One of the most difficult things of promoting a brand or a product is to design communication and advertising strategies able to establish a real connection between the brand and its customers. We live in a very complex world where different virtual realities can even overlap in time, forcing us to move from a linear perspective to a richer one, much more flexible in terms of time and space. This complexity translates into more evolved ways for brands to approach their customers that cannot rely on just one channel anymore.
Moving away from potentially complicated and boring existentialist questions, let’s just agree on the fact that we just don’t do this anymore. We don’t leave the house to shop for some greens, then stop by the kiosk on the corner, buy the newspaper and afterwards talk to a few neighbours on the way back home. Things no longer work this way. We spend hours on Facebook or Instagram, google everything that catches our attention, rate every single place we’ve been to, etc. And that all can happen while we are doing something else.
Everyone behaves differently, but we all have something in common. We all use a wide variety of channels to look for what we need, make sure our choice is the right one and finally buy something that we need or just want. However, as obvious as it might seem, there are still many brands that have not broken the single channel dependency yet. If this is your case, then you should definitely rethink your strategy.
What happens when you actually focus on just one channel?
If you have read our previous article, then you might have an idea of what it is going to come now. The first and most immediate consequence is that you lose perspective. Instead of seeing the interaction with the potential customers as a complex journey with many different stages, touchpoints and channels, you start seeing it as an isolated path where customers go from A to B, without any other inputs or interactions along the way and with identical goals. Every channel is useful in a different way and moment and brings different results, so there is no point in looking for the same exact outcome on the various channels or in overcrowding a channel already full of competitors where you might even be cannibalizing your own marketing efforts.
The second is that you will probably assign specific channels to specific agencies and then compare their performance with isolated funnels, instead of thinking about a complex funnel based on a multichannel strategy where every channel adds something different along the journey. This is a misleading move, but a very common one. Does it sound familiar to you? Then maybe, you can guess the third consequence.
If you have ever made “the single-channel-mistake” yourself, you will probably know how the story ends: working with multiple agencies, which will get e.g. leads at a fixed CPL on channels with inflated bids and overlapping messages. At this point scaling will be impossible and the results that seem to be so positive now, may not be so promising in the long term.
So what now?
The only way to revert the situation is to build a strategy where you make sure that you are using the right channel for the right purpose. Seeing the bigger picture is key for every brand to develop strategies that allow them to scale instead of getting trapped in the single-channel-dependency cycle. That might require finding the right balance between what you invest and get back from every channel, considering them all pieces of the same puzzle and not isolated elements. Also focusing on short, middle and long term goals, instead of just looking for immediate, partial results, no matter how good they are.
And now, the key question is: how? We’ll talk about it next week in the last part of this series. Don’t miss it!