Select the Best Marketing Distribution Channels for Your Messages
If your audience doesn’t receive your message, it won’t matter how informative, witty or motivating it is. Selecting the right channels for your message is as crucial as crafting the right message itself. Otherwise, it’s like you’re shooting in the dark, hoping to hit a target you can’t even see.
To get your marketing messages in front of the right people, you need a targeted distribution channel strategy.
Are You Running in Circles?
Reaching your target audience is more challenging than ever. With a growing number of online and offline marketing channels available today, it’s hard to know which you should choose to deliver your messages.
It’s easy to take a “spray and pray” approach — to send your message via as many channels as possible in hopes of success. But this unfocused approach is rarely effective. If anything, it dilutes your message so much that it doesn’t create enough impressions to persuade the right people to engage with your organization.
Consider this: The average person sees between 6,000 and 10,000 ads per day. People have extremely short attention spans. If a message isn’t immediately relevant, they ignore it.
Publishing your message everywhere and hoping for the best also wastes a significant amount of time and money. In every organization today, marketing needs to produce results – qualified sales leads, donations, support for a cause, registrations or purchases. If your message distribution doesn’t deliver the results your organization needs to be successful, your marketing budget won’t last long.
A simple, strategic way to target your audience
To reach your target audience, you need to figure out exactly where they congregate, online and offline. Where do they find the information they need to do their jobs effectively? Where do they find answers to their challenges? When they need a product or service, which websites, publications and influencers do they trust?
To figure out where your target audience spends their time, you need to look at the persona data you’ve gathered. Think as they do. Explore their favorite websites, social media platforms and communities. Look at the world beyond digital as well. Does your audience love to read newsletters? Do they get information from a local newspaper? Do they rely on news and advice from trade magazines?
What if you’re not sure where they get their information? Ask them!
For best results, focus your message distribution on one or two key channels. Measure the results. If you’re not getting the engagement you need there, run experiments to determine which channels and messaging approaches work best. Because you can never predict what your audience will respond to, you need to test, test, test!
When you take a more targeted, strategic approach, you’ll reduce waste and achieve more bang for your marketing buck. You’ll deliver your messages to prospects who care, not the vast majority of people who don’t. You’ll get a better return on your marketing investment by targeting it to the right people, in the right places, at the right time.
Ultimately, you will grow your business and your brand more effectively. Here’s how.
How to Choose the Right Distribution Channels
Choosing the right message distribution channels for your campaign can appear to be overwhelming at first. But if you carefully weigh the pros and cons of each one, it’s easy to zero in on a practical approach that works.
For example, if you’re trying to decide between digital and print marketing, here are some of the factors you ought to consider:
- Pros: It’s inexpensive or free, except for the time to produce the messaging and artwork. That means it’s tempting to try to distribute your message everywhere. Digital content is also easier, faster and less expensive to produce than print pieces.
- Cons: Digital channels are so crowded that it’s hard to gain and hold your audience’s attention. It requires consistent effort over time to build your brand presence. Its “shelf life” (the amount of time your audience pays attention to it) tends to be extremely short.
- Pros: A well-designed direct mail postcard, sales sheet or brochure can command your audience’s attention and engagement in ways that digital content cannot. It has a physical and tangible presence. For that reason, it tends to have a much longer shelf life than digital content. In some cases, your prospects may file your printed piece for future reference. Consider a dimensional mailer for your key account marketing. While they may cost more to produce and mail, the recipients will no doubt see in their stack of mail and open it. Reserve this for prospects that are middle funnel and know who you are or when you want to make a strong first impression.
- Con: Print pieces require more of an investment for production and distribution than digital content. Once a collateral piece is designed, it also needs to be printed and mailed.
Consider using a one-two punch
Want to make a bigger impact? Use a distribution strategy that combines direct mail with email.
According to the ANA (formerly DMA), 42.2% of direct mail recipients read or scan the mail—and what’s more, they remember it. If you follow up a direct mailing with an email, your response rate on the email will be much higher than if you only sent an email to your audience.
Heritage and its sister company, Cultivate Communications, have used this approach for many of our marketing campaigns. It works extremely well!
Use marketing distribution to differentiate your brand
You must differentiate yourself from the competition. You don’t need to do the same thing the crowd is doing—you need to find a way to stand out!
Start by focusing on the distribution channels that are most popular with YOUR audience. When you focus your efforts on a small number of channels that your audience also values, you’ll be more visible. You’ll also increase your odds of success of reaching and influencing them to take your desired actions – to buy, invest, register or support.
But don’t stop there. Monitor the performance of your messaging and adjust your tactics accordingly. Consider adding one or two channels only after you’ve saturated your primary one – and only if it makes sense as part of your marketing strategy.
Need help developing a message distribution strategy that fits your unique needs? Contact us today for a more strategic marketing approach!
Direct Marketing Webinar:
Choosing Distribution Channels
In our 20-minute webinar, we’ll show you commonsense strategies to distribute your message and your offer to the right audience.