Pop Quiz: What is the single most effective platform marketers can leverage for advertising in 2018?
If you said “Trick question,” you’re correct.
Today, prospects don’t just find information through a single channel like email, Facebook, or ad retargeting. Often, when someone decides to buy, it’s because they’ve become familiarized with the brand through a combination of MANY different channels. Our prospects are everywhere, so as marketers, we need to be too.
That’s why multichannel marketing is so crucial to your marketing effectiveness but multichannel marketing done poorly results in conflicting messages, off-brand creative and channels at war with themselves. How do you orchestrate your multiple channels to return the best results? And does this really work? Let’s take a journey through the brain of a prospective customer, and examine the neuroscience of multichannel orchestration.
Priming: The Foundation of Marketing Orchestration
Marketing orchestration rests with priming.
In neuroscience, priming is defined as the phenomenon where one stimulus creates a certain response when a second stimulus is encountered, without conscious intention.
Sound complicated? It’s not. Let’s break it down in the context of your marketing efforts:
“ … one stimulus” – Let’s say a Facebook ad, for example.
“… a certain response” – The response here will be to buy your product or service.
“ … a second stimulus is encountered” – Your prospect receives an interactive mailer with a clear call to action
“ … without conscious intention” – Your prospect is unaware that the reason they’re deciding to buy YOUR product is because they’ve been primed by that first stimulus.
It’s true that conscious decisions affect many of the purchasing decisions we, as consumers make, but marketing also affects people’s behaviors on a non-conscious level. So, when your prospects get that second piece of collateral in your multichannel marketing campaign, they are much more likely to take action on it than are people who never saw the first piece.
“Okay,” you’re thinking, “but wouldn’t this work similarly if my campaign were run on a single channel? Like if it were just a series of emails?
The short answer is yes and no.
The long answer is that while the priming effect will still work IF your prospects consume that second email, your campaign will be much more effective if you employ multiple channels to avoid habituation.
Breaking Habituation: Why Multichannel Marketing Gets Noticed
Whoa, whoa, whoa … another neuroscience term?
Don’t worry. Habituation is a simple concept, and it happens to you all the time. Maybe you’re sitting in an office right now. If you are, take a second to think about all the stimuli you can hear. Maybe it’s the “click, click, clack” of your co-worker’s keyboard. Maybe it’s the “hummmm” of the air conditioner. Whatever those things are that you’re hearing, you probably weren’t aware of them before I made you consider them.
That’s because you’re incredibly good at habituating — or tuning out — all of the repeated stimuli that aren’t essential for you to interact with your world. Imagine how overwhelming it would be if we were consciously aware of every single noise, smell, and sight all around us while we were trying to work!
And while habituation is incredibly beneficial in an evolutionary sense, it poses a tricky problem for marketers. Just like you’ve tuned out that fan that’s whirring around on your desk, prospects also begin to tune out your messaging when it comes in from a single channel. Regardless of whether they’re ads on Facebook, or an email series in an ongoing campaign, the unfortunate truth is that over time, people will become habituated to them. And your marketing efforts are worthless if no one is even noticing them.
Luckily, there is a great way to increase your marketing effectiveness: through multichannel marketing. Give prospects a break from the email overload they experience daily. Stand out from the retargeting ads your prospect has already seen. Try adding something totally new (or “novel” if we’re keeping with neuroscience speak), to grab your prospects’ attention and make them really engage with your marketing.
One effective strategy is to employ direct mail marketing. This works because your prospects receive something physical that they can touch and interact with in a way that is completely different from how they’re likely digesting all their other information and advertising — via digital means. Tactile marketing helps grab attention, make a lasting impression, and keep your brand top of mind when it’s time to buy.
For more tips on tactile marketing, check out our whitepaper, 10 Ideas for Connecting with Customers.