Thursday, November 6, 2008

All Mixed Up | Tips on choosing right media for multichannel campaigns

Direct Magazine

Oct 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Grant A. Johnson

Creating an effective campaign in today's chaotic, competitive multichannel marketing environment is anything but easy. But you stand a much better chance if you remember to apply tried and true techniques to the media options of your choice.

...You're no longer limited to television, radio, print, public relations, telemarketing, direct mail, trade shows and good, old-fashioned door-to-door sales. Now you also must consider cable/dish TV, satellite TV, satellite radio (it's not all commercial free), airline advertising (no longer limited to in-flight magazine ads), cinema advertising and TV/movie product placement, plus everything available online — including Web-site and microsite marketing, Internet radio, banner ads, podcasts, pay-per-click advertising, organic search, blogs, microblogs, mobile marketing, instant messaging, virtual trade shows, Webinars, e-mail, social network marketing, viral and word-of-mouth marketing…well, you get the point. The choices can seem limitless — and overwhelming.

Because there are so many options, it's easy for marketers to overcomplicate things, think too far ahead and not maximize spending on multichannel media. As pressure mounts to get better results faster and cheaper, it's critical to test multichannel alternatives correctly.

Testing involves a proactive process as opposed to a quick-fix approach. ... That's where understanding your customers' buying preferences — like frequency, spending and channel choices — become paramount.

To implement a winning strategy you need to test, measure, analyze and move forward. ... Sorry, there are no shortcuts. That means adding media elements more slowly, keeping in mind that newer media options like e-mail, pay-per-click and search typically will yield results faster than mail, space ads and public relations.

Regardless of your media mix, it's important to keep some proven success-determining factors top of mind:

  • Understand your audience. ... Understanding customers' buying preferences and the competitive landscape is key. ...

  • Make an offer. Include a coupon, debut a “gotta-have” new product/service, announce a sale or give a sincere thank-you. Position your offer as something that will increase the recipient's desire to respond.

  • Ask and you will receive. ... Make it absolutely clear what you want your prospect to do. Make it easy for him or her to ...

  • Answer this. In just a few seconds you must communicate the answer to the common question “What's in it for me?” ... In short, succinctly tell them you have what they want or need to make a decision to respond.

  • Make it personal. ...With your fact-based, comprehensive “ideal” customer profile in hand, along with any historical customer data, you can make a greater impact on your target audience with relevant personalization. Use this data to incorporate meaningful messages and information that can add convenience or value to your message. ...

  • Start strong. ... Within seconds you must make it clear that you have something they need. Pitch your product with a solution, provocative question or irresistible offer. Position your pitch within the communication where it will get the most readership; subject line, masthead, the first paragraph of your sales letter, brochure cover, headline or photo caption. And don't forget to reiterate it in a “P.S.”

  • Be ready to respond. After receiving personalized messages, prospects expect prompt action to their responses. Be careful to acknowledge when and how requests will be fulfilled, how to prioritize responses, and most importantly, how your customer service/sales team will move the inquiry from lead to sale.

  • And remember: Test, test…and then test again.

GRANT A. JOHNSON ( is CEO of Johnson Direct LLC, Brookfield, WI.

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