We have many conversations with clients that always seem to ask – “…but how do I reach my customers?” We usually start with…”The good news is – there are many marketing channels out there. BUT, it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t also point out the bad news – there are many marketing channels out there.”
What the heck is a marketing channel?
Wiki defines a marketing channel as “the people, organizations, and activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods from the point of production to the point of consumption. It is the way products and services get to the end-user, the consumer; and is also known as a distribution channel.”
Here are a few examples of channels or marketing activities that help get your product or service from you to your customer.
- Advertising: Digital, Print, TV, Radio
- Direct: Person to Person, Catalog, e-commerce, Email, Telephone
- Mobile: App or Mobile Website
- Social: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, YouTube
- Search: Maps, Directory, Pay per Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Stores: Kiosk, Concessions, Pop-ups
Because there are so many channels available, many take a hybrid or multi-channel approach to reaching their customers. It is true that some channels can stand alone, but it is very rare to not have some overlap with other channels along the way.
For example: If you have a brick and mortar or pop-up retail store where your customers visit to purchase products or services from you, you may still use advertising, direct marketing, and social channels to reach those customers. Their experience both offline and online with you will determine if you have turned them into a customer.
How do I know what channels work best for me?
This is a very good question and there is no single correct answer. It goes back to defining your target audience and knowing your customers. You must do the research and gather the data on your specific customers. What does their journey map look like? Using that specific data will help cut down on the guessing and increase conversion rates from grabbing their attention to paying customers and then from paying customers to loyal repeat customers. Having this data will help you choose the most relevant channels, delegate resources, set a budget and even track your progress. Journey maps are helpful in exposing gaps and overlaps that may need your attention.
How do I know if the channels I have chosen are working for me?
Regardless of if you are focused on B2B or B2C, utilizing Marketing channels that are getting you your biggest “bang for your buck” and allocating your resources wisely is important. Review the channels you are currently using. Where can you make improvements? What is working and what isn’t? Is it worth doing anymore? These can be hard questions to ask, but if you can’t find any value in the channel, it is time to stop wasting time and money using it.
One sure way to ensure you are successful with your marketing channels is by understanding how the channels work. Keeping up with an ever-changing world of technology can be challenging. But knowing the details is valuable. What are their key features? How do your customers utilize the channels? This will also help you streamline your efforts and strategically craft your message to leverage the channel to its greatest potential.
After reading this you may have more questions than answers. That’s ok. We are here to assist you with filling the gaps and utilizing the marketing channels that will best reach your target audience. Stop by the shop or give us a call.
As your partner, AlphaGraphics North Liberty is proud to assist with your marketing needs. Combined with our signage, and graphic design expertise, we offer a valuable partnership at great prices. A free quote is just a click or phone call away at 319-626-3700. You can also view our services online or drop by. We’d love to chat with you about your marketing and graphic design needs, budget, and planning. We are conveniently located at 1325 Kennel Ct in North Liberty, Iowa.