What is a multi-touch marketing campaign?

Multi-touch marketing utilises multiple methods (direct mail, e-marketing, telephone calls, etc.) of reaching out to prospects in order to maximise the effectiveness of a campaign, building up brand awareness and equity over a period of time. The idea is to get your message(s) in front of people as often as possible using a targeted and considered approach. Sending out a single advertisement is rarely successful these days.

Consistent brand communication is key - the more your brand reaches your target audience the more likely you are to engage new customers.

An article on mashable.com reported that 72% of consumers prefer an integrated marketing approach. A more traditional single channel, one touch method will likely have very little impact – building trust in a brand takes time. Executing successful multi-touch campaigns requires careful planning and good co-operation and in this article we provide some helpful hints and advice on how to pull it all together.

There are numerous (logistical and management) complexities with running successful multi-touch campaigns. Partnering with an experienced marketing agency to conceptualise the multiple elements of a campaign could be vital to its success. That’s where we come in.

How many ‘touches’ are we talking about?

Research shows that it takes at least 5 ‘touches’ to get to the point where you can even start a worthwhile conversation with your target audience. If your target is an executive level professional, expect to add on 4 or more additional touches.

The negatives and the positives:

  • It is complex and elaborate BUT…
    You will potentially need a wide range of marketing tools and material. These can include messaging, copywriting, email, direct mail, creative design and production, telemarketing scripts, CRM systems, email sending and tracking systems, customer database merging and cleansing, budgeting, and the list goes on…

    Depending on the size of your company, the process may also require multiple departments to work together. An agency and in-house marketeers conceptualise the idea, work with designers to create it, technology configures it or production prints it, and the sales team use it. All this will take considerable co-ordination and co-operation and remember, each individual touch will go through a similar process.

    However,once the ground work has been laid for a multi-touch campaign it can be repurposed and reused. Different target audiences may require similar touches and a touch that has proved ineffective for one audience might be just right for another.

    Remember to organise and save all of your marketing pieces and touches to avoid having to duplicate work in future.

  • You need a relevant, clean target database BUT...
    We can only generate the right leads if we target the right people. Getting the target database right will have a huge impact on the success of your campaign. The rest of course depends on the right content, design and a suitable proposition.

    Remember, if you start the dialogue with a message that the target customer feels is valuable, interesting and trustworthy you will be able to develop relationships. 

  • It’s time consuming BUT…
    After the initial creation of the multi-touch marketing campaign implementation will still take a considerable amount of time. Deploying the correct touch at the right time is vital. After all, most sales are the results of a well-timed offer.

    Stage 2 is tracking, usually in some sort of CRM or management system. Unfortunately (according to Forrester Research), only 46% of B2B marketers have sales teams that follow up on more than 75% of marketing-generated leads.  Potentially strong leads are easily lost!

    However, research shows that multi-touch campaigns are far more successful than leaving conversion rates up to disjointed touches. Carefully planning each step of the campaign in advance will ensure that you follow through at the required pace, ‘leaving no stone unturned’.

  • It’s hard to manage across channels BUT...
    Chances are your marketing plan is going to utilise various mediums and channels. One touch may be a paid advertisement or social media promotion; another may be a personalised mail piece or a phone call from a sales representative. The possibilities are endless and requires us to think outside the box. With so many channels, potentially managed by different people, it can get confusing. Information can easily get lost, especially if everything is not tracked properly.

    However, the process will get easier.  The first time a campaign is implemented will be the most difficult. Things might go haywire and your plan will require adjusting. Thankfully, the process won’t be set in stone and can be tweaked to avoid the same issues next time. People will be more comfortable with their roles in the process and some touches can become automated.

Where to start?

  1. Research the best ways to connect with your prospects – email, direct mail, social media, telephone calls, advertising….
  2. Determine your budget beforehand so that you do not get sidetracked by ideas that you can't afford to implement.
  3. Have a follow up procedure in place before you kick start your campaign. Calls placed to the recipients of direct mail and email can tell you how your campaign is being received and how people are responding to it.
  4. Utilise an agency to conceptualise interesting and innovative ideas for unique campaigns that are likely to prove more effective than the same messaging you have used in the past.  A strong creative agency will help you to think out of the box!
  5. Be consistent in your brand communication. If you are utilising multiple tactics such as email and direct mail, be sure the recipient will know they are part of the same campaign simply by looking at them.
  6. Be flexible. If you are finding that the response to one of your tactics isn't as good as you had hoped, focus on the parts of your campaign that are doing well and put more time and energy into those. You may even consider doing away with the part of your campaign that is less effective altogether.

Multi-touch marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase awareness of your business and bring in more sales. It’s also a great way to experiment with different marketing techniques and see what brings your business the greatest response. If you are interested in finding out more, give us a call today. 

Author: Spencer Ide