How To Implement Cross-Channel Marketing (Plus Tips)
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Cross-channel marketing is a technique that can help a company establish its brand among a wide variety of potential customers. The successful way it operates includes using multiple channels to broadcast your message. If your company wants to employ consistent messaging in its advertising, it may be beneficial to consider cross-channel marketing. In this article, we explain what cross-channel marketing is, how it can benefit your company and how you can implement this marketing strategy.
Related: How To Plan a Marketing Strategy
What is cross-channel marketing?
Cross-channel marketing is a technique companies use to deliver consistent messages and experiences across different platforms. This often includes advertising on different channels, such as social media, email, television and websites, while displaying the same message, image or experience for each customer.
An example of cross-channel marketing is when a coffee franchise promotes a new drink. You may see the advertisement that introduces the new product on television, its website and on its social media accounts. The company also may use its app to alert customers of the new menu item. The content of the advertisement is the same on each channel, and this consistency is a valuable marketing technique that uses repetition to attract customers.
Why is cross-channel marketing important?
Cross-channel marketing is important because customers can choose how they interact with a company by selecting different mediums to view a company's content.
Other benefits to implementing cross-channel marketing into your campaign include:
Increased visibility: Using multiple channels allows more people to see your content and messaging multiple times.
Consistency: Cross-channel marketing helps send a unified message across all platforms and mediums, which can help promote your brand.
Customer data collection: When using multiple channels, you have the opportunity to learn more about your customers through statistics that tell you where customers see your message and how they interact with it.
Personalization: Allowing customers to choose how they consume your content provides a personal approach to reaching each customer.
Establishing your brand: The consistency and reach that cross-channel marketing provides help promote your brand and build a good relationship with customers.
How to implement a cross-channel marketing approach
Implementing a cross-channel technique into your marketing strategy can be complicated, but the high probability of success often justifies this decision. You can create a cross-channel marketing campaign by following these steps:
1. Create a customer avatar
A customer avatar is a representation of your ideal customer. Marketing teams sometimes refer to this as a buyer persona or customer profile. Who you create is fictional, but you base the avatar off of real customer data. To create a customer avatar:
Determine the age, gender, race and socioeconomic status of your ideal customer.
Identify their desires and needs.
Determine their problems that you can solve with your service or product.
Learn their habits, including how they interact with your brand.
A customer avatar provides a clear idea of the person you target your marketing toward.
Related: 4 Steps To Build Your Buyer Persona
2. Analyze your customer data
Consider using a customer data platform (CDP) to store customer data that is easy to analyze. A CDP is software that pulls customer data from multiple sources to make information accessible to other systems. A CDP can also collect customer information from any online activity including, but not limited to, online shopping carts, social media activity and website visits. A CDP can analyze the behaviors of potential customers and use this data to create a marketing campaign based on actions your customers already take.
3. Identify optimal channels
Using data you collect from your customer analysis, identify which channels may offer the best results for your marketing campaign. Some channels work together better than others, and choosing channels that complement one another ensures a successful campaign. For example, online interactions that translate to in-app purchases, such as when social media directs a customer to use your company app, work well.
4. Create a message
Now that you have compiled customer data and selected channels to use in your campaign, you can design your content that delivers your message. Create a message that effectively communicates what you would like customers to do. Then, design content to broadcast across your channels. Remember that the message is the same on each channel, even when it presents differently to suit the style of the medium you chose.
5. Unify interactions
The next step in the process is unifying the interactions your company shares with consumers by integrating your customer data platform (CPD) with your content management system (CMS).
Cross-channel marketing becomes personalized at this stage of your strategy. For example, if a potential customer has shown signs they are likely to make a purchase, the CPD and CMS integration can show them content to call them to action. If a customer has already viewed the pricing of one of your products, your content management system can show them a message that they can get a discount, which may lead them back to make a purchase. Marketing professionals refer to this process as a sales funnel.
6. Repeat successful steps
Cross-channel marketing allows you to determine what was successful and what was not through analyzing the different points of contact you had with potential customers. Access customer data again after implementing this system and use content and strategy that worked.
4 tips for cross-channel marketing
Here are tips to make your cross-channel marketing implementation more effective:
1. Optimize social media
Social media platforms are optimal when you include visual aids that have calls to action. Visuals often help lead to sales, and platforms have been successful in using visually aided posts to sell products.
2. Use control groups
Consider organizing a group of people to experience your marketing campaign digitally to test the effectiveness of your strategy. Try to quantify what success looks like for your company before organizing a control group.
3. Offer customer support
Offering customer support may help create return customers, as people can ask questions that lead to them making a purchase. Customer support chat boxes also help establish trust in your brand.
4. Translate your content into sales
Develop content for each channel that directly leads to sales. Ensure that some part of your cross-channel marketing strategy for each channel includes information that can allow a customer to make a purchase.
Cross-channel vs. multi-channel marketing
Multi-channel marketing is a similar term to cross-channel marketing, but it is important to understand the differences between the two. While both use multiple channels, unlike cross-channel marketing, multi-channel marketing does not use separate channels to communicate customer interactions to other channels. For example, if a company uses multi-channel marketing, a consumer may see an ad for a product on social media and then decide to use the company mobile app to make a purchase later. However, the company's app has no record of the consumer having seen the product before.
Cross-channel marketing communicates these interactions to other channels a company uses. When a consumer opens the company's app after seeing an ad, the mobile app may offer a discount or show a message that welcomes the consumer back.
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