How to Adapt in a Fast-Changing Multichannel Marketing World

Senior Vice President at Claritas, Quinn Jalli

A Q&A With Claritas Senior Vice President Quinn Jalli

As Senior Vice President at Claritas, Quinn Jalli works closely with Claritas clients to optimize their campaign execution across multiple channels This week, we asked Quinn to share his insight on how companies have altered their marketing strategies in recent years – and how they can achieve success in the future.

Q: How are consumers engaging with media today versus 10 years ago or even pre-pandemic?

I think the real seminal marker is two years ago. In the marketing world, we used to think in terms of decades. But now we have a line of demarcation that is pre- and post-pandemic. Today, companies have to realize that digital marketing involves more than just advertising new products. During the pandemic, our computers became our outlet to the outside world. We now use them to window shop and engage in a whole new way, but we are also seeing people shut down at the end of the day. It is a much different consumption pattern.

Q: How has the diversity of available online and offline channels changed the purchase journey?

Just seven or eight years ago, we really only had Facebook. Now we have Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and many others. And they all appeal to very different audiences. That means the way we approach these channels has to be different. But at the same time, we have to be aware that channel consumption is constantly changing and that marketing activity on one channel can drive engagement elsewhere.

As an example, research from the Joint Industry Committee for Mail shows that the effectiveness of direct mail increased significantly during the pandemic and direct mail drove digital traffic as well. In fact, 9% of mail resulted in a visit to an advertiser website in the first quarter of 2021 – a 32% growth compared to the year before.

Q: Could you discuss how you can use different channels to impact consumer purchase behaviors?

There are really two reasons to do a multichannel campaign. The first is the well-known concept of amplification – the idea that we touch you first in email, for example and then we touch you in another channel such as display to reinforce the message.

But there’s also a concept that’s emerged that I call channel bias, which recognizes that consumers treat different channels very differently. For example, some people don’t purchase things in email or don’t check their email religiously but they rely on their email if they need something like a purchase receipt.

Then there are people like me who check email every 12 seconds. That’s a very different consumption pattern. And some people spend a lot of time on Instagram and TikTok but no time on Facebook. Or vice versa.

So today, presenting the offer in the channel that the consumer is engaging with is just as important – or even more important – than amplifying your message using multiple channels.

Savvy marketers are increasingly looking to multichannel campaigns as a way to communicate to their various audiences with the right message on their preferred channels. And to do this effectively, they need data analysis that allows them to determine which messages and which channels are the most successful in driving engagement.

Q: So when it comes to acquisition campaigns, are there channels that seem to do a better job of generating initial interest in a product or service?

Not surprisingly, many of these channels are very demographic specific. We find that for people over the age of 40, email and Facebook work really well. If you’re looking for women over 55, there is only one social media channel and it’s Facebook. If you’re targeting consumers under 45, you start to get into that Instagram area. And display skews younger generation, which I find very interesting.

At Claritas, we have precise segmentation data that allows us to develop the ideal prospect list for clients and then guide them to the online and offline channels that these prospects prefer. Then during the campaign, we take a look at who responded and recommend changes to the campaign based on our data analysis. During this process, we often identify audiences that our clients didn’t even suspect were interested in their brand. As the campaign runs, we keep analyzing data and revising the strategy to boost sales and improve ROI.

In fact, redefining and constantly redeploying and testing is absolutely integral to what we do. After 30 days of testing, Claritas can determine exactly who your best audience is at that moment – and then we keep refining that ideal audience as it changes. Again, that means we can help you identify audience segments you didn’t even realize you appealed to – both when you are marketing an existing product or rolling out a new one.

Q: What role does the tried-and-true email marketing channel play in the consumer’s purchase journey today?

The interesting thing about email is that it runs across all age groups. In addition, a click in email can be much more valuable than a click on a display. That’s because someone who clicks on an email has looked at the subject and the from line and decided they want to look at that specific message from that specific sender.

Back in 2004, the thinking was that email was slowly fading out in favor of more modern technologies, such as social media, instant messaging and blogging. But then in 2007, the iPhone hit the market. And suddenly consuming email became a form of instant messaging instead of something you had to log into. And since 2007, email has experienced a massive uptick in consumption. This growth is expected to continue, with the number of daily emails sent and received globally expected to rise from 306.4 billion in 2020 to more than 376.4 billion by 2025, according to Statista.

So email is not going anywhere. But unlike in 2005, when we read every email that was in our inbox, now we look at the top five or six emails on our smartphone. So marketers have to be cognizant that they have a limited window to get their message across.

Also, because people are on the go, it’s critical to have a subject line that accurately conveys what’s in the email but also makes the consumer get interested very quickly. We know today that 65% of email is opened on smartphones. But the downside is that when consumers open an email on their smartphone, they’re about 66% like less likely to convert. So we have to intelligently plan a retargeting campaign that picks up on that open and retargets prospects with the goal of getting them to buy.

Q: How do you accurately measure a multichannel campaign?

This is one of the bigger challenges marketers face in the multichannel world. Our most successful partners do two things. First, they do everything they can to lubricate the conversion process. For instance, they make it easier to buy from a mobile email by linking the consumer either to a mobile app or to a mobile-optimized landing page.

Second, they recognize that the buying decision can be influenced by messages from multiple channels – and measure conversion accordingly.

How do you do that? You start by working with your advertisers to build an accurate record of your customer touches – so you know exactly which audience you targeted, which messages you delivered and which channels you used to target that audience. Then you develop an accurate pixeling strategy so you can collect specific data on what channels and which messages drove the most engagement.

Of course, it helps if you work with a partner experienced in multichannel measurement. Some measurement companies still focus on first touch or last touch – or only credit attribution where they can show a direct tie to a pixel. But this doesn’t give you the whole buying picture. Accurate measurement requires obtaining campaign analytics across channels and sharing them openly. Working with an unbiased, third-party measurement partner – one that doesn’t have a vested interest in one particular channel – allows you to tie the pieces together to get the most accurate measurement of campaign performance across channels.

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