Marketing Diagrams That Make It All Make Sense — Part 1: Available Channels
Smart Insights produced a list of over 120 marketing / service / delivery and transactional channels — though their list uses much more detailed segmentation (e.g. Weinberg lists “Social and Display Ads” together, whereas Smart Insights breaks them apart, and then down to “LinkedIn Ads” and “Facebook Ads” and more).
Tons of channels: what it means for marketers.
The proliferation of channels makes it difficult for marketers to know where to go, where to buy, what’s working and where to attribute results. Indeed, an entire sector of advertising technology (“adtech”) is dedicated attribution.
These products tend to rely on tracking individuals across various media using various technology. (Here, “various media” means all these different “channels” for content/advertising/marketing; “various technology” means all the ways the Internet can deliver information about an individual — cookies and IP addresses being the two most common).
It’s a tough thing, marketing attribution. Ad-blocking, click fraud, device changes, and generally poor information quality follow attribution around like haunting ghosts. And as much as attribution technology has improved, negative trends are also gaining ground. This is the case with ad-blocking, where mind-boggling growth rates have led to its adoption by nearly 10% of the world’s Internet users.
All this to say: know your options for reaching customers.
Because of the difficulty of multi-/cross-channel attribution, and the rise of negative trends, it’s critical for marketing leaders to map the media landscape available to them. Think of it like finding the best route to reaching a destination — using a mix of highways and backroads and vehicles.
Here is our list of channels, broken down into two offline groups and one online group.
Note that we include websites — yes, they cost money and deliver content to your audience. Websites can be optimized, and they can be total failures. The appeal and speed of your website has a direct impact on conversion rates and other critical metrics.
We’ve captioned this “Brand-Controlled” to signify either Paid or Owned Media. (We’re all familiar, I assume, with Paid/Owned/Earned Media designations). Earned Media is inherently not controlled by the brand, it is earned.
Follow me (Evan Dunn) for sequels, some of which already exist!