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Multichannel marketing is the blending of different distribution and promotional channels for the purpose of Marketing. Distribution channels range from a retail storefront, a website, or a mail-order catalogue.
To be effective, multichannel marketing needs to be supported by good supply chain management systems, so that the details and prices of goods on offer are consistent across the different channels. It might also be supported by detailed analysis of the return on investment from each different channel, measured in terms of customer response and conversion of sales. The contribution each channel delivers to sales can be assessed via attribution modelling. Some companies target certain channels at different demographic segments of the market or at different socio-economic groups of consumers.
MultiChannel marketing allows the retail merchant to reach its prospective or current customer in a channel of his/ her liking.
Companies that sell branded products and services through local businesses market over both online and offline channels to local audiences. Online and offline multichannel marketing campaigns can either inform one another or are executed in isolation. A proportion of companies use their online marketing efforts to inform their offline advertising (i.e. they test keywords online to understand if they fit with customer intent before printing them in offline ads).
While multi channel marketing focuses primarily on new media platforms in marketing, traditional approaches use old media such as print sources, telemarketing, direct mail and broadcasting stations such as radio and television. Multichannel marketing does not only use web 2.0 forms but also integrates media convergence models, targeting customer interaction through different platforms such as via text messaging, on a website, email and GPS to track the location of a customer and their proximity to the product or service. Being able to reach out to customers directly is an important marketing strategy because it is convenient and enhances direct customer interaction.
Some of the long term benefits of this style of marketing include: