Multichannel marketing is a complex, however indispensable marketing strategy when it comes to trying to connect to customers. Many organizations still struggle with using multichannel marketing when it comes to optimizing their customer engagement management, while it really can be done. Especially in the case of a DMO, multichannel marketing is very important to help connect customers to a brand on various levels while at the same time improving the channels accessibility and reducing the costs of the channel infrastructure (Peelen & Beltman, 2013).
Multichannel marketing is all about choice; giving the customer the choice of interacting with you, in whatever manner is most convenient for them at all stages of the customer journey (SAS, 2015). Because of this, multichannel marketing has to be carried out by using both direct as indirect channels, as both of these channels are used to sell goods and services to customers. These channels can be subdivided as the physical arena, digital arena and social media arena. To briefly explain: the physical arena is where your customers are in direct contact with the organization, such as a travel agency. The digital arena has to do with your digital world, for example your website visitation and email traffic. Lastly, the social media arena include the DMO’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
The pitfalls of many companies when using multichannel marketing, are irrelevant messaging, disjointed campaigns and poor optimization, leading to a customer engagement strategy that is not working (SAS, 2015). When this happens, instead of reducing costs by utilizing multichannel marketing, it is increasing the costs, while not even strengthening the customer engagement. This can be improved by following three simple steps, which are creating and maintaining a single view of the customer across all channels, establishing a multichannel marketing platform and by creating a consistent customer experience across all channels (SAS, 2015).
This specific type of marketing can be especially beneficial to DMO’s, as the average vacation purchase cycle takes 30-days or more, creating a lot of moments for the potential customer to slip in and out of the customer journey (BIGEYE, 2016). Booking a holiday is not a fast process, and therefore it is very important for DMO’s to be available to the customer one very level, on every second of the day in order to improve customer engagement. By using multichannel marketing, you learn how to invest your money in the right channels, which will give your company a huge boost. It is the perfect opportunity to connect to your customers while also reducing your own marketing costs. It’s a win-win.
BIGEYE. (2016, August 8). Multi-Channel Marketing Meets Tourism. Retrieved on October 8, 2016. From: http://bigeyeagency.com/blog/multi-channel-marketing/
Peelen, E. & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
SAS. (2015). Multichannel marketing. Retrieved on October 8, 2016. From: http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/marketing/multichannel-marketing.html