December 31, 2008

Multichannel Madness

Chad outlines a JCPenney e-mail strategy he likes, one where the brand calls out stores and landing pages and e-mail and text messaging.

This works when we have two or three channels to mention.

Back in the 1990s, catalog contact strategy management (horizontal marketing) was all the rage --- planning which of eighteen catalogs any individual customer should receive. Almost nobody could figure that one out, so we just mailed everybody everything!

Now what the heck do we do when we have to communicate a message to customers using two dozen micro channels? Do we communicate the same message via Catalog Marketing, E-Mail Marketing, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, YouTube, Flickr, Outbound Telemarketing, Direct Mail, Blogs, Television, Radio, Newspapers, Newsletters, Billboards, Buses, Paid Search, Affiliates, Shopping Comparison Sites, Press Releases, SMS, Video Marketing, Hologram Marketing?

There are no best practices, and there probably won't ever be, because the minute best practices are established, Facebook and Twitter will become unpopular and Newspapers will be dead, replaced by something new and shiny called "Guppie", changing the rules of the game.

So the question to you, the loyal reader, is this ... how do you propose dealing with Multichannel Madness? Do you bomb your "multichannel customers" with the exact same message across micro-channels? Do you bomb your multichannel customers with different messages across micro-channels? Do you bomb your multichannel customers with personalized messages across micro-channels? Do you use some channels and not others? Do you increase frequency in some channels, decrease in others, and let the customer pick/choose from social media? Do you market to the same folks, or do you try to find new ones?

If you just lost your job, this might be a place to focus your efforts ... folks will pay $$$ to anybody who knows how to manage this micro-channel marketing mess.

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