Multichannel Prospecting: Changing Channels
Expanding to different types of media can allow you to reach different target groups. For example, you can capture prospects that are inefficient to reach via mail through media where prospects "raise their hands," like print ads, TV and radio. Sometimes due to privacy issues, competitors or other issues, there are no lists available for one of your target markets. Running ads on TV, radio, in print or on the web in the appropriate outlets can put you in front of prospects who can't be found on lists.
Multichannel prospecting also allows you to test offers and copy with media that may be better suited for that purpose. Consider the ease of testing with paid search or web ads, or the simplicity of making black-plate changes to test different prices on a postcard vs. the challenge of testing offers in your catalog.
Know Your Brand Audience
When crafting your multichannel prospecting strategy and selecting its tactics, a key to success is addressing the unique characteristics of your brand and audience. What magazines does your target audience read? What TV shows do they watch? What radio shows do they listen to? Which websites do they frequent? (Besides yours, of course!) Is your target market tuned in to Facebook? Are they active on Twitter? Don't blindly test new media opportunities just because they're new and grabbing attention; test new media opportunities only when you're likely to find prospective buyers there.
When identifying unique characteristics of your target audience, remember Pareto's 80/20 rule and identify the 20 percent who contribute most of your profits. Identify their unique facts and behaviors with surveys and analysis of characteristics (e.g., home values, ZIP codes, pet ownership, children, etc.). Then find others who look like your gold customers.
Internal company factors are also a definite consideration. Does your firm have the patience for six months of planning for a test? Or do you have a mandate to expand prospecting pronto? This impacts your media selection. And consider your resources — budget, staff and systems — to track everything. Remember to plan for both creative/fixed costs of new acquisition media and ongoing production/media expenses. DRTV may make the most sense to reach your audience, but if you don't have enough budget to create a two-minute spot and money for revisions and tweaks after your initial test (no one hits it out of the park on the first attempt), it could be a huge waste of time and resources. Focus on media where you have sufficient funds to not only execute an initial test, but also make the second round of revisions and tests that are often needed to succeed in any new medium.