Sunday, September 11, 2011

Turning Multichannel into a Destination Matrix

What do I have against 'multichannel' marketing?

Nothing really, other than the phrase reinforces old ways of thinking.
  1. Multichannel is a corporate term, not a consumer term. It grew out of the need to coordinate across existing organizational functions and/or technology stacks.
  2. By definition the term channel implies boundaries, containment; but given our objective of getting people to engage/transact the last thing we want to do is to constrain the flow of content.
  3. It is one-dimensional - email vs. social.   It fails to capture the new reality that consumption and intent is affected as much by device used as the channel.   
Earlier I had written about 'channel blur' which I described as the result of everything being interactive.  So, what do we replace 'multichannel' with? We probably can't just throw our hands up and say, well since we don't know let's just do it all (or nothing).

When planning campaigns we often think in terms of objectives - what do we want consumers to think or do?  And how can we make it easy for them to accomplish that?   In the world of direct-to-consumer I've begun to think in terms of a destination matrix - a grid of place and device.   Place consists of the types of, dare I say it, channels - social, email, web, while device covers mobile, tablet and computer in the digital realm.    This provides an overarching view of a campaign and allows us to ask the questions - is this the right form factor for this content? is it easy to move around the matrix? are we missing opportunities? 

Maybe I should think in terms of 'consumption' rather than 'destination' - that would be more consumer-like.

UPDATE: actually, both the destination and consumption models are needed.   The first defines what we as marketers intended the latter identifies what consumers actually did.  The difference would make for some interesting discussions. 

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