This guide covers what you need to know about cross-channel marketing and how to use it for best results.
In today’s marketplace, consumers hold more influence than ever, making it essential for marketers to understand where their target audience interacts and when.
Focusing on a single channel is not enough to gain a complete understanding of your audience, making it difficult to create a personalized customer experience.
With a cross-channel marketing approach, every interaction with your brand can be considered, allowing you to tailor your message at every step of the customer journey for optimal engagement.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about applying cross-channel marketing to your brand.
What is Cross-Channel Marketing?
Cross-channel marketing refers to integrating different marketing channels to provide a seamless customer journey for your intended audience.
These channels should work in sync with each other to provide a consistent message that leads from one channel to the other.
Through targeted engagement across various touchpoints, marketers can employ people-based marketing to create in-depth customer profiles that enable personalization and foster loyalty.
By leveraging this strategy, companies can cultivate deeper relationships with their customers and optimize their marketing efforts to achieve better results.
Why Use Cross-Channel Marketing?
Applying cross-channel marketing is a necessity for any kind of brand today. With so many different digital marketing channels available, spreading your brand across them is important.
Here are some of the main benefits of using cross-channel marketing.
Improves the Customer Journey
As a marketer, adopting a holistic approach to understanding the customer journey is crucial. Research indicates that cross-channel marketing campaigns can improve marketing budget efficiencies by 15 to 20% by accurately attributing marketing tactics to customer actions or influence. Additionally, 73% of shoppers purchase from multiple channels, highlighting the need for a unified approach to customer engagement.
Marketers must consider both online and offline channels to achieve a comprehensive view of the customer journey. Relying on a siloed approach will not suffice in today’s interconnected world.
Instead, marketers should use centralized databases to store customer data in a unified location, allowing them to run integrated and cohesive campaigns.
By doing so, marketers can build a deeper understanding of their customers and create a more personalized experience.
2. Improves Engagement
Customers who engage with retailers through multiple channels are extremely valuable for your business.
A survey found that 62% of respondents who engage with 10 or more channels purchase at least once a week. Building emotional connections between consumers and brands is critical, and engaging interactions are often the deciding factor in converting your target audience into loyal customers.
Given that customers interact with brands on various channels, it’s essential to proactively engage with them rather than wait for them to discover your brand.
One effective strategy is to use targeted hashtags and encourage users to share your content with direct response marketing. Any effort encouraging people to interact with your brand can boost engagement and foster long-term loyalty.
As such, it’s critical to invest in building strong relationships with your customers across multiple touchpoints to maximize the impact of your marketing campaigns.
3. Builds a Stronger Brand
Utilizing multiple channels can give your brand greater visibility, enhancing brand recognition and customer loyalty.
Take Apple, for instance. They leverage various channels, including physical stores, a sleek website, TV commercials, and digital ads. Apple can maintain a cohesive look and message across all touchpoints by adhering to a consistent brand and style guide.
These different channels work in synergy, with brick-and-mortar stores serving as a support system for the entire Apple ecosystem. While customers aren’t necessarily expected to make a purchase during their visit to a physical store, they are provided with a comprehensive brand experience beyond the moment of purchase. Each channel is complementary to the others, working in tandem to create an immersive and memorable brand experience.
By adopting this approach, businesses can create a deeper connection with their customers and foster long-term brand loyalty.
Cross-Channel Marketing Challenges
Cross-channel marketing presents a unique set of challenges as it transforms a straightforward customer journey into a more intricate and multifaceted experience.
Launching a cross-channel campaign requires careful measurement of a wide range of media channels, and the number of available channels is continually growing. However, many brands struggle to keep up with the latest trends and fail to embrace new platforms, leading to many common challenges.
As such, it’s essential for brands to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing technologies and to remain agile in their approach to achieve optimal results in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.
Reaching the Right People at the Right Time
In today’s marketing landscape, the sheer number of channels available to reach potential customers can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned marketers. Determining the most effective way to target your audience can be challenging and even harder at the optimal time.
One study found that 40% of marketers struggle to leverage advanced strategies to reach their target demographic at the right time. This requires careful selection of the right time and place to display ads and following best practices for each channel.
It’s important to remember that what works on one platform may not work on another, so understanding the nuances of each channel is crucial for success.
2. Getting the Right Insights and Data
In the age of big data, organizations face the challenge of sifting through a massive amount of information to extract meaningful insights. For many businesses, data quality is still a major hurdle.
According to a survey, 34% of data leaders believe they could better leverage insights to improve decision-making. In comparison, 42% of customer analytics professionals struggle with data quality, ranking it as their top challenge.
High-quality data is essential for marketers to make informed decisions that will drive business growth. Accurate data insights allow marketers to understand consumer behavior, deliver targeted campaigns, and measure ROI. As we move toward a cookieless future, businesses must find new ways to collect and analyze data to maintain a competitive edge.
3. Choosing the Right Marketing Channels
Selecting the right marketing channels can be daunting for many organizations. One of the biggest challenges is determining where and when the target audience spends most of their time.
Understanding the audience on a granular level is essential, as not all platforms will reach them.
When planning a cross-channel campaign, it’s crucial to ensure that each channel works seamlessly with the others to increase the chances of getting the message in front of the target audience at the right time. The value of each channel and its place in the customer journey should be considered when choosing an advertising channel.
Moreover, keeping the campaign objective in mind is crucial to determine which channel is best suited for the results you are aiming for. Whether it is to capture leads, generate impressions, or improve engagement, each channel needs to be evaluated for its ability to achieve these goals.
4. Using the Right Marketing Attribution
Despite the availability of marketing attribution models and data quality, many companies are still lagging in utilizing them effectively.
Shockingly, only 21% of marketers have used a marketing attribution model regularly in their campaigns. Furthermore, less than half of corporate strategies mention data and analytics in their plans, leaving significant gaps in their understanding of consumer behavior.
Marketers often track metrics like click-through rates and overlook other important metrics, leading to incorrect attribution.
For instance, only counting those who clicked on an ad, disregarding the impact it may have had on future conversions. Although media mix modeling and multi-touch attribution are popular options for marketing analytics, they cannot provide real-time data or a comprehensive view of campaigns.
Instead, marketers need to combine raw data and person-level insights to achieve a more holistic approach to attribution.
6 Cross-Channel Marketing Tips
Regarding cross-channel marketing, the ultimate goal is to create personalized and engaging experiences for your customers. To achieve this, consider implementing the following best practices when crafting a campaign.
Utilize Data-Driven Decision-Making
Data-driven decision-making is key to developing a successful cross-channel marketing campaign.
Analyze your target audience, their preferred platforms, and what messaging they respond to by gathering high-quality data from multiple channels.
This will help you identify patterns and trends in customer behavior, which can be used to contextualize your audience’s preferences and decision-making processes.
Create Comprehensive Customer Personas
Combining aggregate and person-level customer data allows you to create detailed customer profiles that reveal important insights into their motivation and shopping habits. This allows you to identify key segments within your audience, which can inform your future strategies and messaging.
Assign a Designated Leadership Role
A designated leader clearly understands that each channel’s role is crucial for keeping your team on track. Organizations outperforming their peers often have a leadership position dedicated to multi-channel marketing.
Choose the Right Marketing Technology
You need a marketing platform that collects accurate, high-quality data to gain actionable insights into your customer’s preferences.
Automation is also important for streamlining communications and creating a cohesive customer journey. Your marketing technology should allow you to optimize when you show ads, which channels you display your ads, and the messages you use to interact with your target audience.
Continuously Optimize for Multiple KPIs
Evaluating past performance and applying lessons learned to future strategies is crucial for creating successful campaigns. Continuously optimizing for multiple key performance indicators (KPIs) throughout the entire marketing funnel provides important insights into marketing ROI.
Use a Unified Marketing Measurement Approach
A unified marketing measurement approach provides a comprehensive view of each channel and campaign’s overall impact on driving conversions.
By considering all factors, you can better understand the impact of each campaign on driving conversions, allowing you to make informed decisions about optimizing your budget and avoiding advertising waste.
Creating a seamless customer experience across all marketing platforms is essential for organizations and cross-channel marketing strategies can help achieve this goal.
Fortunately, with advanced solutions, companies can streamline this process and make ongoing campaign optimization more manageable. By constantly evaluating campaign success and ensuring that branding and content are consistent across all touchpoints, organizations can guide their customers through a cohesive experience.
This, in turn, promotes customer engagement, drives brand loyalty, and enhances customer retention rates.