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Why a Multi-Channel Strategy is Key in Media Planning

By Swell Media

Let's talk about your target consumer.

Maybe it's a tech-savvy, millennial man who lives in the suburbs but commutes into the city for his 9-to-5 job.

Or maybe it's a baby boomer woman nearing retirement age, who lives in a small town, listens to radio on her way to work, and watches the local news in the evenings.

Or maybe your target audience is teenage athletes, college students, or middle-aged men and women.

Whomever your target consumer is, there is one constant: these people have daily routines, and these routines bring them into contact with various advertising touchpoints, such as billboards, commuter train ads, online pre-roll video, radio spots, TV commercials, and more.

Daily routine can inform media planning strategy

Effective media planning takes advantage of not just one, but a variety of these channels to ensure your message, product, or service is heard by the people who matter. That’s why it’s important to base your media planning and buying plan around a multi-channel strategy.

How Multi-Channel Media Planning Works

A multi-channel strategy is just what it sounds like: choosing to pursue your target audience through many channels instead of few. But how does it make your campaigns more effective?

The more marketing channels you utilize, the more touchpoints you have with your customers (as long as you’re targeting the right channels, that is)—which means more opportunities for building relationships. Your customers might hear your ad on the radio as they drive to work, see your pre-roll video on their phones over lunch, or catch your commercial that evening while watching Hulu with their partner.

The result is a cohesive advertising ecosystem that surrounds audiences with your key message. And you want to know the best part?

Your customers prefer it.

Customers Want a Multi-Channel Experience

72% of consumers want brands to approach them with integrated strategies like the multi-channel approach. And customers reward that treatment—with businesses that adopt a multi-channel strategy seeing 91% greater customer retention rates year-over-year compared to other businesses.

But why do customers prefer this approach?

Multi-channel media planning gives customers the opportunity to choose where they interact with your brand. While you’ll never be everywhere your audience goes, by engaging them on multiple channels, you create a more organic, sustainable interaction that’s less intrusive and more on their terms.

And that’s the beginning of a good relationship.

Deciding Which Channels to Use

The first step in implementing your multi-channel media strategy is to clearly identify your target audiences and their channel habits. What are their routines, and what are the advertising touchpoints you can take advantage of to reach them?

You also need to clearly identify your objective and key performance indicators. For example, if your primary focus is brand awareness, you’ll want to implement more traditional components in your media plan, whereas if your focus is lead generation, digital channels may be better.

After that, you choose the most relevant mix of channels for your audience and hone in on channel specifics, such as which local radio stations and programs your audience may be listening to, or which online streaming services they subscribe to.

Having a media planner and buyer with strong relationships with local media groups can go a long way in getting your company access to the right channels, at the right costs.

Measuring and Evolving Campaigns

Measuring the success of your campaigns across the different channels and adjusting your approach for the future is a vital part of a long-term multi-channel strategy. That way you can continue honing in on what works for your audience, while allowing the channels that perform poorly to fall to the wayside.

To accomplish this, you’ll need to convey a consistent message across all channels and direct customers to get in touch with you in a trackable way, such as through a campaign landing page, digital ads (with tracking enabled), or a marketing phone number.

Getting Started

Setting up multiple channels, effectively tracking them, and unifying them to achieve company goals can be a bit complicated. But multi-channel strategies work wonders, and with the right partner, efficiencies can be made throughout the process to reach bigger audiences with minimal resources.

If you're interested in seeing how a multi-channel strategy could bring your brand to life, get in touch! With our full suite of media services and strong vendor connections, we’re prepared to make your multi-channel campaigns a success.

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Swell Media