We’ve already seen two generations growing into or currently getting prepared for their entrepreneur chairs since the dawn of the digital age. Much has been changed due to the rapid dissemination of technology, but business-wise, no change has been bigger than that in the marketing department.
Even the most cutting-edge advertising strategies are not so new anymore – today, the niche connoisseurs preach not only that content is king, but that omnichannel marketing is the only way of making that content unmissable and profitable. Providing an experience so compelling that it immediately eliminates all competition is no longer sufficient; instead, it’s staying on the customer map at all times that makes all the difference.
Although old news, cross-channel marketing is expected to dominate the field in the years to come, which is a reason more to either hop on the train or tune up your current strategy in a way that promises the widest coverage possible. Here’s why and how.
What Is Cross-Channel Marketing?
Say you’ve already reinforced your business website with social media engagement, a blog and an email campaign. Still, you need a tool sensitive enough to detect any changes in your prospects’ behaviour and clever enough to act accordingly, thus pursuing your leads across all channels until they are finally converted into buying customers. By relying on cross-channel advertising software that grants it a certain amount of intuition and automates the process, this effective marketing strategy does exactly that.
The adoption of a cross-channel marketing strategy thus helps you connect your email incentives, social network agenda, website traffic and mobile interactions into a sole, all-inclusive platform that reaches out to, tracks and analyses potential buyers of your products or services, re-markets those when needed and, consequently, skyrockets your ROI rates.
And it’s not all theoretical – cross-channelling has brought up to a 9.5 percent year-over-year increase in annual revenue to companies who’ve successfully adopted this practise, as well as a 30 percent higher lifetime value score assured by those customers who shop on more than one channel.
What Are Its Key Principles?
Since profitability is always in demand, many companies have tried to make the best of their cross-channel marketing campaigns, yet only a few of them have succeeded to master it. As it turns out, this potent tactic is not so easy to become proficient in, and not only because of its comprehensive scope. Cross-channel marketing has a number of principles of its own, and each of them has to be brought to perfection before the eventual gain can be yielded.
Keeping Track: Here’s where staying on the customer map at all times becomes a key precursor to triumph. Modern shoppers are not accustomed to being focused, let alone loyal; instead, they browse. In order to track them down and make them interact with your brand, you’ll need a specialized set of CRM, retargeting and marketing automation tools, all of which are included in cross-channel advertising software systems.
Keeping Tabs: Once your offer becomes visible across all channels and devices, you’ll need an accurate system for detecting different touch points between your company’s brand and potential customers. It’s the only way of assessing the effectiveness, pinpointing the halts and improving your strategy.
Analysing On: Not each of your social media accounts, nor every single one of your product market fit survey will be potent enough to drive additional traffic to your main purchasing channel; being so, you’ll need to get a deeper insight into your target audience’s needs, preferences and purchasing behaviour. If your website’s landing page attracts more visitors than your Twitter account, you’ll have to know why, in order to make this data actionable and take it into consideration before making the next marketing move.
Keeping in Touch: Now we’ve arrived to the very milestone of a contemporary marketing philosophy – everything offered to a modern customer needs to be tailored exactly for their wants, which makes the concept of personalization a number one priority of the niche. However successful in the aforementioned aspects, your cross-channel marketing campaign will not reach its full potential without a highly personalized customer experience.
The Importance of Tailoring
Being refined enough to offer effortless platform integration, the modern technology can finally comply with the overly hyped attention span of a modern buyer and therefore sustain and support cross-channel customer experiences. When executed with consistency, this kind of personalized marketing dramatically increases loyalty: “Younger generations are no longer ‘brand loyal’. Instead, they’re experience loyal. They’re going to choose the experiences that are consistently personalized to their needs and desires, and that make them feel valued and important”, explains Andy Jacobs, managing director at PwC.
Nevertheless, it’s exactly the personalization process that’s been the major obstacle for companies looking to leverage the cross-channel marketing method. Aside from the ever-growing number of channels, marketers now have to deal with multiplied devices and numerous touch points that these provide as well, thus usually failing to deliver on their promises of a custom-tailored experience. Even with the most far-reaching of tools, a cross-channel marketing strategy cannot employ personalization without a clear overview of the customer identity.
How to Make It Customized & Far-Reaching?
Customer analysis may just be the most important prerequisite for successful cross-channelling, but it is not the only one. Here’s what you need to do in order for both your marketing campaign and your conversion rates to escalate.
- Get Personal
Never make a mistake of assuming what your audience wants to see, hear or engage with. Such behavior may seem predictable enough, but without any data to support your marketing strategy, the risk is simply too high. Instead of pushing your brand in the direction dictated by your company’s budget, resources or convenience, set off to find, collect and leverage unique needs and specific interests of your already targeted audience.
- Retain a Broader View
While doing so, remember that it’s of the utmost importance to drive enough data to establish your company’s single customer identity, urges Steve Olenski from CMSWire. Without “a clear view of each customer that unites their behaviours across all channels into one comprehensive profile”, personalization is almost impossible. And with a range becoming too copious to cover without any automation, the urgency for cross-channel marketing tools inevitably grows.
With their help, such systematic analysis of different customers and different environments in which they feel most comfortable shopping can be done effortlessly, since they are particularly designed to serve as data-based platforms that provide an integrated view of all of your customers.
- Be Actionable
Naturally, you can gather as much data as you need for accurate analysis, but at some point, you’ll need to make a selection and narrow it down to information that can actually be used in strategic planning.
Alternatively, you can focus on actionable info from the very start, and set to understand the way in which potential customers use your content, which engages them more and how can you improve and customize your storytelling. Cross-channelling also requires a type of content that can be optimized for and shared across all channels, as well as a system that automatizes that process, all of which can, once again, be acquired with tools developed for this specific purpose.
- Make an Unrefusable Offer
As mentioned before, cross-channelling doesn’t imply consistent content sharing only; to market your brand effectively, you’ll need your audience not merely to see and scroll over your message, but to actually stop and interact. Whether it’s a like, a retweet or a comment, your content needs to make your audience intrigued enough to engage in a conversation.
And that’s only a single touch point! Essentially, each post you share, offer you make, or email you send, has to deliver the same customer experience, but personalize it to a degree that will lure different customers to interact with your brand.
- Stay Perceptive
Like elsewhere in life, there’s two types of social listening in the online environment, and digital marketing benefits from both. When passive, listening allows you to evaluate your campaign’s effectiveness and potential, so be sure to pay attention to your audience’s behaviour and be quick to detect new touch points.
Some readings can be found directly on channels, but in order to get a comprehensive overview, stay on track of your performance stats, response rates and engagement metrics. Active listening on the other hand, significantly deepens your brand-to-customer relationship, which is why engaging back is one of the cross-channelling imperatives.
- Propose an Interaction
It’s quite easy for big brands to lose a customer; reciprocally, it’s pretty hard for them to contain one. Once the cross-channelling starts to work and your target audience begins to grow, it’s only a question of time when there will be one too many customers for you to keep delivering a highly personalized experience. Unfortunately, each of them will want the exact same thing – to feel that your brand is addressing them as they were individuals, instead of getting greeted as yet another anonymous visitor.
But if not for all of them, you can always customize your message for specific groups – both personalization and testing tools allow marketers to use very precise criteria when targeting their audience. Whatever the method, start with a simple “Good Morning” message and establish the much-needed human touch right from the beginning.
- Remain Consistent
Being a beneficial part of every omnichannel marketing strategy, cross-channelling inevitably expands to the offline world. The greatest unpredictability of a customer journey is not necessarily a course, but a direction – a customer may use your website and social media for browsing and then decide to make an in-store purchase or, conversely, embark on an extended window-shopping tour, but make an online order in the end.
The more channels of communication you open, the vaster number of these directions you’ll face, which is why individual presentations of your brand need to be perfectly in sync. Consistency in cross-channelling messages, interactions and campaigns, as well as in storytelling and design is therefore the first step toward eventual conversion.
Being a strategy that envelopes each of your marketing campaigns at once, cross-channelling is simultaneously the most beneficial and most difficult tactic in the field. Luckily, with a little help from automation and a lot of brandable content to spread around, cross-channel marketing is powerful enough to attract even the most indecisive of customers.