Single vs Multi, The Channel Investment Conundrum

October 4, 2021

We hear a lot today about Multi- or Omni-Channel Marketing tactics and how this is THE process and what produces the best results. If by results, ROI and profitability is the metric, then a multi-channel strategy may NOT be the answer. Marketing has evolved into a complicated process where nothing is so cut and dry as to be THE answer for every investment, and savvy use of data challenges the multi-channel practice.

The way to optimize campaign performance that delivers positive ROI starts with Data. Not just having data, but knowing how to clean, analyze and enhance it to get a clear understanding of who to target. Waste is eliminated, spend is reduced, conversions are increased and so is ROI.

Data identifies a club’s Premium Target Audience, or the subset of the local market with the highest likelihood of taking the desired action – joining the club, referring a friend, or claiming a free trial.  Budgets dictate whether there’s enough money to reach the full opportunity, or a portion of it.

When the opportunity outsizes the budget, a single-channel approach will likely net the biggest ROI, and here’s why.

Let’s say the Premium Target Audience has 10 households, and you can only invest in knocking on 2 doors and making 2 phone calls. In the multi-channel approach, you’ll reach a total of 2 households, once each with a knock, and once each with a phone call.

In the single channel approach, you’ll reach 4 households by deciding to knock OR call and choosing the method that produces the best results. The opportunity at converting a new member has just doubled in the single channel approach.

When you do have the resources to knock on all 10 doors and call all 10 households, why wouldn’t you invest in both efforts? Most of the time, lift will show that “knocking on doors" did the heavy lifting, and "phone calls” were relegated to a supporting role that assisted in conversions but weren't likely the direct cause that led the prospect to act. Careful analysis will prove whether the investment in multiple channels was profitable.

Another consideration is If you go after your best prospects each time with multiple channels, then every channel reaches the same prospects, and not all these targets are worth this kind of investment. Data-driven strategies that target personas, (i.e. life stage) create the ability to eliminate personas that, based on past performance are not converting as projected. With this intel, better performing personas, or those that convert at higher levels, are identified and thoughtful investment decisions about multiple channels can be made.

When it comes to marketing, following trends like omni-channel tactics isn’t smart unless it’s been thoroughly vetted. The risk vs reward needs to be measured to understand if ROI is possible, and the ability to do this starts with data. We firmly believe that data savvy, combined with human instincts leads to profitability. Further, our data proves it!

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