How to find the best marketing channel mix for your brand.

It’s hard to imagine that just a few decades ago, marketers only had to decide between print, tv or radio.

Marketers today face many options when selecting which marketing channels will comprise their marketing mix.

There are an estimated 120+ content delivery and marketing channels right now. As exciting as that may be, it can lead to marketing paralysis.

How can I know which channels will work and which won’t? What will be most cost-effective, and how much budget do I need to allocate to each channel? Which ones will work best together to reach my target audiences?

Not to mention, choosing your brand’s channels is a high-stakes situation. Get it right, and you will reap the rewards of reaching your target audience with your value proposition. Get it wrong, and you will waste time and money chasing a market that isn’t there.

The good news is that creating your marketing mix is not guesswork. Collaborating with the right marketing partner can develop a comprehensive, multi-channel plan to drive unified demand-generation campaigns for your business.

The marketing channel landscape

Print, radio and television were the stalwarts of the past, but two factors have drastically changed the marketing channel landscape.

One, the digital transformation over the last two decades has resulted in dozens of new marketing channels each year, from apps and chatbots to social media influencers, smart TV ads and voice search.

Two, more people – especially younger generations – distrust traditional media and prefer hearing from brands via alternative methods like social media, video, or word-of-mouth.

Today, the crowded field of marketing channels is broken up into two major divisions:

Digital marketing: website, content marketing, social media (organic and paid), email marketing, SEO, PPC, online advertising, etc.

Offline marketing: print collateral (brochures, annual reports, sales playbook), events, public relations, speaker engagements, print advertising

Among online and offline channels, there are also “core” channels that all businesses need versus more experimental channels that may be specific to your brand or industry.

Choosing core vs Experimental channels

We all know the essential marketing channels needed to perform basic “blocking and tackling” – website, social media, email marketing, SEO, advertising, etc.

But while these core channels may be enough to function, Sangiovanni Partners isn’t interested in helping brands merely get by. We strive to help our clients thrive and uncover new marketing opportunities.

When creating a marketing mix, we not only incorporate the essential channels but will also select industry-specific channels and even some more experimental ones. While the value of a channel like a chatbot or a webinar may be less understood than a website, these unique tactics can often reap unexpected rewards.

One of our clients, Yaliyomo Gmbh, selected Sangiovanni Partners to launch its new blockchain-based product to the Luxury goods market. Our marketing mix included core consumer channels like a Website, Google pay-per-click and display ads, blogging and social media. But, as part of our content strategy, we wanted to elicit the networking and goodwill of other audiences, such as social responsibility and non-profit organisations, that would accelerate awareness across a heavily vested advocate community of more than 4,000 professionals.

By featuring major non-profits, we could exponentially increase our organic reach and kick start our social media programs while still optimising for paid search. We sourced a database of non-profit leaders and launched a sequenced outbound campaign that included e-mail marketing and LinkedIn Messaging. These two tactics increased awareness among key opinion leaders, received hundreds of interactions, and led to hundreds of LinkedIn connections.

Balancing Online vs Offline 

Digital channels tend to take the spotlight these days, but they often work best in tandem with offline channels. Together, they can amplify marketing effectiveness and create a simple, unified customer experience at multiple touchpoints.

However, it’s easy for these channels to get out of balance. Perhaps you sink most of your budget into digital marketing, and there is little left for offline initiatives like events, public relations or thought leadership campaigns.

Another common situation is that businesses hire one external agency to handle digital and one or more agencies to handle other initiatives, like public relations, branding, print collateral or event management.

While it may seem intuitive to separate work by agency, a full-service marketing+tech agency like Sangiovanni Partners to develop and drive all your marketing initiatives can deliver unparalleled value.

At Sangiovanni Partners, we take a channel-agnostic approach with our clients. Our team includes experts in all areas of marketing, so we don’t push a specific channel strategy. Whereas a PR agency will sell you PR, or a digital marketing agency will sell you on digital, our team is focused on developing a holistic, multi-touch strategy with the proper channels to match your unique business and goals.

We create a unique marketing mix for clients based on their industry, audiences, and resources. Our approach often blends multiple online and offline channels to reach consumers at different stages of the buyer journey.

Finding the right channels for your brand

Although we mentioned earlier that one issue is not trying anything new, there is an opposite danger: spreading yourself too thin. If you use too many channels or are always trying to incorporate the latest trends into your mix, you likely can’t put enough budget into each channel to be effective.

This can often lead to a vicious cycle.

Your marketing isn’t working, so the budget is cut, making it less likely to work. The result can be an almost entirely ineffective marketing function.

This is where guidance from a Fractional-CMO can be beneficial. We can sift through the crowded marketing landscape to find the best marketing mix for your business. We know which new channels can help your business and which fads will quickly fade.

We also put the systems and tools to measure each marketing channel. Measurement is key to a compelling marketing mix. Collecting data from all your channels will allow you to know what’s working and what’s not. Equally important, it will help you attribute results to the correct channel. Initially, some channels, like sales calls, for instance, may seem like the most effective strategy, but it’s actually social media where people are learning about your business.

Understanding which channels are working and how they work together will lead to a refined marketing channel strategy that will allow your team to create meaningful interactions with your target audience and effectively execute marketing campaigns.