In today’s multi-channel marketplace, customers are jumping from device to device, channel to channel and media source to media source throughout their buying journeys. Brands are faced with the challenge of marketing to customers who continuously change their buying habits and have no tolerance for brands that fail to deliver what they want, where they want, when they want it.
One of the most effective ways of combating this challenge is through cross-channel marketing. It is targeted towards the modern buyer – the digitally empowered – who interacts with brands via various mediums. Cross-channel marketing involves the seamless and interchangeable use of multiple channels in a complementary way to market, sell, and interact with customers.
A recent eConsultancy study found that “nearly three-quarters (73%) of marketers rate the impact of cross-channel interactions on conversions as ‘major’.” However, it may come as a huge surprise that the very same survey by eConsultancy found that only 5% of respondents felt that their organizations were setup to effectively deliver cross-channel marketing activities.
Here are four steps to take to ensure you are in that 5%, and are ready to take full advantage of cross-channel marketing in today’s marketplace:
1. Build Customer Personas & Personalize
The starting point for any cross-channel marketing strategy is considering the audience. Understanding the demographics of your audience and their participation within the marketing mix is essential and helps form customer personas. Who is most likely to engage with social media? Who is most likely to participate through email? Who is most likely to interact with in-store advertising? And, in what order do they interact with these mediums before purchasing? Content should then be personalized for these personas and served at the optimum time, exactly when the customer wants it.
2. Create Fluid Content
Cross-channel marketing is designed to direct potential customers to complete an action. Creating fluid content that ‘flows’ from marketing channel to marketing channel is a great way to do this. The right content should seamlessly and smoothly transition between marketing channels and encourage sharing from the audience. Think of a funny video advertisement posted on YouTube, that is shared on Facebook, or popular TV commercials (such as those shown during the Super Bowl) that almost certainly find their way onto YouTube and other social media platforms. The key here is creating content that is versatile enough to sit on any platform or channel, whilst containing the right triggers to encourage next steps, such as social sharing or further engagement with related content.
3. Promote Consistency
It’s essential to ensure that different marketing channels match up with each other in terms of the information they provide, the promotions they offer and their design (to an extent). This will allow customers to transition from channel to channel seamlessly, promoting deeper engagement, brand equity and complementarity between channels.
To ensure that a customer’s interaction with your brand is consistent, those in charge of managing the different marketing channels need to bridge silos and coordinate so everyone knows the part they have to play and is on the same page.
4. Think Data
Data is a modern day marketer’s best friend (or arch-nemesis). However you see it, data is essential to measuring the success of your marketing efforts. For cross-channel marketing strategies, it is essential to have access to tools that can track each channel and provide actionable, insightful data into how each channel is performing. This data can then be pieced together to form a complete view of the entire marketing mix, including how each channel interacts with another.
To avoid manually assembling this data from multiple sources, use an ‘all-in-one’ marketing technology that tracks and provides reporting on all marketing channels. These solutions provide access to comprehensive data from a centralized hub, increasing efficiency by providing relevant data in one place.
The aim of cross-channel marketing is to extract the most value possible from content, using the mix of marketing channels to compliment one another and provide a seamless brand experience across marketing channels for a customer.
To successfully implement a cross-channel strategy, understanding the full marketing mix is essential, in particular how each channel interacts with one another. Access to real-time, comprehensive data makes this possible and this is where Impact Radius comes in. Our digital marketing platform allows brands to track all marketing channels and access performance data in real-time from a centralized hub. Get in touch with us to find out how Impact Radius can help you move your cross-channel marketing efforts forward.