--> Multi Channel Marketing 101. Why it matters and what to do.

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7 Multi channel Marketing

Multi channel marketing is one of the biggest challenges facing Marketing teams. It is more commonly referred to as cross channel marketing, and can best be described as the science of determining the role different marketing channels had in driving your KPIs. Driving your main KPIs involves marketing activity that is not under the same cookie pool, across different devices, involves touch points on web and app, and should even both offline and online marketing efforts.

Duplication between marketing channels

Let us start with an example. A typical customer journey faced by a cycling brand that involves four different online channels (or platforms), followed by an online conversion (all on the same device).

Interactions with your marketing activity for this specific customer journey start through a DSPs interest category campaign (and was clicked on). The cycle enthusiast visits your site, scrolls through the latest racing cycles on offer, and decide she needs to do some more thinking about the purchase. She is not heavy internet users but she sees the same ad in her Facebook timeline through your Facebook interest category campaign a week later.

You (the brand) start retargeting this prospect after the first visit, reminding her that the offer for extra discount lasts until the end of the month for a co-marketing campaign with a large online retailer.

Our cycling enthusiast has decided on a racing model but is unsure about the brand and performs several searches to find out information about your cycle brand and and alternative racing cycle brand. In this process you pull her back to your site twice through Google Search.

Your Criteo retargeting campaign, using a dynamic feed to show our cycling enthusiast several racing cycles, gets seen a few times over the next five days. Eventually, our travel enthusiast gets her pay check in and decides she can afford to buy the racing cycle. She does a search for your retail partner (Michel Racing Cycles), clicks on the Google Search ad, and purchases the racing cycle.

Here is a visual of that customer journey:

Multi Channel Marketing

There are four different platforms here:

  1. Facebook and Criteo will each take 100% of the credit for this sale. Both independently of whether our cycling enthusiast clicked on the ad or not.
  2. Google will take 100% of the credit for this sale (only after a click on the ad).
  3. The DSP interaction (lets assume DV360) and the Google Search interactions can be measured through the same interface in DV360. So this platform would be able to show you a customer journey of four touch points, and you could choose how you would want to allocate between these four interactions. One caveat, if you would use Search Ads 360, you would be able to see a visit but not an impression (in SA360).

Michel’s Cycling Shop is a sophisticated advertiser using the Google Marketing Platform, Facebook and Criteo. It ends up with a sale attributed fully to each platform. How should one go about trying to create order in this attribution nightmare?

Adoption of more unified measurement approach

There are different ways in which one can track this multi channel marketing activity. The most common option is Google Analytics. The vast majority of businesses out there use it for this purpose and it would track all click activity. You could add a custom channel groupings to label marketing channels in a way that would make sense for your business. For the customer journey above you would be able to see all clicks (with a standard setup) but none of the impressions. And since all these interactions happen on the same device, we can map this journey quiet well using Google Analytics.

Multi Channel Tracking Tools

Alternatively, you could use Floodlight click trackers to get the Criteo and FaceBook ads in the tool. This would allow you to record all the clicks of activity that you can’t measure through the Google Marketing Platform (GMP). The big advantage is the cross device element of GMP, allowing you to tie devices back to users and connect customer journeys as consumers move from one device to another.

Alternatively one can use alternative web analytics packages such as Adobe, IMB Digital Analytics or Mixpanel to record and analyse the way prospects find your site. These products would have similar capabilities to Google Analytics.

Or you could take it one step further and involve a specialist player. The main multi channel marketing tools in the United Kingdom are, in order of market share, Visual IQ and Convertro, Google and FaceBook attribution are alternative tools that can provide interesting insights.