This article discusses the main differences between multi-level and cross-channel marketing and how marketing software works in its most basic form.
Pete enjoys hiking on the weekends. He wants a new pair of hiking boots so he visits a local sports store. Today, some representatives from a shoe company are in the store offering a mail-in-rebate for $25 off their boots if the consumer goes online and fills out a form. Pete takes the bait, buys the company’s boots and fills out the rebate form to receive a check in the mail for $25 four weeks later. Why was Pete influenced to buy that company’s boot and not a different one? Because of effective marketing.
There are several different ways a company can market a product to consumers but the most effective are multi-channel marketing and cross-channel marketing. Multi-channel marketing means to use one piece of information on as many different channels as possible to reach potential clients; for example, email blasts followed by handing out flyers at events. This is in and of itself a good strategy, but can often be chaotic and easily disorganized in reaching a target audience. Cross-channel marketing, on the other hand, can be extremely powerful if used correctly. Cross-channel marketing means that the consumer is tracked as he or she uses media in order to better promote a product. This decreases the chance a product reaches outside of its target audience. For example, a soup company can use multi-level marketing by placing ads in cooking magazines and on billboards, but the magazines and boards can be read by anyone and therefore can reach out of the target audience. The same company can place their ads for their soup on the company’s “Spacebook” page and “Songbird” account. Most users who follow the company are interested in the company’s soup to begin with and therefore the ads go to the correct audience.
Some email marketing software providers also provide marketing campaign management software, which allows the company to manage all aspects of their cross-channel marketing in one easy program. To continue on with our soup company example, suppose they have a new brand of curried stew they wish to market. They could log on individually to their “Songbird” and “Spacebook” accounts and post their message about a new coupon for $1.25 off a can, but that takes time and effort. Instead, using marketing campaign management software, the company can post the same message about the stew and coupon on both “Songbird” and “Spacebook” simultaneously, as well as using their email marketing software to send out email blasts and link email users to an additional coupon for 50 cents off any style can of stew. Both marketing campaign management software and email marketing software are easier ways to allow a company to market their product to their target audience faster.
Both the hiking boot company and the soup company have used marketing successfully. The difference is that the boot company has used multi-level marketing so their campaign is not as successful as the soup company. No matter what channel is used, however, a product needs to be useful or desirable to the consumer to generate the biggest profits.