I'm glad to host today a guest post written by Grucko.
Grucko currently works for a digital marketing firm and has experience of operating within the business marketing sector. For more information and further examples of business concepts made easy follow him on Twitter.
We have all heard the term ‘multi-channel marketing’ being thrown around on the television; shows like ‘the apprentice’ have enabled the lay public to catch a glimpse of the true unforgiving nature of the business and marketing world. As such business jargon is becoming ever more common place in our vocabulary, but how many of us actually understand what it is that these terms refer to? Granted the vast majority of professionals know the exact definition of all of these terms, they are a part of their business language and so serve to aid communication between themselves and other business professionals working in the same sector.
However for anyone not experienced in this area this language can seem confusing and event intimidating at times, and can often lead to a total breakdown of communications. The importance of bridging this language gap is therefore essential to maintain a good business relationship, even if it means simplifying our vocabulary to the most basic level so that both parties are on an even playing field.
Contrary to what some may think multi-channel marketing is not simply marketing to consumers through multiple channels on the television. In marketing terms a ‘channel’ refers to a medium or gateway through which a business can advertise its message to its consumers. There are many different channels to choose from; television, radio, billboards, leaflets, newspaper and magazines, websites, email, social networking, mobile phone apps, direct mail, point of sale, the list goes on.
Multi-channel marketing therefore enables you to reach as wide or as specific an audience of consumers as possible through the appropriate channels. The reason why this is so important is simply due to the fact that consumers are all individuals with their own tastes and preferences and so will interact and respond differently with each channel. For example imagine a print management company is trying to target two different people. One of these people may enjoy watching a specific TV channel, listens to the radio whilst driving the car to work, does most of their shopping online and reads a certain newspaper in the evening. It is likely that any marketing activity channelled through a mobile phone app or point of sale will not reach this particular consumer. Another example would be a person who takes the bus to work, reads a specific magazine, uses social media and usually shops in store. It would be unlikely for this person to be reached by marketing channelled through television or radio. So by targeting consumers through multiple channels the print management company is increasing its ability to reach more people.
Granted this example is a touch unrealistic in the sense that it has been over simplified and that the majority of consumers are likely to use most if not all of these channels at one stage and that businesses may choose not to target every channel; however the basic principles underpinning it remain the same. Hopefully this has helped to provide some clarity to a subject that for many of us still remains a mystery.