The Missing Link in Choosing Marketing Channels

Once in a while, you come across a study that really challenges how you think. Marketers (myself included) spend a lot of time thinking about which channels to use for our communications efforts. We’ve learned that the best campaigns integrate multiple channels, but not every channel is appropriate for every target audience. So what do we do? We conduct a bunch of research to find out where our target audience hangs out.

There is no doubt that this important – it’s pointless to send out communication on a channel that won’t reach your audience. However, something that few of us consider is the role we want those channels to play.

A recent article by the Rochester Institute of Technology takes a close look at Experian Marketing Services’ sixth annual digital marketers report, “The 2014 Digital Marketer.”  Experian surveyed several hundred global marketers to find out how they view the primary roles 12 different channels have in the customer journey. Respondents were asked to classify these channels as having a “greeter” role (creates awareness), an “influencer” role (generates interest) or a “closer” role (gets the sale).

According to the study, direct mail is viewed by more respondents as being an influencer (32%), than a greeter (19%). Being a direct response channel, it’s also seen as a closer (20%).

Not every channel serves the same role when it comes to the customer’s path to purchase, and that role is another level of consideration that must be applied when developing an integrated marketing communications plan. Check out more insights in the article here:

What role does direct mail play in your organization? Do you agree with the Experian study’s classification of roles?

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