Channels in the average marketing plan serve a range of functions. On the one hand, channels are all about finding new ways to sell to your preferred customer. On the other hand, when you choose the right channel, like social media, you can also create experiences for your audience that build your brand reputation.
Channel strategy marketing asks brands to consider a selection of factors, including the competitive brand environment, consumer habits, and more. The critical thing to remember is that not all channels will be relevant to every brand or business.
Since most companies only have a certain amount of resources that they can use, it’s important to find the right selection of channels to drive results. Some common additions to a channel strategy template include:
1. Retail or eCommerce
Perhaps one of the most traditional marketing channel strategy options, retail involves either opening local physical locations that your customers can visit or creating a website through which people can buy your goods and services. Many modern businesses now combine their eCommerce and retail operations for a two-factor approach. For instance, retail locations can offer additional customer service for online orders, while eCommerce channels can provide additional support for local stores.
2. Digital sales and SEM
For companies who are selling directly to customers and other brands, search engine marketing and SEO have become common components of a strong marketing channel strategy. “SEM” or search engine marketing is a combination of pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimisation intended to drive attention for your company. SEM and SEO are all about getting a brand in front of their customers using digital channels, rather than speaking directly to customers or partners.
3. Social media marketing and personal selling
Although search engine campaigns are designed to suit the specific preferences and language of your target audience, they’re not as personal or intimate as some channel strategy options. Social media marketing is one of the many ways that today’s companies are adapting their channel marketing strategy to suit customers that want to form deeper connections with brands. Through social campaigns and personal selling, brands can actively promote themselves and engage with consumers at the same time.
4. Email marketing and direct mail
Rather than waiting for your consumers to find you through content that you post online, or in-person store advertisements, you can always take the right information to them. Email marketing and direct mail marketing are standard parts of many channel strategy template designs. So much more than just sending messages to your contacts, mail-based marketing is about nurturing your audience and maintaining relationships through valuable, ongoing interactions. These campaigns take place over a period to build your brand awareness and trust.
5. PR and marketing partners
Speaking of raising brand awareness, when you’re new to an industry or niche, one of the best ways to upgrade your marketing channel strategy is to work with partners. Marketing affiliates, ambassadors, and even PR partners help to drive attention towards your company by securing media coverage through a range of outlets. The more partners you build in the right environments, the easier it will be to reach customers.