Knowing where to start, how to structure a plan, is often the most difficult part of planning, especially if you aren’t experienced in creating plans. You may already have a plan or several plans in place, and will be thinking you don’t need a multichannel marketing plan.
Depending on the type and scale of business you may have all kinds of different plans, both business wide and for individual channels where different people are responsible for each. For example:
That’s a lot of plans and a lot of complexity. All these plans can overlap and even pull in different directions. That’s why we advise bringing all the individual channel plans into one multichannel marketing plan, rather than having a disparate set of plans.
A multichannel marketing plan is a marketing communications plan. It focuses on selecting the inbound marketing techniques, content types and channels which will drive customer acquisition for defined product categories.
When integrating multichannel offline and online activities, you need to consider all the touchpoints across the whole customer journey. These are shown in our customer lifecycle chart below, which in itself shows the need for a multichannel plan – all these activities need to be planned in where relevant.
Integration is what makes a multichannel marketing communications plan essential. It can help in different situations. For example,
You may be wondering how this differs from a Digital marketing specific plan. Well, these have an important role when a business is undergoing transformation and you’re creating a long-term roadmap of digital marketing investments and changes to resources and process.
However, digital plans have the disadvantage that they may limit integration of marketing activities. We know from our research, that integration is a major challenge marketers face. Once a business has created and implemented a digital marketing plan and digital transformation is underway, digital marketing shouldn’t be seen as something separate. Instead it should be integrated.
When creating your multichannel marketing plan, always have in your mind that a successful plan needs the following:
We recommend using The SOSTAC Planning framework to structure your plan and the RACE marketing framework to structure your implementation. The multichannel marketing growth wheel is designed to help you do achieve this.
By: Dave Chaffey