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Sunday, March 25, 2012

There are so many different ways to stay connected with our target market that finding the best way to communicate with prospects effectively can be a challenge. Due to the complexity of multiple communication preferences (social media, direct mail, advertising, etc.), identifying and engaging prospects and customers individually, is your best opportunity for cutting through the clutter.

To be an effective communicator, you really need to start with the premise that it’s nearly impossible to reach 100% of your target audience using a single tool. There are so many different ways to communicate (ex: like email or text) that understanding and identifying each person’s preferred method of communication is paramount. If you’re currently using only using one method of communication with customers or prospects, chances are your response rates are really low.

Improving your communication begins by asking how to communicate with your entire audience, without being overwhelmed with multiple services, different forms of media, learning several different complex programs, or having all customer data stored throughout multiple systems? Marketing technology has evolved to address this issue and make multi-model communication manageable.

Just as the SCOOP Marketing Forum is a centralized hub for online marketers, centralized hubs for outbound marketing are multi-channel marketing platforms. There are quite a few of them out there that are pretty good. With platforms like this, business owners can send "quick blasts" to all the people on their distribution lists using different media.

It seems that mobile marketing and social media marketing are quickly becoming the channel of choice for marketing in this generation. In fact, I saw a poll the other day on Linked In that stated e-mail is the most popular medium for people between the ages of 30-40, while social media is the preferred channel for young adults between 20-30. SMS comes close behind between the same age group of 20-30. Some people are also saying that e-mail is slowly declining in favor of social media and mobile messaging, however I believe that e-mail is a different beast on its own.

Multi Channel Marketing tools from companies like UZmarketing combine the power of mobile text, email, IM, voice, and social media in to one interface. Most of these platforms are able to seamlessly orchestrate an entire marketing campaign through all popular modes of communication. These platforms allow business owners and decision makers who have little time, staff, or knowledge to compose marketing campaigns that are as sophisticated as some of the campaigns major corporations use.

The best part of using a tool to integrate many different modes of communication is effective customer management. By having clear insight into what has been communicated and to whom, you stand a much better chance of enriching your dialog with customers and even prospects. Using platforms that integrate the latest means of reaching your audience with the latest technology are vital given each user’s preference for sending and receiving messages.

This is an area that is of great interest to me. If you have a platform you use to manage your communications across different platforms, please let Marketing Blog readers know about it. With better tools we can improve your relationship with our target market and elevate the “user experience” associated with our brands.


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