7 Steps to Multichannel Mastery
A recent 2007 study, for example, found consumers (especially those under 50 years of age) prefer to go online rather than to stores or shopping malls for their Christmas shopping. This is a significant change from 2006. The Web trend is not a passing fancy or fad. The trick for multichannel sellers is to embrace all of the online technology.
7. Differentiate your creative effort. Directly tied to branding, establish a unique or differentiated brand and carry it through in all its selling channels: catalogs, direct mail, in-store signage, Web site, e-mail campaigns and space and public relations efforts.
Setting your business apart from the competition (differentiation) is critical in today’s cutthroat selling world. Try this three-step approach:
● Define the brand point of difference (e.g., look, color palette, design, photo style, copy style, etc.);
● apply that brand personality to each selling channel; and
● be consistent in all advertising and promotions.
Many smart direct marketers haven’t a clue how to do the above and should seek help in establishing their brand and creative presentation.
Becoming a true (and profitable) multichannel practitioner is no easy task. In this article, we’ve reviewed seven key issues and core competencies that winning multichannel merchants must consider to prepare themselves for the future.
Our next article, coming in the June issue of Catalog Success, will focus on multichannel culture. We’ll discuss the challenges of creating a company ethos that supports and encourages multichannel sales. In the September issue, we’ll look at two more key elements of multichannel selling when we hone in on branding and merchandising efforts to reach customers with changing buying habits.
Brent Niemuth is creative director and brand evangelist, and George Hague is senior marketing strategist at J. Schmid & Assoc. You can reach them at (913) 236-8988 or BrentN@JSchmid.com or GeorgeH@JSchmid.com.