Marketing Analytics
Defining Cross-Channel Marketing: Tips to Guide Your Strategy

July 12, 2022

In today’s marketing world, the consumer has more power than ever before. With that, marketers need to meet their target audience on their platform of choice and know when to spark an interaction. That means that you cannot simply rely upon a single channel marketing approach to get the insights you need into understanding your audience. While it can be challenging to create the personalized and comprehensive customer experience that your customers expect, there are solutions out there.


This is where cross-channel marketing comes in. With it, you can take every touchpoint along the customer journey into account, which allows you to optimize your brand’s message across the entirety of the journey that the customer has with your brand: from initial interaction and awareness down to eventual conversion. 



Defining Cross-Channel Marketing 

At its most basic, cross-channel marketing utilizes a variety of marketing channels to create a, most importantly, cohesive journey for your customers. What this means is that your marketing channels need to work together to create a cohesive brand experience that is continuous from one channel to another.


If you can successfully engage with your customers at different points of their journey, than you can utilize and implement what is known as people-based marketing to then build insightful profiles that can further help you with personalizing the customer experience and work towards building brand loyalty within your customer base. 



Why You Need Cross-Channel Marketing 

In today’s modern world of digital advertising, there are more channels than ever available to marketers to reach and engage with potential customers – and even existing ones. But if you want to uncover the deep insights you need to be running a comprehensive, cohesive brand experience for your target consumer audience, then you need to factor in an approach that takes every channel into consideration. 


There are several key benefits to cross-channel marketing. Here are the top three that you should be familiar with.


Optimizing the Customer Journey 

There is a significant impact that you can have when you apply a holistic view of your customer journey. Evidence has shown that incorporating a holistic, cross-channel campaign view can improve your marketing budget’s ROI significantly, because you are properly crediting your marketing tactics with subsequent customer actions and the influence of those tactics over your consumers. 


When it comes to marketing, you need to be where your potential customers are. But that also means that you need to consider that the customer journey now spans across multiple offline and online channels. If you are looking for a complete view of how customers are engaging with your brand across multiple channels, then you need something that goes behind a heavily siloed and traditional approach.


In today’s world of rapid connections, we as marketers need to ensure that our campaigns are not fragmented. Instead, we need to be able to utilize a unified data management tool that comes equipped with data transformation tools to bring together all customer data into a single, centralized location.


Increasing Engagement 

Multi-channel customers are an exceptionally valuable resource to your brand and business. Building an emotional connection with customers can often be the deciding factor in transforming your target audience into loyal customers and brand advocates. 


If you are trying to drive successful engagements with your audience, then you need to interact with them across a multitude of different channels. You need to do this rather than expecting that the customer will come to you. Engage with your customers and audience using tactics such as direct response marketing; you want to do whatever is necessary to get people to interact with your brand as it is the best way to build engagement.


Creating a Strong Brand Builds Better Relationships


By having multiple marketing channels open and available, your brand gains additional visibility. With that, you can better craft a strong brand identity while driving customer loyalty. To achieve this, you need to create and stick with a brand style guide; with that, you can maintain a consistent tone and message across every feasible touchpoint in the customer journey. 


With a cross-channel marketing approach, you are aware of how the different channels work to complement each other. You know that each is a part of the whole brand experience, working together to create a cohesive experience for customers rather than relying on that single moment of conversion. These channels all work together, complementing each other and creating an immersive experience for the consumer audience.


The Challenges of Cross-Channel Marketing 

There are challenges inherent in cross-channel marketing, because it transforms the customer journey into something far more complex and nuanced. If you are looking to implement one, then you are going to, initially, be looking at measuring a very long list of media channels – with that number continuing to increase. One of the primary challenges that brands face is that they are often late embracing new platforms, which can lead to a couple of common challenges. 


Reaching Audiences at the Right Time in the Right Place 

With the multitude of marketing channels available today, it can be difficult to determine which ones will effectively allow you to reach your target audience at the right time with the right message. There is difficulty inherent in predicting which channels offer the best ROI and when is the best time and place to reach out to customers – particularly given that many of these channels change frequent and sudden shifts in user intent. Not to mention shifts in their marketing and advertising capabilities. 


There are so many factors that go into reaching your target demographics. Media needs to be planned, display ads need to be placed, and you need to follow the best practices for each individual channel. For example, what works in a Facebook ad likely won’t work as a TikTok campaign. You need to be aware of what messaging (and what form that messaging will take) to be effective on an individual platform. 


Achieving High Data Quality for Stronger Insights 

Data quality is proving to be a challenge for companies across the spectrum of different industries. Given that the amount of data that companies have access to is increasing every year, it is vital to know what data is actually relevant for understanding customer behavior and improving advertising and marketing efficiencies. 


With higher quality data, insights become more accurate, and companies can confidently make data-driven marketing decisions. When companies lack that high-quality data, then it becomes a struggle to — if not outright impossible to — find the actionable, person-level insights that can drive that same data-driven decision-making process. 


Given that marketing is moving towards a future without cookies, marketers need to seriously re-evaluate how and why they collect certain data. These sources of information, however, are set to disappear – and soon. This provides something of a challenge on how marketers are going to replace these tools and insights. 


Choosing the Right Channels for Advertisement 

Choosing the right media channels can prove to be quite the challenge, because you need to first determine where your target audience is and when they are most active. You need to realize and understand that not all platforms are going to successfully reach your target audience, thus you need a grounded understanding of your customers at a granular level.


When you create a cross-channel plan, your campaigns must work together across multiple channels to not only reach your target audience but get them to engage with your messaging. You need to get your message to them at the right time in the right place. Engagement is always key. The more that customers engage with your message, the more likely it is to spread and foster a sense of loyalty within customers.


There are two things to consider when you choose an advertising channel: 

  • Consider the channel’s value and its place in the customer’s journey 
  • Keep the objective of your marketing/advertising campaign in mind. 


Whatever your main objective or goal is, you need to be able to evaluate which channel will be successful at providing the results that you are searching for. 


Choosing Accurate Marketing Attribution 

There are many companies out there who are lagging when it comes to matters of both marketing attribution and data quality. To illustrate this, marketers still rely heavily upon click-through-rates to track metrics: meaning that if, say, 5% of people who saw an ad click on it, then that 95% that did not click will not be counted – even though that ad might have triggered a conversion down the line.


Although both media mix modeling (MMM) and multi-touch attribution (MTA) are options, they both have limitations when it comes to matters of marketing analytics. These two methodologies cannot be combined, cannot deliver data in real time, nor provide you with a much-needed holistic overview of your marketing campaigns. Rather, it is time that marketers take a more holistic approach to marketing attribution. This is possible through the combination of person-level sights and raw data. 


Tips for Building a Cross-Channel Marketing Campaign 

The goal of cross-channel marketing is the creation of personalized, highly engaging experiences for a brand’s customers. When you begin the process of crafting a cross-channel marketing campaign, it is important that you keep the following best practices in mind.



Leverage Data-Driven Decision-Making 

For a successful cross-channel marketing campaign, companies absolutely need to be driven by data. There are a whole host of factors to consider, including: who your target audience is, what platforms/channels they use frequently, along with what messaging resonates most with them. By utilizing high-quality data that is gathered from a multitude of different sources, you can better identify trends and behavioral patterns that you can then use to contextualize the preferences and decisions of your audience. 



Creating Customer Personas Using Aggregate and Person-Level Data 

Part of marketing is creating comprehensive customer personas. These can help you when it comes to evaluating the motivation and shopping habits of your target audience, while also giving you insight into what and who this audience is engaging with.


If you combine aggregate and person-level customer data together, then you are better positioned to be able to derive insight. This could take the form of patterns or commonalities between different groups within your audience – allowing you to better identify and segment your audience. You can utilize these insights further by having them be the driving force behind future messaging and strategies, allowing you to create repeatable successes. 



Create Clear Job Descriptions & a Designated Leadership Position 

It is important with cross-channel marketing that you have someone in a clearly defined and outlined position to manage your cross-channel marketing campaign. Given that cross-channel marketing can be incredibly complicated with a heavy focus on minute details, you need to keep in mind that it is more than an extension of your marketing strategy: it is your marketing strategy itself. Having a designated leader enables the team to remain on track and maintain a clear understanding of the role of each individual channel. 



Utilizing the Right Marketing Tech 

You absolutely need marketing technology on your side that generates accurate and high-quality data because strong analytics are the backbone of actionable insights into a customer’s preferences. Additionally, automation here becomes a key factor in deciding what tool will best fit your company’s needs. 


Finding the right marketing performance solution can be difficult, but with it you can gain a much more holistic understanding of your target audience. While there are other matters that marketing tech can help with, they should also enable your team to optimize the following: 

  • When ads are shown; 
  • Which channels ads are displayed on; 
  • The messages used to interact with the target audience. 


What you need is an effective marketing tech stack that allows you to streamline communications while also creating a cohesive experience for your customers. It also needs to be capable of both identifying and leveraging the various channels and messages that resonate deeply with your target audience. 



Optimize Multiple KPIs Constantly and Continuously 

What is vital to the creation of successful campaigns is the evaluation of past performance and the application of lessons learned to future campaigns. Your company should always be optimizing for multiple key performance indicators (or KPIs) throughout the entirety of your marketing funnel. 


The data that is collected can then provide your marketing team with valuable insights into your marketing ROI, allowing them to make informed decisions that are backed with data about how to best optimize future campaigns. 


Utilize a Unified Marketing Measurement Approach 

With a unified marketing measurement approach, you gain a comprehensive view of not only each individual channel and campaign, but also how they are interacting with each other, and their overall impact on conversions. Considering all these factors allows for companies to better understand how each individual campaign impacts conversions. 


What this provides for is a more accurate view of your marketing campaigns and how they interact and complement each other. This allows you to better maximize your budget and avoid wasting spend in advertising. 



Cross-channel marketing strategies allow companies to create a consistent customer experience across all their various marketing channels. In today’s marketing environment, there are multiple options out there that companies can leverage to do much of the heavy lifting, allowing them to more granularly refine their marketing campaigns for further optimization. 


With the continuous monitoring of campaign successes, while ensuring that brand and content are aligned across each and every touchpoint throughout the course of a campaign, your company can effectively guide customers through a cohesive experience that not only encourages engagement, but also drives loyalty and brand retention. 

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