Customers are demanding faster and better information which has traditionally been delivered by direct sales and marketing planning.
Being able to interact with customers through multi-media channels is necessary for brands, companies and organisations to get their message out there by developing strong personal relationships with long term customers.
Creating a successful multi-media channel experience can seem beyond the capabilities of most organisations not only in time and internal resources but also cost and ROI.
Creating your own brand or imagery and being able to interact on a variety of multi-media channels is key to long term success.
A brand is not just the name of a business, a product or service it’s about establishing an emotional connection with the customer.
Your company or persona is more than just a company name on the top of your letter-heading it is about the identity of the people in your organisation and it’s personality.
The old adage that people buy people rings true. People buy your services based on emotion and the honesty they perceive in your brand or company.
By creating an identity and personality for your company the customers buying decision is easier because they are able to identify with the company, product, or service through association.
Increasing recognition by building an online presence are integral to making your brand and organisation credible.
How do I build my brand identity using multi-media channels?
Brand awareness is built through print media advertising, social media and multi-media channel touch points.
Whether you use the more traditional methods of marketing like direct mail, emailing, product launch events, blogs and video campaigns.
Whatever strategies your business employs says a lot about you and the personality of the organisation or brand.
The key is making sure you stay in front of your audience so that when they are ready to buy they call or contact you.
Multi-media channel interaction is pretty much expected through all types of customer interactions including communication.
Customers want to be able to view documents on different media, from email, mobile, online and print depending on context and convenience.
This makes it impossible to predict which media channel will be used when, where and by whom, content has to be available on all platforms.
Organisations need to be transparent, honest and flexible so that the customer sees similar information on all media platforms this in turn creates consistency and continuity and creates familiarity which the prospective customer can identify with when they are ready to buy.
In the world of online, choice is easier for customers and an organisation that gives customers easy access to a variety of channels can differentiate itself.
Knowing your audience and interpreting the data from the various multi-media channel touch points provides more opportunity to gather information about customers.
Complicated registration web forms which look more like A-level science questions than the simple sign up forms enable your customers to sign up and register easily without the customer being made to feel they are giving too much away and makes the process easier to collate information.
Using a sign up form that is connected to anyone of their social media accounts identifies the registrant with a social profile. They are more likely to enter their personal information onto an online registration form than offering it to a call centre.
By having that information available across all the platforms the organisation has more opportunities to capture the information making it more effective and usable when identifying niche audiences.
If an organisation can track how a customer is consuming information on what device and where, will make targeted marketing messages easier.
As long as all channels are communicating than a customer should only have to enter their data once.
Every social media channel has its own unique set of challenges but there are some best practices that should be observed:
Be consistent, by this I mean any information, documentation and communication across all the multi-media channels should have the same imagery, look and feel so the customer is familiar with your brand or company.
- Creating a single document that has the same imagery, logos, branding like an online marketing piece, advert etc. make sure there is an individual strategy to deploy it across all channels. The message doesn’t have to be identical but it does need to relate to the other marketing messages on other channels.
Provide a value-add on by making sure that at each touch point the customer can engage. Make an offer, provide useful information, offer a benefit.
- Security – consumers are well aware of issues of data security and misused information. They are also aware that to receive something they need to sign up or fill in a web form for accessibility. The customer wants to know how the information is collected and how it will be used so tell them. In return, the customer expects to receive value. They’ve parted with their personal details and expect something useful in return, in other words there has to be a benefit.
Engagement on multi-media channel platforms requires commitment, time, money and resources. A clear defined strategy for each platform will help determine ROI and profitability.
- All stakeholders have to be involved in the overall strategy for future customer acquisition and retention with clearly defined marketing plans for each bit of communication across each platform.
Multi-media channel engagement is a long haul process, in much the same way as when you started promoting on social media platforms. A little bit like firing in the dark, until you can measure which platform works best for your audience.
It requires much needed thought and a set of measurable objectives – and an end plan, what is/are your main goal(s).
The most important aspect is to take into account the needs and expectations of your audience.
Setting key objectives will determine the success of your brand and organisation.