Marketing Strategies

Connecting the Dots in a Multichannel World

In the past, a successful multichannel marketing campaign meant having a large and varied presence across channels. In 2021, it’s not enough to merely have a presence; marketers need to ensure their campaigns have an extensive reach, compelling messaging, are consistent across channels, and generate engagement. Many marketers struggle to make this connected marketing approach a reality and measure their success reliably.

CMOs are excited by the promises of a smarter, more cost-effective way of marketing that generates promising results (as illustrated in the chart below), so they expect their teams to adopt this approach and report on its effectiveness.

Even with the focus on multichannel strategies, many marketing teams lack the skillsets, resources, time, and infrastructure to connect channels, provide cross-device touchpoints, and offer identity resolution across devices. Attribution modeling, a framework for analyzing which touchpoints or marketing channels receive credit for a conversion, can help with connecting the dots.

An effective multichannel strategy starts with accurate data

A recent study of US marketing executives identified two overarching factors for the effectiveness of multichannel marketing campaigns: data accuracy (73%) and understanding audience needs (70%).1

These two factors are intertwined, as marketers can only understand audience needs through accurate data. In addition, 48% of survey respondents indicated personalization as a pivotal contributor to multichannel campaign success, which can only be achieved if clean, quality data powers your attribution models.

Identity resolution is key in multichannel marketing programs

Through identity resolution, companies collect identifiers across devices and touchpoints and match them back to an individual customer. Tying cross-channel behavior (be it through email, display, website, direct mail, social, CTV or more) to a unique identity gives marketers a clearer picture of who the consumer is, what products they are interested in, how they interact with the company and what their paths to purchase look like.

Third-party cookies have been the primary way companies follow consumers around the web. However, with Google phasing out the third-party cookie by January 2022, this method will no longer apply. After the cookie is gone, marketers need to work more closely with data providers to find alternative ways to fill the gaps in the consumer journey through reliable data that supports identity resolution.

Solve the challenge of cross-channel performance measurement

Many companies have difficulty measuring program performance and explaining how a campaign performed outside of single-channel siloes. With so many touchpoints in the customer journey, it’s easy to see why. Measuring success can mean a variety of things – from tracking overall revenue to multichannel attribution to individual shoppers.

There are 6 types of commonly used attribution models:

  • First Interaction: attributes 100% of a conversion to the first marketing touchpoint the consumer interacted with.
  • Last Interaction: attributes 100% of a conversion to the final interaction before a consumer converts.
  • Last Non-Direct Click: attributes 100% of a conversion to the last channel the customer interacted with before converting.
  • Linear: this model splits credit for the conversion between every touchpoint along the customer journey.
  • Time-Decay: attributes more credit to the channels the customer came into contact with before they converted, with less credit given to initial interactions.
  • Position-Based: attributes 40% of the conversion to the first interaction, 40% to the last and 20% is evenly divided between the middle interactions.

These models can be used on their own or in conjunction with each other. Using more than one model provides more insights into the effectiveness of different touchpoints throughout the customer journey

Brand example: Apple creates multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey

“Ecommerce giant” isn’t the first thing that people associate with Apple, but it’s surprisingly accurate. The electronics company uses their brick and mortar stores to showcase their newest products, provide in-person customer service, and drive brand immersion. That isn’t to say that people don’t buy products in-store, but Apple has learned that the stores serve their customers better as a stop along their buying journey, rather than the endpoint.2

Now that the foundation is in place, build your multichannel program

Multichannel strategy development isn’t a ‘one-and-done’. It is a multi-step process that builds upon each previous step to continue to refine and drive new insights and better marketing decisions. When building a new campaign or program, make sure to consider each of the steps below:

  1. Analytical Review: analysis of previous marketing efforts to build a baseline and identify areas of opportunity for testing.
  2. Campaign Framework Development: creation of a multichannel strategic framework that identifies the right marketing channels, the right budget to put against each channel, the goals for each tactic, and the right timing and frequency of engagement.
  3. Story Creation: development of content & visuals to support the program as customers move across each channel to ensure a cohesive and unified customer experience.
  4. Test Plan: identify testing opportunities and design reporting methodology to track the program’s successes and identify the need for additional measurement to provide more in-depth campaign insights.
  5. Program Launch & Optimization: launch the program and refine based on real-time results.
  6. Post-Campaign Analysis: in-depth reporting and analysis on what worked, what didn’t, and what should be tested in the next campaign. Multichannel marketing is all about testing and refining the strategy, and this post-campaign analysis is step #1 in the creation of the next campaign.

Brand example: Topshop combines online and offline channels to increase conversions

Topshop, one of the UK’s top apparel retailers, launched a multichannel campaign for London Fashion Week to bring attention to its latest catalog. The retailer used the event’s hashtag, #LFW, and let followers know if they used the hashtag, the billboard would display the tweet alongside a relevant item from the Topshop catalog. Followers could also tweet #colourblocking if they wanted related lookbook outfits to appear on the billboard. The billboard locations were chosen strategically – they were all placed within walking distance of Topshop stores, so viewers could pop into a store if they saw an outfit they liked.

By combining online interactions with out-of-home advertising and in-person shopping, Topshop increased revenue for the advertised outfits by 75%.3


Building a multichannel program that will boost consumer engagement can be daunting. But starting with accurate data and a clear plan for performance measurement are a great stepping stone as it can help marketers determine the right marketing mix for their organization, maximize ROI, and drive smarter strategic decisions as they strive to create effective campaigns.

Interested in giving your multichannel marketing strategy a refresh? Here’s how we can help.



Nessa Felleson
VP Strategy

Nessa Felleson is VP Strategy for Data Axle's Axle Agency. Her role is helping companies develop the right marketing strategies to meet their overarching business goals and objectives. Prior to Data Axle she defined, executed and reported on marketing strategies at a handful of smaller agencies in Minneapolis including NordicClick Interactive, Michaels Wilder and TMP Directional Marketing. Outside of marketing, Nessa resides in the heart of Downtown Denver but can often be found outside during all seasons biking, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, snowshoeing or whatever the season calls for.