As a brand, are you already interacting and engaging with your customers via multiple marketing channels? Great, then you’re already ahead of the curve. Now, tell us this: Have you also ensured that all of these channels are working in tandem to deliver an integrated and seamless experience to your customers? No? Well, then it is about time you embraced a cross-channel marketing approach.
Over the past few years, growing internet penetration has triggered massive upheavals in the world of marketing. Customers these days no longer regard brands as commercial entities but as living, sentient entities capable of striking a dialogue with them. In the current scheme of things, businesses can’t afford to focus just on developing top-notch products; they also have to invest ample time and energy into shaping the experience that accompanies them. This is where cross-channel marketing comes into the picture.
What is cross-channel marketing?
Cross-channel marketing is a marketing technique that enables you to facilitate an interconnectedness among your different marketing channels (website, social media, push notifications, google ads, and email). Subsequently, this paves the path for delivering a truly integrated and personalized customer experience. Unlike a multi-channel marketing setup where all the channels operate independently of one another, in cross-channel marketing, all the participating channels continuously exchange data and insights between themselves, essentially building off one another.
This means that when a customer travels from one channel to another, they aren’t required to start from scratch. Instead, they have the liberty of resuming from where they left things in the previous channel. As a result, cross-channel marketing helps you to send more relevant messages your customers’ way, significantly increasing brand loyalty in the process. Now, the question is, when you have multiple channels at your disposal, should you select one to spearhead your cross-marketing efforts?
While the answer to that might seem trivial at the outset, it can pay you rich dividends in the long run. Based on your engagement metrics and the nature of your business, keeping a particular channel at the core of your cross-channel marketing setup can prove to be incredibly beneficial for you. If you’re new to this, we’d recommend that you pick email as your channel of choice; it’d be, hands down, your safest bet. Why? Read on to find out.
Why email should be at the center of cross-channel marketing?
Tremendous ROI, high engagement, better reach, and cost-effectiveness — these are just a few of the reasons that make email the go-to channel for several businesses and brands out there. But, what makes them a worthy candidate to drive your cross-channel campaigns? Let’s find out.
It drives traffic to other channels.
Email is an excellent means of driving traffic to your other marketing channels. You can redirect your subscribers toward your other channels by including links to your social media handles, mobile applications and blogs in your newsletters or promotional emails. Given the ever-rising number of mobile users, it is important to have a tool in your armor that can effectively call your customers’ attention to channels that they can access through their mobile devices. Email does that rather effortlessly for you.
It allows you to send highly targeted messages.
One of the central objectives behind implementing cross-channel marketing is to deliver extremely personalized and targeted messages to your target audience. Well, what if you could divide the contacts on your list into different segments based on their gender, ethnicity, occupation, geographic location, browsing history, and likes and preferences? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Except that it is exactly what email list segmentation allows you to do. Needless to say, segmentation opens the floodgates for personalization at scale, thereby enabling you to intercept your customers with the right message at the right time. If you still want to amp your personalization, you can always integrate the insights mined from your email campaigns into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.
It lets you respond to your customers’ activities.
Email automation allows you to set up triggered emails, a mechanism that dispatches automated emails to customers when they set off pre-defined “triggers.” Ever receive an email instantly after clicking on “Sign Up” on a website? Or one after completing a transaction? They are all basically examples of triggered emails with “Clicking on Sign Up button” and “Completing purchase” being the trigger events.
It collects information from customers.
At the heart of cross-channel marketing lies data. You’ll never be able to provide seamless and personalized experiences to your customers if you don’t have enough data on them in the first place. However, that doesn’t mean you can pry that information out of them without their consent; the data collection must occur in a compliant manner. This is where email proves to be invaluable. Using email, you can collect important customer information such as contact number, email address, birth date and the like in a highly hassle-free fashion.
How to create a winning cross-channel marketing strategy
Remember, you can never have a “one-size-fits-all” approach to cross-channel marketing. What works for one business might not necessarily click for you. That said, there are a few best practices that hold true for all. Take a look.
Walk through your own journey.
Now, this might sound straight out of a self-motivation essay, but it is actually crucial toward nailing cross-channel marketing experiences. Unless you, yourself, navigate the path that you have laid out for your customers, you’ll never be able to understand the degree of friction that it might possess properly. If you really want to ace your customer experience, this step is nonnegotiable.
Establish unique goals for each channel.
Before you proceed with implementing your cross-channel campaign, ensure that you have unique goals in place for each channel. Each participating channel will have its pros and cons, so you can neither afford to have the same expectations from each nor can you pit one against the other. For instance, comparing email return on investment (ROI) with that of social media will lead you nowhere. Thus, to get the most out of every channel, you must allocate distinct KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to each.
Test, optimize and fine-tune
The only way to stay on top of the ever-evolving customer expectations and market trends is by continuously and rigorously testing your campaigns and then utilizing the derived insights to optimize them as necessary. There are no other shortcuts.
Cross-channel marketing helps you do away with marketing silos that can hamper your business and, in the process, propels your brand to new heights of success. To help you get started on this journey, we collaborated with our friends at Cordial to compile this insightful infographic. We hope it has all the answers you are looking for.
Source: Email Uplers and Cordial