The maxim, “Work smarter, not harder” has never been more relevant than in today’s resource-pressed marketing environment, and multichannel marketing is becoming essential to shortening the path from campaign to conversion. According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research on behalf of Sitecore (n=226), “86% of marketers surveyed either agree or completely agree (Top 2 answers on a 5 point scale) that successfully integrating multiple channels under a single integrated marketing strategy is critical to their long-term success.”
When marketing technologies are coupled with an integrated multichannel strategy, a bigger strategic picture emerges. Armed with more data than ever before, marketers can make smarter decisions that maximize marketing investments and shorten sales cycle time. As the study reports, 24% of mature multichannel marketing practitioners reported a 15% reduction in sales cycle length.
What comprises multichannel?
Multichannel marketing campaigns leverage a combination of marketing channels and technologies – for example, a direct mail piece with a QR code linking to a mobile video – to reach target customers. We have observed many examples of successful multichannel marketing campaigns integrating QR codes and print to improve customer engagement and interaction with brands and deliver measureable results:
- Emart’s use of a 3D shadow QR code linked to the company’s mobile commerce application and offered a discount on purchases, generating 12,000 QR code scans and a 58% increase in Emart membership over the previous month
- Dow’s multichannel campaign used QR codes in print ads to link to a mobile-optimized website with videos touting the breadth of Dow’s innovative solutions, generating 20,000 scans between September, 2011 and December, 2011
- OppenheimerFunds’ multichannel campaign generated 1,000 video downloads directly linked to QR scans in a period of less than 3 months
Effective marketing in the digital age demands supporting the consumer decision journey with relevant and timely resources and information during pre-purchase. Marketing technologies can help to centralize customer data so that localized content can be served to target segments across multiple channels, including direct mail and email. Additionally, marketing technology solutions can help to manage the complexity of multichannel campaigns to nurture targets to conversion through automated campaigns ‘dripped’ to customers at various stages in the consumer decision journey.
Relationship building maximizes multichannel effectiveness
Marketing can no longer operate in a functional silo. True results flow from collaboration, and multichannel marketing campaigns and marketing technologies are no exception. Top-performing marketing organizations harness the knowledge of their distributed sales channels to co-develop multichannel marketing campaigns that will resonate with target segments, while business technology leaders can help to ensure the full benefits of the marketing technology solution are leveraged.
Mature multichannel marketers have developed better cross-functional relationships than those who are still developing multichannel strategies, according to the Sitecore study:
- 56% of mature multichannel marketing practitioners reported having an “excellent” relationship with information technology (IT), versus 28% among marketers who reported being interested or planning more multichannel investment
- 85% of mature multichannel marketing practitioners reported a strong or very strong relationship between marketing and sales in crafting and producing messages and collateral, versus 64% of marketers overall
Marketing technologies are converging with multichannel strategies to provide more data and insight than ever before into the marketing strategies and tactics that are most effective at reaching target customers. Multichannel marketing enables quantitative measurement of channels that have traditionally been hard to measure in terms to reach and impact, ultimately empowering marketers to improve channel effectiveness and shorten the path from campaign to conversion. Finally, cross-functional collaboration is a vital key to maximizing the effectiveness of multichannel marketing.
How are you leveraging marketing technologies and multichannel strategies to shorten sales cycle time and maximize the impact of your marketing investments?