A Game of Seek and Hold for Multichannel Marketers
Today’s consumers have an overabundance of communication channels available to them, and with the arrival of the tech-savvy consumer, marketers must take a multichannel approach to reach them, and hold them.

Marketers are seeking out ways to connect with their customers and to hold their attention. According to Yolanda Noble, CEO of Corporate Mailing Matters, “The notion of a consumer as a passive, mono-mediac is outdated and nowadays, each customer will have a preferred communication medium, which may even vary between the different products or services that an organization may offer.”

Multichannel marketing is offering customers more than one way to buy something - for example, from a Web site as well as in retail stores. For manufacturers, multichannel marketing also includes the use of partners, sometimes known as channels, who market directly to the customer as consultants, re-packagers, or retailers.

For retailers, advocates claim that, in addition to offering the customer more options, multichannel marketing allows a business more opportunities to interact with customers - each channel can help promote the other channels. Since Web site and phone-in mail orders collect information about the customer that a retail sale may not, these channels make it possible to develop mailing lists for future promotions and branding campaigns.

So where should marketers and CRM professionals focus their attention?
Research carried out in 2003 revealed that consumers pay almost twice as much attention to statements and correspondence than they do to direct mail or TV advertising. And, since every household receives bills and statements of some kind on a regular basis, why not make these pay for themselves? By using existing communications channels to insert a marketing message, the cost of design, print and mail can be greatly reduced.

The most attractive feature of this approach for any experienced direct mail marketer is that, due to the critical and personal nature of these documents, customers always open them and usually keep them.

Melissa Data

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