Alignment of Marketing Channels
While having more than one outlet to reach the customer is beneficial, the alignment of numerous marketing channels may present a challenge. First of all, the more marketing channels there are, the harder it is to maintain brand image consistency (Auman, 2019). This is why it is advisable to convey standardized brand information to all used outlets repeatedly and consistently (Cheung, Pires and Rosenberger, 2019). Secondly, aligning efforts is challenging because some digital channels, like social media, leave the marketer with much less control due to the possibility of unexpected customer reactivity (Chaffey and Smith, 2017). Additionally, using multiple marketing channels requires a solid understanding of user context for each of them (Kingsnorth, 2016). Ensuring the consistency of the message while adapting it to multiple user contexts can also be difficult. Finally, aligning marketing channels can prove challenging because some companies continue viewing the effectiveness of new digital outlets through the same old criteria used for television, such as the simple number of views (Mathur, Heda and Khanna, 2015). Developing and employing the proper tools for measuring marketing effectiveness for different channels can prove challenging as well.
However, for all these challenges, there is one basic reason why the alignment of marketing channels is not only possible but also feasible. Key (2017) is right to note that new digital marketing channels operate similarly to traditional ones (p. 27). It is due to the fact that they pursue the same goal of making the customers aware of and interested in the product or service and do it by appealing to the same human senses. It means that the basic techniques used to achieve marketing goals remain essentially identical. For instance, Zara, a clothing retailer based in Spain, designed its successful online store based on the same methods used for the company’s “meticulously planned show windows” in physical stores (Elizaga, 2016, p. 19). At the end of the day, marketing channels have the same purpose and utilize similar techniques, which is why aligning them does not constitute an impassable challenge.
Auman, K. (2019). Aligned marketing across all channels: Five tips to consider.
Chaffey, D. and Smith, P. R. (2017). Digital marketing excellence: Planning, optimizing, and integrating online marketing. 5th edn. London: Routledge.
Cheung, L. M., Pires, G. D. and Rosenbeger, P. G. III. (2019). ‘Developing a conceptual model for examining social media marketing effects on brand awareness and brand image.’ International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 17(3), pp.243-261.
Elizaga, U.L. (2016) The contrast of fast fashion giants Zara, H&M, and UNIQLO.
Key, Y. M. (2017). ‘Domains of digital marketing channels in the sharing economy.’ Journal of Marketing Channels, 24(1-2), pp. 27-38.
Kingsnorth, S. (2016). Digital marketing strategy: An integrated approach to online marketing. 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page.
Mathur, S., Heda, S and Khanna, V. (2015). ‘Exploring the level of digital alignment of marketing channels in businesses of NCR and Rajasthan.’ International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer Science, 6(4), pp. 7-12.