In a nutshell
At each moment, your customer can use different channels (physical or digital). As the number of channels that can be used for transacting with a brand is growing, you should have an answer for all potential channels and orchestrate these channels: this is what we usually call an omni-channel strategy. Not having clearly defined your channel strategy will be a brake to your goals.
In the Marketing Canvas
In the Marketing Canvas, we have identified 6 main categories for building your Marketing Strategy: Customers, Brand, Value Proposition, Journey, Conversation and Metrics. Each of these categories, have 4 dimensions which means that a total of 24 dimensions (6 by 4) are defining your Marketing Strategy.
Channels are one of the 4 dimensions of the Journey category.
How do you use it?
Channels is where interactions are happening and informations are exchanged in a defined context. Customers don’t think in terms of channels, they think in terms of experience.
Let’s start with the recognition that channels aren’t a place that customers are at in any point in time. Customers don’t think in terms of channels in their mental model. They think about their experience, the sum of all their interactions across time with a product or service. Customers think about their goals, and not whether they are traversing a landscape of channels to accomplish that goal.
Print, the web, mobile, voice calls, and brick and mortar locations are all common channels for reaching out to and interacting with customers. A channel defines the opportunities or constraints of a moment/stage/touchpoint.
It’s more realistic to think of channels as having facets and defining them in more qualitative terms, such as means of interaction, information, and context.
Interaction: What’s the means, or affordance, by which the customer interacts with you? Examples include touch devices, mouse and keyboard, keypad, or voice.
Information: What is the nature of the content being provided to or exchanged with the customer?
Context: What is the context—from environment to emotion—in which the interaction is happening?
Sometimes a channel is defined by one of these facets, but in many cases, it may be defined by two or all three. But defining channels by these facets illuminates what opportunities and constraints are afforded to you.
When working on your Marketing Strategy, You should orchestrate all your channels at each moment and between moments for offering the greatest experience for your customers.
If you want to adapt to the ever-evolving needs of consumers, who demand an ability to shop from any device at any time, you must provide seamless and personalised experiences in and across all your channels.
Question: Are you ready for any device, any time? Have you aligned all your channels for each moment in your customer journey? Physical and Digital? Processes and Systems? No Silo?
If you have not defined a clear and consistent answer for each channel and if you still have silos, it is a Brake in the Marketing Canvas Assessment because you are not systematically orchestrating the brand experience across all channels.
Are Channels of your user journey helping you achieve your goals?
Wikipedia, Ominchannel, https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnichannel