When it comes to database-driven multichannel marketing, it is essential to understand and manage the combined, or “cross media,” impact of your marketing channels, says Scott Cone, vice president of professional services at Lanham, MD-based database marketing agency Merkle.
“To fully understand the effectiveness of your multichannel campaigns, you should step away from common assumptions,” says Cone. For example, many marketers assume that younger audiences are more responsive to e-mail than older recipients. “But it’s not as simple as asking, ‘What groups respond best to each channel?’” he cautions. “There are other issues, such as product, offer, and price, as well as factors such as a customer’s income that are far more influential on a customer’s purchasing decision.”
That said, Cone believes that e-mail is typically the best channel to use to raise initial awareness and generate demand. Once awareness is raised, customers and prospects then typically turn to catalogs for more information and details.
Overall, Cone advises looking at the cost of the channel vis-à-vis the relationship and value that a customer brings to the table. To effectively communicate with customers and prospects, you should capture all relevant response data and perform controlled studies across all channels: “Marketers need to build a single database that they can use to capture response rates and analyze the results of their multichannel promotional efforts.”