Last week when I was in Haiti I had an interesting conversation with one of the people in our group about the whole subject of marketing and in particular the best way he could solicit funds for his not-for-profit organization.
He shared that he had researched the concept of multi-channel marketing and was keen on the idea of trying to communicate with people using different channels to increase the odds of his success. His logic followed conventional wisdom that if he puts his message out utilizing different channels that one of them would stick, prompt some type of response and increase donations.
As we talked more I began to wonder if multi-channel marketing was becoming the new spray and pray.
Spray and Pray
In the old days of direct mail the terms “spray and pray” meant you sent “x” number of people a direct mail piece and a percentage would respond. Acceptable response rates were 2-3% and as technology and demographic targeting became more prevalent exponential increases in percentages of responses were realized.
More relevant and targeted marketing, generating fewer mailed pieces, with a higher response and better ROI have replaced the spray and pray method.
Is Multi-Channel Marketing the New “Spray and Pray”?
I have children so I understand they will respond to a text faster than a phone call. Call your child, wait for it to go into voice mail (if they have one) and then text them to get an instant answer. Text messaging as a channel works. For others it is Twitter, LinkedIn, some Facebook (although kids are leaving it since their parents discovered it!) and there are still many who value their walk to the mailbox.
One would think then it would be all about the channel.
What Could Multi-Channel Marketing Be?
I attend a lot of conferences, participate in a lot of Webinars, and I have seen some great multi-channel campaigns that were works of art. They not only relied on the delivery channel but the message associated with each type of media. They capitalized on the attributes of each channel as well as the various senses they triggered. They were an “ongoing message” designed to engage, engrain a message and drive different calls to actions. Different messages using different channels.
Maybe it’s not just the channel, but a combination of the channel and messaging
Confusing? Yes? No? Not sure?
I guess everyone’s definition of multi-channel marketing is a bit different. Some simply take the same information and send it out using different channels and others make it an engaging experience. If it works, who is to say it is wrong.
Back to Haiti! As we continued to talk he realized that the delivery channel was important but so was the product, story line, design and demographics of the recipients. (He is not a marketing guy just someone who want to raise money to help people.) Since we had a whole evening with no TV, little light and no internet, we decided to plot out a campaign that included video, pictures, social media presence, etc. etc. It will be interesting to check back with him.
It all boils down to the right message, to the right person at the right time using the right channel(s).
Come and Hear for Yourself …. Are We There Yet?
I invite you to attend the complimentary Xplor at Print13 breakfast session entitled “Are We There Yet? A 2013 Multi-Channel Communications Industry Perspective” moderated by Matt Swain of InfoTrends.
The panel will feature end users who have provide multi-channel communications to their customers. They have been there and will share their successes and failures.
For more information or to register please visit: http://xplor.org/upcoming-events/xplor-at-print-13