Through a variety of channels, such as email, SMS, the web, in-store, mobile phones, call centres, applications, and direct mail, marketers can connect with their target audience through cross-channel marketing. Reaching out to new customers and engaging with them across the channels they use is the aim of cross-channel marketing (from acquisition to loyalty and retention).
Sending the most appropriate message at the correct moment is a nearly impossible goal for your marketing team to accomplish every day. The customer journey is more complex than ever, making it challenging to apply the ideal marketing strategy across a variety of traditional and emerging platforms. If you’re unfamiliar with cross-channel marketing, allow us to introduce you to the fundamentals, highlight the major effects on your company’s operations, and present you a blueprint of doable actions you can take to build your brand.
What is Cross-channel Marketing?
Marketers must create a cross-channel marketing experience relevant to their customers during the purchase phase. Cross-channel marketing is about amalgamating marketing channels to frame a more consistent consumer journey. The channels need to work together to create a connected message sent from one to the other. By interacting with consumers at different touchpoints, marketers can use personalized cross-channel marketing to develop rich profiles that help them personalize their customer experience and build loyalty.
You can create the experience your customers expect by tracking and monitoring their behavior and editing critical customer data. Cross-channel marketing is a customer-centric digital marketing method used by marketers worldwide to provide an integrated experience for all paid, owned, and earned media and digital experiences. This is a great way to implement data and analytics, create your cross-channel marketing strategy, and create an omnichannel customer journey to your goals. When designing your campaign, you need to be aware of multiple channels and track all campaigns.
First, the cross-channel marketing team needs to evaluate the marketing technology stack. For example, marketers use technologies that help them use their mobile phones to send messages to their customers. And then there are the teams and technologies used to send emails to customers and more.
- The first step is to understand the technology your cross-channel marketing team uses for each channel.
- Then take a look at all the teams.
- Companies need to evaluate how they feel about customer data. For example, customers may respond better to direct mail than email campaigns, but they still receive email.
- Marketers need to understand who their customers are and which channels they are using.
- Enterprises need to approach cross-channel marketing as a step-by-step approach. You can start by identifying channels you want to improve or focus on. For example, if you’re improving your email campaign, you can start sending your email campaign based on your customer journey. And if you want to manage it and increase your cross-channel marketing maturity, you can add the most meaningful channels to your customer base.
Best Practice For a Well-formed Cross-channel Marketing Strategy
Here are some suggestions for a successful cross-channel marketing strategy:
1. Create a buyer persona
Before developing a customer cross-channel marketing strategy, it is vital to understand the customer. To do this, you need to create a buyer persona that contains information about customer preferences, behaviors, buying habits, and preferred communication channels. This helps you understand your viewers’ needs, desires, and issues. Remember that the more familiar you are with each buyer, the more specific your strategy is. Research everything about your buyer and figure out:
- What are they buying?
- How often do they buy?
- How are these purchases made?
- Where does the traffic come from?
2. Use complementary media
When choosing a channel for cross-channel marketing, you need to choose. Specific channels work more closely than others. Be sure to include all the channels your audience interacts with your brand most. For example, you can ask your customers to check in to the store from your app or include the URL in your email. Common media that complement each other are:
- Retail/mobile TV / mobile phone
- Radio / Mobile
- Computer / TV
- Computer / mobile device
3. Standardize the data
The backbone of a cross-channel marketing strategy is to keep all your data on the Customer Data Platform (CDP). It’s crucial to capture and analyze lead touchpoints using analytics data. This typically involves:
- connecting online actions
- using individual lead profiles
- using browser cookies or tracking URLs.
Track and analyze the emails sent to them and exchanged by them. You also need to know the blog posts they read, the social media campaigns they participated in, and how the customer support team had conversations with them. All this data must be included in the CDP.
4. Targeting content to a particular buyer’s journey
Every customer’s journey is different, and each needs to be treated differently. Therefore, your content strategy should be designed to fit well with the journey of all buyers. For example, if a customer exits the shopping cart, you can email a discount. You can also send a thank-you email to the purchaser of the product.
5. Use social media
Social media is one of the most critical channels for implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy. Some social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest, allow you to connect with your audience using visual elements. At the same time, it provides an opportunity to interact directly with consumers. This is not possible with most other channels.
This can increase consumer engagement, brand awareness, and even conversions. As mentioned above, you can also use social media to redirect traffic to other channels and define a buyer’s persona. Therefore, building a robust cross-channel marketing strategy requires a solid social media presence.
6. Paid social media
Paid social media can further refine your cross-channel marketing strategy. A popular option is, for example, Facebook Pixel. You can use it to target customers who revisit specific websites that contain relevant content. You can retarget your customers on many social media platforms.
7. Test in the control group
- A control group is a consumer group that doesn’t receive ads from the cross-channel marketing campaign.
- It can determine which cross-channel marketing campaigns are working better by measuring the effect of engagement campaigns.
- The controls also tell marketers whether they should not run any cross-channel marketing campaigns for a particular consumer segment and let those consumers follow the usual path.
- After testing and analyzing a cross-channel marketing campaign, you can send the same campaign to the control group at any time after the test is complete.
- Do not send phony cross-channel marketing campaigns to anyone; instead, test the effectiveness of your campaign in small bits.
8. Invest in customer support
To avoid losing your customers, you need to ensure that customer support is always available. You must do your best to solve any problems your customers have to improve their satisfaction. Otherwise, they may switch to another brand. This is especially important for marketers, who can end up in customer anger if they don’t get good customer support. This helps to resolve customer questions quickly.
They should aim to provide outstanding service that makes customers feel respected and valued. It creates positive reviews that increase customer loyalty and increase your brand awareness. Ensure that customer service-related interactions flow smoothly across all channels.
9. Integrate survey results
It is vital to form a powerful cross-channel marketing campaign and analyze it. Incorporate insights from cross-channel marketing campaigns to create a seamless experience. Ask yourself the following questions:
- If your Social Media Strategy support your Strategy?
- Does my campaign convey the same message across different channels?
- Does each channel support the appropriate target group?
- Which Social Media Platform is the Best?
- Proper integration of all channels will improve the customer experience.
- Your customers will confidently know what to expect each time they come into contact with your brand.
Below are some brands that are effective in cross-channel marketing.
- KFC implements cross-channel marketing, especially using email and Facebook ads.
- Netflix promotes its products specifically via email and Instagram. However, if done correctly, cross-channel marketing can help brands better understand the customers to make future campaign decisions.
The two brands that have been successful using multiple channels in their campaigns are:
1. Mercedes-Benz has brought CLA products to market using a campaign strategy that uses digital and offline methods. The company said this was the best product launch in 20 years. They used Generation Benz online community research to improve their tactics and gain user understanding. They decided to do a Super Bowl commercial with Usher and Kate Upton to launch the CLA. They came up with a microsite for their products, bought Facebook ads, and formed the hashtag #clatakethewheel to facilitate engagement.
They also teamed up with famous Instagram photographer and celebrity YouTube personality Casey Neistat to participate in influencer cross-channel marketing. Mercedes earned more than about 2 million likes and 85 million organic impressions towards the end of the campaign. The CLA model was solely responsible for the company’s sales growth in November. This is a 14% increase over the previous year.
Starbucks combined an offline and online experience that provides personalized recommendations to consumers based on their shopping habits by using the app. Your audience will also receive push notifications for sales or other Starbucks promotions that drive more foot traffic. Through an integrated experience, Starbucks responds effectively to customers almost anytime. Artificial intelligence has provided consumer insights that understand behavior and predict it. Customers can check and replenish their cards from their mobile phones in real-time, making it easy to shop anytime, anywhere.
How to Enforce a Cross-channel Marketing Campaign
Cross-channel marketing is more complex, but it increases your chances of success by contacting potential customers and increasing your chances of connecting with your brand.
Before embarking on a cross-channel marketing program, here are some tips to help you develop a successful strategy.
1. Break the open sales silo
The most significant barrier to success in cross-channel marketing is the silo spirit around the delivery system and the people who run those areas. Silo prevents marketing organizations from providing authentic, pure, cross-channel marketing experiences to their customers and prospects.
Cross-channel marketing requires a broader and more holistic view of your marketing goals. Different departments need to work together. This means coordinating marketing techniques in cross-promotion across various media channels to maintain message consistency and branding. Everyone needs to devote themselves to this effort and create a seamless experience.
2. Use several touchpoint options
Cross-channel marketing allows you to create many different customer contacts. Take this opportunity to collect and compile more customer data to optimize your cross-channel marketing. Touchpoints come in several formats – Emails, newsletters, surveys, and closed content.
3. Test cross-channel marketing activities
Send your cross-promotion efforts to half of your audience and see how well they work. This is called A/B testing. You can see if your audience is responsive to cross-promotion and if it’s impacting your sales. You can also test which elements of cross-promotion work and which do not. You can also use multivariate testing to test multiple variants (not just A and B versions).
4. Gain insights into your target audience
The data collected from tests, touchpoints, and metrics display what is targeted to your audience and what isn’t. Which channel do you like? Who should you connect to? It’s all numbers. This data can be used to further personalize and improve the experience.
5. Cross-channel marketing programs are more cost-effective when content is available on different channels. Blog posts can, for example, be used on social media or converted into technical articles. A copy of the email is available on the landing page. Video interviews are available in podcasts. Once you know what your audience wants, you can convey it in various forms and media. It adds consistency and provides a more seamless cross-channel experience.
The future of cross-channel marketing
In today’s digital world, you cannot do without having a robust cross-channel marketing plan that allows you to build better relationships and reach more leads. The data is also for discovery, compilation, and further customer insight. You need to be in line with all your teammates and ready to take on the challenge. Cross-channel marketing is a combination of multiple advertising methods that ensure that potential customers go smoothly from one stage to the next to reach a sales goal.