To produce your multi-channel communications strategy you must first understand the role and importance of the available channels. Once you have this, you can effectively construct and implement your programme. To help you do this, in this concluding blog in the series, we look at how to plan multi-channel communications and the tools you need.
Communications need to be clear and consistent across all channels for customers to understand what you stand for and how they will benefit from what you’re offering. Each communications channel must be optimised within itself, but must also align with all other channels.
Planning is imperative
With so many channels to get right, follow these six steps to plan your approach:
1.Ask your customers – they’re the ones receiving the information after all; how do they want it?
2.Plan – what are the main messages you need to communicate? Can you structure your communications into timetabled campaigns?
3.Think about what you already use – what’s working? What’s missing? What can you do more of or do better?
4.How’s your data? – it’s so important! Make it good quality
5.Take the quick wins – a basic social media presence can be set up quite quickly and then built upon
6.Use in-house and external expertise – think about the resources and skills you need and where you can get them.
The contents of your toolbox will impact campaign effectiveness
The tools you’ll need will depend upon what you decided in step six - how much you’re going to do in-house and what you’re going to outsource.
As a starting point, think about tools for:
- Data management– to keep that all-important data up to date
- Data capture– to scan and electronically capture paper-based information
- Website – design, creation and management
- Mailing production equipment– if you’re producing your own mailings
- Email software – so that you can measure the success of your email campaigns
- Franking machines – for cost and time efficiency when sending physical mail
- Output management software– to design and centralise communications and manage customer preferences and distribution.
It contains a handy eight point multi-channel checklist and information on all the topics covered in this blog series. You can also still access the earlier blogs onwhy multi-channel communication is important at https://goo.gl/yiYuYd, the critical role of data at https://goo.gl/uhWvmqand the role and importance of the channels.