is to be behind the times. Why look to achieve organic search positioning and visibility for your product or service, that is so passé, or my goodness, you are only using MySpace and not Facebook.
There is the challenge that if you open up too many channels it becomes like fighting a battle with too many fronts to defend, you do not have adequate resources to meet the needs. Yet, you struggle with the notion that you need to have a presence in every channel.
Thus, it would make more sense to focus on Facebook over MySpace as that is the social network of choice, while it makes more sense to meet the marketing criteria of Google to ensure prominent positioning for searches versus the other search engines, and on-and-on when you are making choices. The need for a consistent message and approach across channels is even more essential.
Therefore, along with a consistent message and customer experience is the need to balance your involvement across channels. Discipline is essential to meeting the resource challenges of maintaining multiple channels, especially with limited resources. It may be necessary to have a weekly update with the personnel managing the channels to ensure that the resource allocation is relevant against the overall plan. In many cases, a resource gets too close to the issue and they may lose sight of the strategy, this is not bad, but this is why a weekly review is essential. A weekly meeting may seem daunting in light of other demands, but a disgruntled or confused customer is more costly to your business than finding time to keep your marketing strategy balanced.
Establishing a balanced marketing approach will allow you to measure and track which channels are performing well and thus provide essential information for optimizing your marketing resources. In addition, there are benefits to measuring marketing channels throughout the sales cycles, regardless of which channel initiated the interaction. Thus, if you have channels that have been neglected, then a decision may be made from inaccurate data.
The movement towards cross-channel marketing (the use of one marketing channel to promote or support another marketing channel) requires a strategy that ensures a consistent and balanced message across channels so that the customer sees the brand as a single entity.
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© January 2012. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.