From Online to Multichannel to Online

As online marketers evolve to become multichannel marketers, might their path of evolution turn out like the well known image below?

Click to enlarge
From Online to Multichannel to Online

Isn’t it funny! We started as apes, hunched over, then started walking upright, but now we are back hunched over our laptops.

Point is: A beginning online marketer may ignore that the customers coming to her web site are often the same ones that also view her company’s TV commercials, shop in her stores, and interact with the call center. An upright walking online marketer on the other hand may look at the web site as just one out of many, many channels.

But as marketing sophistication grows, we may come to look at the online as a very special channel. Seems like whichever channel a marketing dialog begins on (say with the viewing of a TV commercial), the online channel is where hand raisers flock to for learning more, comparison shopping, maybe ordering, and maybe later registering for self-service.

The “online-only” marketer may come full circle, to become an “online-centric” marketer.

We shall see…

3 Responses to “From Online to Multichannel to Online”

  1. Akin,

    Just finished reading your book! Superb job!

    I particularly liked some of the original additions you brought to this conversation, namely:

    Maturity of Multi-channel Profiles
    Cross-Channel Funnel Report

    I will never forgive you for stealing my Curling analogy from eMetrics 2006 though (just kidding).

    I’m a firm believer the more ways we tell this story, the more likely it is people will “get it”. Great job and I certainly will be blogging about your book in the near future.

  2. Hey Jim,

    Pleasure to hear from you here. Oh boy, did I really steal that Curling analogy? It must have been subconscious, I am afraid, I felt so proud about “coming up” with it! 8-). Kind of like when I imagine I wrote a new tune and then it turns out I just copied the melody of a famous song.

    Will give all credit to you on that when I use it going forward.

    What a great analogy it is! Polishing the ice sheet to remove all obstacles in front of the curling stone to reach the house (i.e. goal). The “good marketing guy” would say the objective is to help the buyer achieve their goal instead of running into obstacles or slowing down and coming to a grind (because of too much friction). The “evil marketing guy” however would say the goal is to make the floor so slippery that buyers can’t stop themselves from sliding into your house 8-).

    Thank you for the kind words, as a veteran in the field! It is great to see which contributions you can identify as original.
    Akin

  3. Well, when I tried Curling as a metaphor for “removing friction” and “maintaining customer momentum” I distinctly recall thinking “nobody got that”. So I hope it works better for you!

    Re: “floors”, a real challenge for all of us is to get Marketing people thinking that reducing Friction is a part of what they should be doing. It’s the same thing as optimizing a web site, only for the entire business. I think the tipping point issue here is they are not using control groups – they need to Measure Customers, not Campaigns – so they can see the damage Friction is doing to the success of their Campaigns.

    So was very happy to see Control Groups as such a central issue in your book! We can’t talk enough about that idea, I think.

    By the way, would the Kerry Reilly who helped with your book be the same Kerry Reilly who helped us discover these interactive customer Friction and Momentum secrets at HSN 15 years ago?

    Amazing person, really. Can’t imagine how smart she must be today!