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Marketing Matters: Multi-channeling Key to Success

By: Donna C. Barson
Posted: April 2, 2007

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What if you don’t have a bricks-and-mortar presence, but still want to multi-channel? Personal care powerhouse Avon faced this situation, and came up with a fascinating solution. The company offered its sales reps the opportunity to create their own individual online stores. Each store features the representative’s photograph, along with a button for easy customer contact. In effect, it’s similar to having the rep at one’s home 24/7.

At the individualized online store, customers can determine if they want their order delivered by a rep personally or mailed—thus maintaining the personal relationship that is at the heart of Avon’s success. The customer’s invoice contains their local rep’s information, thus making it seem that it was ordered right around the corner. 

This is yet another example of multi-channeling, reinforcing once again a standard idiom of marketing in today’s world: Adapt or perish. It may not have quite the zing of “survival of the fittest,” but if Darwin was involved in the personal care industry today, he would understand the meaning perfectly.

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