This year, it will be more important than ever to think "multi-channel" - deploying a diversity of media channels to reach your customers and prospects.
Studies show again and again that reaching consumers through different media at the same time increases their chances of paying attention and taking action. We have seen that with our own clients. For instance:
A financial services client sees a 20% lift in mail response rate when followed by an email.
Another financial services client sees a 30% lift in mail response when an advertising campaign is happening at the time of the mailing.
The perfect time to coordinate your media campaign efforts is right now – at the beginning of the year. Each medium has its own unique creative and production lead time. That’s why you need to begin planning each major campaign at least 90 days ahead of time, so you can sequence each medium to begin at approximately the same time. That way, the prospect sees your message wherever they are, and each exposure increases the frequency and impact.
After all, research has also shown that most prospects don’t take action after just a single exposure. They need to see at least 3 to 5 exposures. And because viewing habits have become so fragmented, the chances of achieving all those exposures in a single medium like television is getting harder. That is another reason why you need to be in multiple media at the same time.
In addition to frequency, it’s the “piling on” of multiple exposures in a short period of time that can create impact and memorability. It’s a lot harder to ignore or forget a message if you’ve seen it four or five times in a single day.
This also applies to earned (think PR or social media) and owned (i.e., content and website) media, not just the paid kind. How can you leverage these channels to support your main message, and deliver helpful or educational messaging at the same time your paid ads are running? With today’s cynical consumer, we all know how critical it is to have these channels sharing your name and even your message by word of mouth. This is not to mention legitimizing the message by having it delivered by a trusted news source or shared by a social contact.
Finally, a fair amount of attention needs to be paid to which media you select for each campaign. Not all media combinations are equal!
Direct marketing and media partners can be a great help here. But here is what you need to do: first, understand who exactly you are targeting and how they make decisions about your product. Understand how they consume media to learn about and buy that product. All of this is knowable, and your agency partner should be able to help you figure it out.
Then, think about which forms of media reinforce each other. For instance, in many consumer segments and product categories, mail and email work very well together. Similarly, broadcast television and online video are two sides of the same coin, and should almost always be used together. Again, your agency should have lots of experience with this. If you’re large enough, there are now pretty sophisticated measurement techniques like media mix modeling that can actually tell you exactly how each medium is contributing to your sales.
So remember, what you want to do with each major campaign is to use a variety of media to create what I call “surround sound” for your prospect. Everywhere they go, and everywhere they look, they see or hear your message - until they take action and become a customer. Then they fall into your onboarding and relationship deepening program, but that’s a different story…
Learn more in our free webinar
For more on this topic and the other ways you can start 2017 on the best note possible, be sure to register for our webinar, "Jump-starting Your Sales Efforts in 2017," on Jan. 26 at 1:00 p.m. CDT. Register below.