The literal definition of multichannel communications is:’communication in which there are two or more communication channels over the same path, such as a communication cable, or a radio transmitter which can broadcast on two different frequencies, either individually or simultaneously.’
Although this is obviously not the intended definition in the business sense of the phrase, useful conclusions can still be drawn. The transmitting and receiving of simultaneous data is an important aspect of this marketing term. And these multi faceted directions of communication are aimed not only at the customer, but also internally within a business. The ultimate aim is to connect with the customer in a meaningful way and to capture their attention and finally their business, but all the time still gathering client data.
Multichannel communications encompasses many different forms of communication. Typically multichannel communications include messages into data that is already being delivered through two or more media channels, such as original print like postal mail and printed posters, email, web, telephone and of course stereotypical social media sites. It is all about communicating in the existing business to customer (B2C), and business to business (B2B) models. In order to be the most effective and successful that it can be in its quest to gain more business, multichannel communications must approach the client in the channels that are most preferred and frequented by them.
The three biggest communication channels within multichannel communications are usually intranet, social and email. The intranet is at the core of most organisations since it is used as a central information hub for both the employees and employers. Social communication is really useful in that it is the voice of the business, but also works two ways, in that it is great for receiving feedback. And finally email, which is really self evident.
Multichannel communications is an important marketing tool in that since it has a variety of media routes from which to choose from, it can tailor itself to offer the right thing to the right person at the right time, in the most effective manner. This means the target is more specific and therefore more relevant. The resulting effect is an improved market awareness for the user from better responses that should result in better returns.
As shown, multichannel communications, if implemented correctly, and above all considering the target audience, can be a really effective method of driving business in such a way that is not intrusive or aggressive in its implementation, but is highly effective.
There are many colleges in the UK and US which specialise in teaching the integrate art of multi-channel communication marketing.