The four pitfalls to avoid with multi-channel marketing


Consumers today are spread across dozens of channels, using ad blockers, watching multiple screens and being exposed to about 5,000 ads a day. So how do marketers reach and engage them?

For brands to succeed in this digital environment, a well-executed multi-channel strategy is key. Before getting started, here are four common pitfalls and how to avoid them.

1. Generic messaging

Various tools and educational content is at our fingertips, yet we’re still seeing brands plaster one-size-fits-all content across digital channels.

Proof of successful personalised communications is everywhere. Three-quarters of consumers prefer that brands personalise their messaging and of those, 61 per cent prefer personally relevant offers, even if it comes at a risk of reduced privacy. Consider this -with the rise of ad blockers, over-saturation of content, increasing online competition and highly expectant consumers, it’s clear why generic messaging isn’t cutting through.

Your personalised content strategy should:

  1. Identify and segment your audience
  2. Humanise your content to build trust and rapport
  3. Identify the most effective formats and channels
  4. Employ high quality, end-to-end customer service (to deliver on your message)
  5. Target and time your content effectively.

2. Ignoring automation tools

Are you still manually scheduling social posts and analysing digital campaigns? Then you’re wasting time. Marketing automation platforms empower you to streamline, automate and measure across multiple digital channels. They can save dozens of hours, helping to create hyper-personalised content and improve ROI.

Our favourite social management tools for clients are Sprout Social and Zoho Social. Both offer real time monitoring, sentiment and competitive analysis, and a scheduling tool. When choosing automation tools, ask yourself the following:

  • Does this help to deliver my business and marketing objectives?
  • Does it fit my budget?
  • Do I have the resources to get the most out of it?
  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Is it mobile-friendly?
  • Is it scalable?
  • Is it customisable?

3. Poorly optimised channels

Posting content to channels without doing a channel audit or conducting any target market research is like playing a game of pin the tail on the donkey. Avoid pushing out content that:

  • isn’t optimised for search
  • is on a channel where your customers aren’t active
  • is filtered out by algorithms that favour paid advertisers (i.e. Facebook)
  • isn’t engaging enough to earn your customer’s attention
  • is delivered in a format your customers don’t care for.

Relevant and engaging content placed in the best suited channel for your target audience gives content the best chance of success. Regular monitoring and analysis of channel and content performance is key. Consumer preferences and social algorithms are constantly changing. What worked well last quarter won’t necessarily work well this quarter.

4. Not beta testing

You never know how your audience is going to respond to a piece of content. The only way to know is to run options, assess the results, then choose the winner. If you’re debating testing, consider the following.

  • Test your content with a sample target market to make sure they In terms of performance, consistent pre-testing improves ad effectiveness by at least 20 per cent.
  • One creative execution won’t suit all channels. A fragmented media landscape means creative needs to be tested and optimised for every channel
  • Social channel algorithms change with the wind. You can’t assume that last year’s content strategy will perform as well this year.
  • Competitors may be one step ahead. Your budget might get you further elsewhere if you’re going head to head against a competitor with a bigger budget.

Consistency is key in a multi-channel digital strategy. If you treat each channel as a distinct entity, you risk annoying the customer and losing their loyalty. Keep this in mind when considering the four common pitfalls and you’ll be on the path to success.