Today’s consumers are more aware of their shopping behavior and expectations. They have specific requirements for price, ingredients, delivery options, production methods, customer experience, and more. They also expect a seamless experience from online to offline and vice versa.
This is why multi-channel marketing no longer works. Marketers need another strategy to help meet customers’ needs and meet their expectations while achieving sales goals.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about cross-channel marketing, including what it is, how it can benefit your business, steps to implement it, and challenges you may encounter. We’ll also provide real-world use cases for cross-channel marketing to get you started—time to raise the bar for cross-channel marketing campaigns.
Before diving into cross-channel digital marketing specifics, let’s understand why multichannel marketing doesn’t work.
Why Multi-channel Marketing Is Not Enough Anymore?
Multi-channel marketing is using multiple marketing channels to communicate and interact with customers. However, these channels operate independently and cannot provide a seamless or connected user experience.
The main reason why multi-channel marketing is no longer an effective marketing strategy is the drastic change in the shopping behavior of modern consumers. Consumers today view your Facebook ads, follow your brand on Instagram, visit your online store, read reviews, subscribe to your newsletter, and more. They may go through seven or more touchpoints before they are finally ready to make their first purchase.
How can you provide a seamless experience if not all of these touchpoints are integrated and work together? That’s why having a cross-channel marketing strategy for your brand is so important.
Numeric Consistency and Meaning
To effectively nurture customers, your branding and messaging must be consistent across all channels. No matter where your customers are, whether on your Instagram page or through Google ads, they must have the same impression of your brand. This cross-channel approach to marketing helps build brand consistency and awareness and helps build trust by ensuring customers know what to expect from your brand.
Consistency, trust, and customization are essential in today’s world. A study by SmarterHQ found that 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails, and 72% of consumers say they only pay attention to personalized messages. Additionally, according to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that provides recommendations relevant to them.
What does a cross-channel marketing strategy mean?
According to Oracle, cross-channel marketing “uses multiple interconnected channels to reach customers. This allows for easier and smoother transitions from one channel to the next. Different channels record information about customers and communicate with each other. Communicate so they can come together in one consistent customer journey.
For example, when you market across channels, your messaging and branding are consistent across multiple channels. These channels work well together to effectively engage and support customers as they navigate touchpoints and devices in their buyer journey.
Benefits of channel marketing
A practical and intentional channel marketing strategy can benefit your business. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits below.
Build trust and brand awareness with consistent messaging. This is important because consistent brand exposure across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23% (Marq).
Gain a comprehensive and detailed understanding of customer behavior with cross-channel marketing reporting and analytics. You can understand which channels your customers prefer, what content drives them to convert, and where they might stop.
Improve marketing ROI and boost growth. By integrating marketing efforts across channels, you can identify touchpoints to understand how someone converts from a prospect to a customer. You can then contextualize, personalize and present your message to your target customers.
Improve marketing ROI and boost growth. By integrating marketing efforts across channels, you can identify touchpoints to understand how someone converts from a prospect to a customer. You can then contextualize, personalize, and present your message to your target customers on each channel.
Use all this customer data to create highly relevant, personalized experiences for each individual. When you give customers what they want, you keep them happy, and happy customers are loyal customers. They’ll keep returning to spread the word about your brand, so don’t underestimate word of mouth.
Our cross-channel marketing software does the heavy lifting of the data and reporting for you, so you can focus on scaling your marketing strategy and delivering results.
Cross-Channel Marketing Strategies
Investing in cross-channel marketing can help you quickly take your business to the next level. However, it can also present challenges you must keep in mind.
First, you can only provide personalized messages and recommendations with a 360-degree view of each customer. To do this, you need to collect customer data from many different sources, such as online stores, email platforms, social media, brick-and-mortar websites, and mobile apps, and turn that data into actionable insights.
Second, you need the right channel marketing skills. Six to ten branding tools may be required to provide an integrated experience. But as your tech stack grows, so does your marketing campaigns’ complexity, cost, fragility, and inefficiency. You need to define your goals, budget, and strategy to understand what tools you need.
Tools like advanced internal channel marketing systems allow you to combine multiple tools into one easy-to-use platform. Internal planning combines every customer interaction into a clear picture of online and offline behavior, revealing customers’ interests, needs, and preferred touchpoints. By managing campaigns across channels, you have the freedom to build the coherent and seamless experience your customers expect.
8-Steps Insider Guide to Creating a Cross-Channel Marketing Strategies
Standardize your data
Accurate data is vital. The first step in developing a successful cross-channel marketing strategy is to focus on data quality to understand customers better and gain a precise picture of their experience. A great way to ensure your data is accurate is to use an end-to-end marketing solution like Insider, which provides many data points and helps you build a unified view of each customer (even anonymous ones!).
Create Customer Segments
Once you have the data, segment your target audience by demographics, psychographics, geography, and behavior. Doing so will help you understand the nuances between similar types of customers, allowing you to tailor your messaging and offerings specifically to them.
Identify and choose the best channel.
List the different channels your customers typically use. For example, if they visit your online store frequently, you can use web push and on-site personalization to target them as part of your cross-channel marketing strategy. If your customers shop online via mobile devices, use push app notifications, email marketing, or RCS messaging to communicate with them.
If your customers visit your offline store, you can use offline marketing items such as outdoor advertising, QR codes, flyers, etc. With this best QR code generator, you can generate QR codes to help you get the most out of your offline business event marketing.
Start with the Micro-Funnel
When you start cross-channel marketing, try creating and optimizing small channels first. A great example of a small funnel is launching a cross-channel marketing campaign targeting cart abandonment – doing so will help you immediately spot and fix issues in the broader marketing funnel.
Test different types of trips and channels.
Leverage A/B and multivariate testing to understand your customers’ cross-channel journey, where they are located, and which elements of your cross-channel marketing campaign they respond to. Then adjust, refine, and optimize your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Once Proven; Dimensions
Once you’ve identified the cross-channel marketing campaign that’s getting you the best results, run it on all existing and new customers. Using Insider’s cross-channel marketing platform makes it easier to iterate and edit campaigns, and then target them to new audiences.
Monitor and Analyze Performance
One of the most important parts of any strategy is cross-channel marketing analysis. Use analytics and metrics tools like Google Analytics to analyze and monitor the performance of your marketing campaigns. Doing this will help you discover what works and doesn’t and provide valuable information for future marketing campaigns.
Repeat and start over.
When you have the necessary pieces in place, repeat the steps above to improve the performance of your multi-channel marketing strategy. Go back to them repeatedly to see what you can learn and make adjustments for better results.
By using a cross-channel marketing strategy, your brand will be able to ensure a consistent user journey across all marketing channels. You can refine and optimize your marketing campaigns with advanced solutions available today.
You can also use these tools to monitor campaign performance across all channels continuously. This will ensure a cohesive experience that drives engagement and improves brand affinity and customer retention.