MacGyver was the master of creativity and problem-solving. Critical to his success was the ability to put together just the right pieces to achieve an intended outcome, such as making a functional hot air balloon using a ball, kerosene, newspaper, and cotton (don’t try this at home!).
Minus the need for duct tape and a bent paper clip, how marketers approach multi channel marketing is not dissimilar from how MacGyver would approach his own unique set of problems. It comes down to this: to achieve a marketing goal—for example, conversion rate —you need to make multiple channels work together to target your audience, connect with new or existing customers, and ultimately win them over.
Working with the correct combination of components is essential for unlocking the benefits of multi channel marketing. The channels you choose to focus on, such as email, social media, in-store, mobile, even print, should be strategically selected and underpinned by research with a clear understanding of your target audience.
In this article, we will break down the core elements of a multi channel marketing strategy, what it can offer your brand, and dive into one of the most common approaches to tying multi-channel efforts together: a strong referral system. Using real-world examples, our goal is to give you and your marketing team actionable insights that help take your multi channel marketing strategy to the next level.
Multi Channel Marketing: A Quick Overview
Multi channel marketing is complex. It involves being on top of many channels, all at once, to reap the highest possible returns. So, why do it? Digital is huge. Customers are interacting with brands online more than ever before, whether it’s actually making a purchase, browsing, or just happening upon brands through their social media feeds.
The rising prevalence of online interaction with brands unlocks new opportunities, and challenges, for marketers. Where print and in-store retail once prevailed, online channels, such as email newsletters, social media posts, and mobile advertising, are now critical to getting the right message to your customer base. This is where multi channel marketing steps in to make your brand visible across the channels (such as platforms, mediums, networks, and devices) through which customers are most likely to interact with your company. A big part of this involves carefully selecting which channels you invest in based on what’s likely to drive the highest return.
So, what does it take to build a multi channel marketing strategy? (No paper clips, we promise.)
- Identify your goal(s). Convert more customers? Drive brand awareness? Increase sales? Be clear about your intentions and identify key metrics to monitor and benchmark performance.
- Know your target audience. Getting the message to the customer? Important. Getting the right message to the right customer through the right channel? That’s essential. To win the hearts and minds of your audience, work within the known realm of customer behaviors and patterns to determine factors such as channels, messaging, and timing.
- Automate and track. Experimentation is a big part of optimizing your multi channel marketing strategy. To do that, you’ll need automated campaigns with automated data collection to track and monitor campaign performance across your various channels. This will enable you to track the key metrics your team has identified and determine where to focus your efforts. That might involve modifying a messaging strategy or choosing to concentrate on specific channels.
Take Your Multi Channel Marketing Strategy to the Next Level with a Strong Referral System
Customers are the engine that keeps your business moving forward. While it is a massive undertaking to change customer behavior, multi channel marketing provides an opportunity to use various mediums, networks, and devices to try to indirectly steer customers in the direction of certain actions. These calls-to-action might include making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or sharing your brand with a friend.
The last of these three: promoting a brand through word of mouth is a growth marketer’s jackpot. When a customer loves your brand so much that they feel compelled to share it with others, you can generate new leads and potentially convert more customers – all because of one customer’s positive experience.
This process can happen naturally at the discretion of customers and without the push of any marketing campaign. Or, more strategically, your marketing team can recognize this opportunity and build a strong referral system from the ground up to integrate it with your multi channel marketing approach. We’ll focus on the latter.
How to Integrate Referrals into Your Multi Channel Marketing Strategy
1. A strong, automated email campaign
Ulta Beauty, one of the largest beauty retailers in the U.S., wanted to integrate a referral loyalty program into their multi channel marketing strategy. It paid off. Since kicking off the program in 2016, customers coming in through referrals were found to spend 50% more than organic traffic. This boost in Average Order Value (AOV) indicated an increase in Return on Investment (ROI) that can be attributed solely to referrals.
How did they do it?
Simple: refer a friend by email and you each get a $10 cash reward. That $20 spent on each referral went a long way for the company’s loyalty program—and their bottom line. 27% of all customer referrals resulted in successful customer conversions and another 10% of all online rewards sign-ups came exclusively from referrals. To top it off, the type of customer gained through referrals turned out to be notably high value: these customers were found to spend 50% more than organic traffic.
2. Use the power of social
Intuit QuickBooks Online provides another glimpse into the value of working referrals into your multi channel marketing strategy by incorporating social channels into their approach.
How did they do it?
The accounting software company launched a two-week burst campaign where their two main channels were social (mainly Facebook) and email. In the campaign, the company’s top Net Promoter Score (NPS) promoters were given the opportunity to double their referral rewards to receive $100 rather than the typical $50 cash bonus. They brought exposure to the referral campaign with automated emails, which generated the highest sharing rates, and targeted in-app social media ads, which converted the most customers.
Compared to the previous period, QuickBooks’ revenue tripled during the campaign with a 600% increase in total advocates.
3. Make it mobile friendly
If you want your referral campaign to reach your customer, make sure it’s mobile-enabled. There are multiple ways to do this. One option includes integrating referrals directly into your mobile app, if you have one. This is what Fleetmatics did as part of their referral program. Following the campaign’s launch, the ground transport tracking company gained 50% more customer advocates, week over week.
How did they do it?
Using our lead generation referral solution, Fleetmatics transferred the same referral offer from their outdated manual referral system ($200 for each successful referral) over to a fresh, multi channel automated operation that combined mobile integration with an email campaign.
Another example is Hanna Andersson, a children’s clothing company that offers retail locations and an ecommerce website that attracts millions of online customers.
The company wanted to revitalize its acquisition strategy with a referral system. A month after the program’s launch, they broke even on the campaign’s investment costs. By month two, they’d already hit 25% of their annual growth target.
How did they do it?
Hanna Andersson wanted a strong, simple referral system. They launched a refer-a-friend loyalty program to offer promoters a 20% discount for every successful referral. The offer was promoted on the website—both on mobile and desktop—as well as in the company’s catalog, on social media, and through an automated email campaign.
Notably, Hanna Andersson’s marketing team made the decision to make the referral program mobile-optimized, giving referrals its own item on the mobile drop-down menu during the time of their campaign and including it throughout their mobile-friendly website.
The result? Successful conversions from more than 20% of customer shares.
Make It Work for You
When your goal is to use multi channel marketing to drive growth, referrals are a no-brainer. Done right, a referral program’s positive feedback loop can facilitate customer conversions and drive loyalty. While there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to referral marketing, the three core elements—email, social, and mobile—are instrumental for driving membership, loyalty, and customer acquisition.
If your company is investing in a multi channel marketing strategy, make sure that a strong referral program tops the list of tactics. Learn how to take your marketing strategy to the next level using automated solutions with proven results.