The People Factor of Multichannel

Patti RennerTaking a multi-channel approach to marketing comes down to people. “People” doesn’t mean just the consumer. It also includes your people – teams within your organization, as well as those who interface directly with your customers on a daily basis.
Beyond the obvious challenges of bringing multiple channels together for a consistent brand experience (challenges made easy with a unified marketing platform), even the best campaigns can be cut off at the knees without enthusiasm bubbling up from within.

Here at the Lunch Pail, we’ve frequently touched on the importance of breaking down silos within the organizational structure to ensure a more integrated approach to your brand’s marketing – how the various departments must weave together their projects and goals for a stronger, more consistent message through all channels.

As I was reminded at IRCE last week, even the best use of digital marketing must flow from your team through the organization down through each level. For retailers operating bricks-and-mortar locations in (addition to their online presence), that includes trickling down campaign information all the way to the staff working the registers. Oftentimes, these in-store individuals can have a strong influence on the success of your campaigns (particularly when it comes to mobile). For a consistently positive retail/service brand experience, it’s important to bring them into the loop.

A few questions to consider about your organization:

  1. Do employees embrace what you’re doing across channels, or do they simply tolerate it?
  2. Does in-store staff understand the technology? Do they possess a comfort level to confidently explain it to customers? Can they really explain how to redeem the new SMS coupon on the latest campaign – or how to download the app necessary to access the 2D barcodes on in-store signage?
  3. Are you providing adequate training for managers and employees? Do you offer details in print, plus videos to detail how you specifically expect the in-store experience to be, especially as it relates to the latest campaign?
  4. Do you welcome employees to give suggestions and ideas regarding the use of social and digital? Is the topic of viral marketing addressed in your company’s social media policy?
  5. Do you offer an incentive for employees to spread the news about the latest offers/campaigns through their own social networks, to extend the reach of your campaigns? This can encourage greater understanding and buy-in for staff members.

As you work to reach the consumers throughout the customer lifecycle, it’s also important to reach out to staff members (especially those in store) within your own organization. Never underestimate the value and importance of your people on the frontlines. Train them to your advantage.

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