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McLellan: You’ve got to multiply


As you approach the new year and start working on your marketing plan for 2018, you’re going to need to multiply. Consider these facts.

•  The average U.S. adult now spends over 100 minutes a day watching digital video. (eMarketer)
•  24 percent of U.S. adults listen to at least one podcast a month. (statista.com)
•  58 percent of B-to-B marketers use infographics. (Content Marketing Institute)
•  58 percent of B-to-B marketers use webinars and webcasts. (Content Marketing Institute)
•  40 percent of consumers form an opinion by reading just one to three reviews. (BrightLocal)
•  92 percent of consumers visit a retailer’s website before making a purchase. (Episerver)
•  Online, adults 18-34 are most likely to follow a brand via social networks. (MarketingSherpa)

Today’s consumer isn’t living a mono-channel life. We can’t get locked into one channel and hope that we can actually create an ongoing conversation. We have to stay interesting and helpful for a longer period of time because we don’t control the pace or place of the conversation anymore.

We also can’t present our messaging in only one format. We have to stay interesting if we’re going to survive the long haul of earning and keeping our audience’s attention.

Your prospects can stay in the consideration stage for a day or a decade, and we not only need to be able to wait them out, but we also need to work hard to stay on their radar screen for that entire time. Marketing is becoming an endurance sport, and we have to hang in there long enough to have a shot at winning the new customer. 

Life is not linear or logical. If we’re trying to be a part of our audience’s narrative, we need to be where they are, and as you can see by the statistics in this column, they’re all over the place. I’m not suggesting that you need to dominate all of the channels, but you need to carefully consider which mix of them makes sense for your product, service or brand.

To know which tactics will serve you best, you need to truly understand the buyer’s journey and where along the way they intersect with different mediums. As you can see by the data I’ve shared, odds are your potential buyers are consuming a little bit of everything, from infographics to webinars to videos. You also need to understand how to present your brand’s products and services in the best light. Do they lend themselves to a visual presentation? How critical are data to the buying decision? This is all about knowing your buyers and what you sell and figuring out how to make the most effective connections.

The multichannel approach will serve your organization well. It allows you to show up in many places, with the same consistent messaging so that those impressions stack upon each other and over time. Remember the know-like-trust continuum we’ve talked about many times in this column. Consistency in messaging moves the prospect along that continuum more quickly.  

Multichannel also means you’re more likely to connect with your potential buyers on the channels where they feel most comfortable. We hear better and understand more deeply in our native language. The same is true about our communication channels. If you connect with a prospect where they spend most of their time, they’re less distracted and more open to hearing what you have to say.

On the flip side, trying to juggle multiple channels is a drain on your resources. So you’re going to want to choose carefully and judiciously.

Over the next several columns, we’re going to explore each of the tactics (video, podcasting, infographics, webinars, webcasts, reviews, websites and social media) and identify how they might fit into your plans for 2018.

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