7 Steps to Multichannel Mastery
Editor’s Note: This is the first article of a three-part series on becoming more proficient and adapting to the multichannel world. Parts two and three will appear in our June and September issues.
Can you imagine a catalog/multichannel company not striving to become more efficient and effective in each selling channel in which it operates? Certainly not.
This article focuses on the key issues and trends impacting multichannel selling today. It examines how you can improve your bottom line in each channel, cuts to the chase and identifies seven issues that smart direct sellers need to focus on this year. (You can also find another three issues in a Web-exclusive article on CatalogSuccess.com.)
1. Define and reinforce your brand across all channels. Years before true multichannel marketing evolved to its current state, catalogers only thought of niche and positioning. Brand was a concept Procter & Gamble specialized in; it seemed irrelevant to direct selling. As multichannel marketing has become more ensconced in the fabric of direct marketing, though, brand has become a powerful way to provide the same message to customers in a catalog, on the Internet and at retail.
The challenge is to project a consistent brand image across all selling channels while securing customers’ “top-of-mind” recognition. Without a doubt, branding is one of the most important underpinnings of successful multichannel marketing.
2. Grow and refine your merchandise concept across all channels. Nothing is more important to the growth of a successful catalog, Internet or retail business — and to gaining repeat business from loyal customers — than a strong, focused merchandise assortment and presentation. A number of questions need to be addressed:
● Should all products be offered in all selling channels?
● Should there be parity in pricing throughout all selling channels?
● How should special merchandise offers, specials and markdowns be handled?