Multichannel Marketing: Planning 2010: The Game Has Changed
For most multichannel retailers, developing marketing plans and budgets for 2010 is a daunting task. After two years of tough economic climates that meant sales reductions and downsizing for many, now’s the time to build a plan for another — perhaps better, yet uncertain — year.
- Should search engine marketing (SEM) budgets grow?
- Should you jump on the bandwagon of social media?
- Should you expand your catalog circulation?
- If you’re a store retailer, how can you drive traffic?
Irrespective of how you forecast next year’s economy, the past two years have accelerated the evolution of multichannel marketing. Your plan for 2010 should adopt cutting-edge strategies and new techniques that provide the highest return on investment and let you master today’s new marketing realities.
Get Rid of the Silos
The customer’s experience today crosses channels, thus requiring a marketing strategy that integrates e-commerce, print and stores. Unfortunately, most multichannel companies aren’t organized to support integrated cross-channel marketing programs; their catalog and e-commerce teams continue to work in organizational silos. This division is reinforced by an industry whose conferences are also specialized.
To avoid a dysfunctional marketing strategy, you need a strong chief marketing officer who manages all marketing channels and insists all teams work together to develop a synergistic plan. If you have one vice president over catalog and another over e-commerce, fire one of them.
Regardless of how customers and prospects ultimately prefer to place orders, more of them experience every one of your channels. You’re judged by them on all fronts, so provide a cohesive customer experience. Product introductions, pricing, customer service policies, creative presentation and copy voice — all the things that create your brand — need to communicate the same message. Those managing each of your channels need to march to the same drummer.