How To Develop a Multi-Channel Marketing Plan

In a market with tons of “noise” and advertising clutter, it takes a lot more than it previously did to grab someone’s attention. You need to have much more than an interesting message to make a sale. In today’s landscape, consumers pay attention to the advertisements that are tailored to their interests and lifestyles, and to those able to conveniently connect them with what they want.

The best way to accomplish this level of personalization in your marketing is through multiple channels and devices, and with targeted marketing. This is where it becomes “a lot more.” Adding a variety of channels to the mix, each with personalized messages creates a lot of moving parts. It’s important to first clearly outline the steps in your plan and maintain a way to track them.

There are several factors to take into consideration when determining which outlets and tactics will help you cut through the clutter and get positive attention. The first step in planning is defining your objective and narrowing down your target audience.

Objective

How do you want to impact your viewer?
Defining your objectives will allow you to guide all other steps along the way. Think about the message you want to deliver and how you want viewers to act on that message. For example, if you are offering a new service, you want to not only make the potential patient aware of it, but also give them a clear path to scheduling an appointment. Make the message clear and the follow up action easy and simple.

Define Your Target Audience

Who is your demographic? How do they spend their time?
The best way to find your demographic would be to conduct a study, but with limited time and resources, a good way to decide where to advertise is to put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Spend time thinking about who would be interested in your message and where they could see your ad.

Many online advertising outlets and publications will allow you to target your demographic by location, age, and even interests. Map out where your target patients are located to narrow down the outlets to contact. If the medium does not have a strong presence or readership in those areas, you can forget about them.

Make sure to include mobile advertising in the budget. At the beginning of the year, 55% of Internet usage took place on mobile devices according to CNN.com. If your landing page is not optimized for smart phones and tablets, you can lose a good chunk of potential leads due to a poor user experience on your website.

Time Frame and Budget

Are you getting the biggest bang for your buck?
These two factors build the foundation to your campaign. This is your starting point to narrowing down advertising outlets as you discover which are out of your price range and don’t fit in your time frame. Keeping track of when the ads will be published/aired and for how long is crucial for planning.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask about Discounts!
Many media outlets are searching for advertisers because that’s how they make a good portion of their money. Nine times out of ten they will give you a packaged deal or discount.
There’s more to consider…
Will a tiny black and white ad in Tuesday’s paper get as much attention as a full page in color in Sunday’s paper? Probably not. Spending an extra couple hundred dollars may pay off in the long run. When working out details, keep this in mind.

Setup Measurements for Success

Once you’ve set your objective, target audience, and potential outlets, establish ways to measure your campaign’s success. Many advertising services will track this for you but you may want to also consider additional methods like generating a measured phone number to record calls from the campaign. This is important in determining the success of the outlets you use. If you see no leads coming from an advertisement in the local paper, you may want to cancel for the following month. Tracking your campaign data will allow you to make adjustments for maximum results and help you plan future campaigns.

There are many moving parts in a multi-channel marketing plan but remember that your end goal is to get as many leads as possible while working within your budget. Choose your mix based on how many people in your target audience will see your ad. Marketing isn’t cheap so make sure you plan your budget wisely and stay on top of your placements!

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