What is cross-channel marketing?
In order to understand cross-channel marketing, you must first understand marketing channels. Marketing channels refers to all of the various places you can promote your business, both online and offline. You may be using more channels than you think. Anything that allows you to communicate with your target audience is an opportunity to market your brand. This can include radio advertising placements, live chat on your website, your social media platforms, online search ads, and more.
Cross-channel marketing is a type of marketing that uses multiple channels to promote a brand. It focuses on the customer journey and customizes offers for each stage of the funnel. Cross-channel marketing goes a step further than using multiple channels, by also making sure that each channel is aligned to create a cohesive customer experience.
Is cross-channel marketing right for you?
It’s better to market on multiple channels than just one, and it’s even better to market on multiple channels at once. Cross-channel marketing is the best way to go if you want to reach the most people and have the biggest impact.
You can increase your results by customizing your offers to a person’s stage in the funnel. By doing this, you are increasing their chances of conversion at each stage. This personalized approach also helps to make your brand more memorable, and increases your chances of turning prospects into customers.
You don’t have much time. That’s right! A lot of people believe that marketing across multiple channels requires a lot of time. However, when you align your efforts across different platforms, you can simplify tasks such as asset creation and reporting.
Don’t spend all your money on one thing, because then you won’t have any money left for other things. Having multiple opportunities to spend your money wisely will help you get the most value for your money.
Your consumers are constantly on the go and are being exposed to a variety of marketing channels. By using cross-channel marketing, you will be able to reach them at every stage of the sales process.
Benefits of cross-channel marketing
- The average consumer needs to interact with a brand at least seven times before they become a customer. Cross-channel marketing helps you to make each of those encounters super-relevant, potentially even reducing the number of encounters needed..
- 87% of consumers want brands to provide more consistent experiences. With multi-channel marketing, your content is siloed for each platform. Whereas with cross-channel marketing, you’ll be able to provide a seamless brand experience throughout the buyer’s journey.
- Brands using three or more marketing channels see a 287% higher conversion rate.
- Businesses that engage with people across multiple channels see nearly 90% of their customers returning for more later. This means that cross-channel marketing can increase your brand loyalty over time.
It is essential to use cross-channel marketing in order to achieve your marketing objectives.
Multichannel vs. omnichannel vs. cross-channel marketing
Although all three of these concepts might appear to be the same, they actually have some key distinctions. Each one of them is an additional step closer to creating a customer experience that is fluid and uninterrupted.
Cross-channel marketing is an extension of multichannel marketing wherein each channel works together to provide a seamless experience to the customer. Omnichannel marketing is the seamless integration of all channels so that the customer has a unified experience regardless of the channel used.
There are disconnects between channels when customers switch, making it difficult to gather and interpret marketing analytics.
Cross-channel marketing refers to sharing data across channels in order to deliver a better customer experience. This is similar to multichannel marketing in many ways, but there are some key differences.
Since all the channels work together, it’s easy to get comprehensive analytics and see the strengths and weaknesses of each interaction point.
Omnichannel marketing is the most advanced type of marketing, as it allows for the use of multiple channels at the same time.
For example, customers can use their smartphones to research a product they’re interested in while they’re in the brick-and-mortar store.
New opportunities for marketing analytics are opened up by this level of data cross-connectivity – for example, attributing leads to data.
While it is important to have a system to store your marketing data, it can be difficult to extract useful information from it if you have a lot of data. That’s why marketers use data warehouses and ETL systems to manage their data.
It is evident that these marketing methods have many similarities. Cross-channel and omnichannel marketing are advanced versions of multichannel marketing. Although there are some slight variations, each one affects marketing in a unique way.
How to get started with cross-channel marketing
In this section we will discuss how to take the theoretical concepts of cross-channel marketing and analytics and apply them in the real world to increase leads and improve customer experience.
The first step to targeting your customers is to analyze your market and identify who your potential customers are.
Start by creating or reviewing your buyer personas.
It’s better to start from what you already know. Here are some questions to base your B2C buyer persona on:
- What is your customer’s current occupation?
- What industry are they in?
- What age are they?
- What social media platforms do they use?
- What does their average day look like?
- How do they prefer to interact with other vendors?
- Which of their daily challenges can your product solve?
The questions below are just an example of the types of questions you may need to answer depending on your business, product, and niche. Every business will have different questions that need to be answered in order to be successful.
It is important to know who your ideal customer is and to keep that image in mind. Additionally, you should be aware of your company’s development vector.
A cross-channel marketing strategy can be customized to fit your customers’ needs. You can target the right channels for your campaign by creating buyer personas.
Find the right channels
You know what your ideal customer looks like and you know the channels they use.
For example, if your main customers are 21 to 25 years old, you might want to focus your marketing efforts on Instagram and Pinterest.
when targeting 45+-year-old C-suite executives, your effective communication channels would be LinkedIn, Forbes articles, webinars, and more.
After you finish your research, you can carry out your plan.
It is essential to create customer journeys in order to effectively communicate with prospects and understand their pain points and goals.
Customer journey mapping
This strategy will help you figure out which channels your audience uses and how they behave on each one.
The process involves creating visual maps of your customer’s interaction with your brand at various stages, e.g., the awareness stage, where prospects establish contact with your brand. In the awareness stage, customers become aware of your brand and begin to engage with it.
The main goal of customer journey mapping is to understand what your audience is thinking and feeling, and what motivates them to behave in certain ways.
You can use the insights to create custom cross-channel marketing strategies. For example, if your customers are more likely to be active on social media, you can encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter on social media.
Now it’s time to take action.
The potential customer begins their search for an outdoor jacket by searching Google for “buy outdoor gear”.
If your SEO and content marketing are effective, the prospect will find you on the first page of the search engine and become interested in your outdoor jackets.
After discovering your product, the potential customer will likely want to see it in action.
Showcasing your apparel’s features and durability in the wilderness via YouTube is a great way to drive further engagement and interest in your brand. You can integrate YouTube videos into your website, and invite viewers to visit your channel after watching the video.
Mentioning influencers on a YouTube channel has various benefits. Firstly, it builds trust and increases opportunities. Secondly, it increases brand visibility. Finally, mentions from popular travel influencers can help brands generate more leads.
This allows you to evaluate an influencer’s campaign to see how well it did.
You can keep your subscribers updated on promotions, new products, and upcoming events by redirecting them from your website and YouTube channel to other social media platforms. You can also captivate them with stunning landscape photos to establish a stronger bond with the brand.
You shouldn’t ignore email newsletters because they have a really high ROI.
Create a newsletter that covers recent events in the outdoor industry, provides guides on natural wonders, and keeps users up to date on the latest COVID restrictions.
Don’t think of a newsletter as a way to sell things. Instead, think of it as a way to share information. Morning Brew is an outstanding example of how you can turn a boring newsletter into your main source of engagement.
A newsletter with straight sales pitches is less likely to be subscribed to and read than one with real value. A newsletter with real value also builds credibility for the brand and increases the likelihood that users will recommend it to others.
However, you should still start with SEO There are many other marketing channels you can use in addition to SEO, such as paid ads, demand-side platforms, podcasts, and others.
You need to continue working even after you have acquired new customers from your cross-channel marketing campaigns. You need to identify which areas are not doing well and find ways to improve them.
Gathering marketing data
Extracting marketing data and structuring it so it can be analyzed is the most challenging task in cross-channel marketing analytics. The data comes from many different sources, so it can’t be gathered manually. This is a problem when working with a large number of channels.
ETL platforms are used by marketing teams (and all teams that work closely with data) to manage all data operations. Using Improvado as an example, let’s figure out how these ETLs work.
Improado is an ETL platform designed to simplify data collection and warehousing for marketing and sales needs. It offers 300+ turnkey integrations with different ad platforms and software solutions, allowing users to easily and efficiently connect data from Google Analytics and Search Console to Salesforce and Pipedrive.
The platform extracts data from its integrations without any coding or data engineering, which makes complex SQL transformations accessible to every non-technical marketer.
The software stores marketing and sales insights in a data warehouse, so any company employee can easily access them. The data pipeline then transfers the information to a business intelligence tool, where marketers can set up detailed dashboards with tens of charts and graphs displaying their metrics.
Analyzing gathered information
You can make reasonable business decisions based on all of the data in your email.
Business intelligence tools allow you to take raw data and turn it into informative visual stories that explain how your campaigns are performing in real time.
Charts that provide examples can help you understand how well each channel and campaign is performing over time, how they work together, and what results you can expect in the future.
The level of analytics maturity that your company has will determine the advantages that you can get from analyzing your data, as well as the amount of effort that you will need to invest. The more analytically mature your organization is, the more insights you can get from your marketing data.
The software that you use to analyze your data is very important to the success of your cross-channel marketing campaign. All of the different software platforms you use (e.g. data visualization, databases, analytics, ETL) need to work together seamlessly, or else the data analysis could take too long or the final results could be inaccurate.
Pitfalls of cross-channel marketing campaigns
There are several potential problems with cross-channel marketing that you should be aware of.
Cross-channel marketing is a tangled process
Keeping track of everything in a cross-channel campaign can be difficult because there are many different marketing tools, a lot of data, and different channels.
I think you’ll need to get more people for your marketing team to handle all the different channels. The content creators will take care of social media and blogs, the PPC specialists will be in charge of paid ads, and the video producers will work on YouTube and making educational videos.
An efficient data infrastructure is necessary in order to effectively manage the large volume of data generated by various marketing sources.
An ETL system designed for marketing can fix this problem. It collects data from any marketing source automatically, arranges conflicting data correctly, and makes it easy for marketers and other experts to find.
Focusing on multiple channels
One of the marketers’ biggest problems with cross-channel marketing is that they tend to distribute their efforts unequally between channels.
Cross-channel marketing is important because you can’t rely on just a few channels to be successful. Even if they’re doing well, you should develop other channels to improve your customer experience and brand values.
Email campaigns can be a lot of work, especially if you already have a lot of other things going on. It’s important to be strategic about how you plan and manage your resources so that you can make the most of your email campaigns.