How to Convey a Consistent Message Across All Channels
Creating a singular marketing voice by ensuring clear communication across all channels is critical for today's marketers. Multichannel integration has become a way of life in our industry; each marketing dollar has to stretch further, with each channel fighting for its share of revenue credit and marketing budget. To succeed in this highly complex landscape, retailers must change the way they speak to consumers, and that means creating a truly holistic marketing organization.
Recently, a multichannel business my company is familiar with partnered with a content site to deliver a message to its customers: a dollar-off promotion that amounted to about a 13 percent savings. The blast had a nice conversion, and things were going fine until …
Sales on the company’s website were down for the quarter, and in an effort to boost sales, a directive was given to issue a 20 percent off promotion sitewide. That’s right, not just to the house email list, but as a huge message on its homepage. And no one checked with the marketing manager before it was deployed.
That's not a great impression to give first-time buyers from the partner content site, many of whom furiously called the retailer to redeem the better general offer than the “very special offer.” (Let’s ignore for now the lost measurability of that not-inexpensive email test.)
Avoid the Pitfalls of Missed Communication
This kind of snafu can happen to anyone who doesn’t have an integrated marketing calendar, resulting in a siloed marketing organization. And while the short-term costs can be painful enough, the longer-term costs of customer loyalty and good will can be even heftier.
Seriously consider the business practices necessary to create a holistic marketing organization that communicates effectively across channels. Here are some of the key initiatives:
- Create a multichannel, rolling 12-month marketing calendar — I especially like Google Calendar if your organization allows use of web-based applications — accessible by merchants as well as marketing staff.
- Hold a monthly meeting to update the next rolling month of the calendar and to fine-tune the upcoming month. Include the head merchant and heads of all marketing channels. This is also a good time to address any inventory issues that may have come to light.
- Update and distribute the marketing calendar within 24 hours after each month's meeting. Changes made between meetings always should be noted in a highlight color, with a note sent to the relevant distribution group.
Building a Marketing Calendar
In a marketing calendar, include anything and everything that could affect the way consumers perceive their relationship with you. Here are some examples: