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3 Easy Ways to Master Cross-Channel Marketing

Consistent brand messaging drives sales. Here are the methods you should be using for maximum impact.

In today's fast-paced world, where customers bounce from one site, app, and device to another at a breathtaking pace, delivering broad marketing messages on multiple channels isn't enough. Brands need a clear, consistent story that resonates with specific people on each channel. They need a story personalized to each customer's journey, where each touchpoint is a relevant chapter.

Courtesy of Criteo

They need cross-channel marketing.

Cross-Channel Marketing: What is it, and why does it matter?

For simplicity's sake, a "channel' is anywhere your brand can appear. In digital, this designation breaks down into familiar places like social media and video platforms, mobile apps, and websites.

The goal of any cross-channel marketing campaign is to craft a strategic journey for customers, taking into account the nuances, challenges, and advantages of each channel. The journey should feel seamless to consumers, and ultimately help guide them toward the brand's business objective, like making a purchase.

If consumers have disconnected experiences in different channels, the journey can stall or break down altogether. In a coordinated cross-channel marketing campaign, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

The research bears this out. In one survey, seventy percent of customers engage with a brand at least three times across channels before a purchase. Another study shows that consumer purchase intent rises as much as 90% when a consistent brand message appears across different channels.

In an ideal world, every brand could personalize a customer's cross-channel journey so closely, every experience in every channel would be relevant and consistent. Thanks in part to these simple yet sophisticated methods, that goal is becoming a reality.

1. Personalized Emails

Brands rely heavily on email to strategically guide customers to other valuable channels and personalize their experience.

If you have your customer's email address, you've likely engaged with them in another channel already, either through your website, landing page, or an offline experience. Now you have a direct line of personalized communication you can use to guide them to the next thoughtfully crafted experience. Many are connected to email all day across their smartphones, laptops and desktops, making this channel all the more valuable.

Email lets you put some of your most basic customer data to good use: You can address customers by name for a personalized touch, and you can customize messages and offers based on their past transactions and behavior. A number of tools can help you automate this process, from knowing the best time to send an email, to populating it with the right message for the right consumer.

Email is just as essential to cross-channel mobile engagement, particularly when it comes to mobile apps. Some data shows that people engaged with a brand's email marketing average 40 percent more weekly app sessions than those who don't. When coordinated with other mobile channels like push notifications, the average weekly number of app sessions increases by 3x. It can even inspire up to 50 percent of lapsed app users to return.

2. Adaptive Content

Making sure consumers have the optimal marketing experience, regardless of the device or platform they're using, is a core principle of cross-channel marketing. What good is one great experience if the next is broken?

Adaptive content automatically adjusts its appearance for the best experience, according to context, device, and other factors. Content that, when shared on social media, automatically pulls the right headline, description, and visual asset by platform is an example of adaptive content.

This automation shouldn't be taken for granted. On social media, subtle differences in platforms display content, from the headlines they default to, to character limits and accepted file formats, can affect the user experience and overall performance. Making sure the content shows up correctly on each platform is often a manual job, one that relies on the person sharing the content to make these adjustments.

The challenge is, the people you want sharing your content aren't on your marketing team, they're potential customers. They're certainly not checking to make sure each headline, teaser copy, image, video, and CTA is optimized for each platform and device. With adaptive content, you outfit your content once so it appears correctly everywhere, no matter how or where it's shared.

There's no silver bullet for making adaptive content. Essentially, it's a set of rules telling your CMS which info to show when certain conditions are met. You have to supply the metadata that tells the CMS what to do, not to mention all the words and image formats you want the CMS to choose from. But with the right habits, you can scale adaptive content and turn it into a competitive advantage.

3. Retargeting

Retargeting is one of the simplest ways to automate consistent, compelling marketing to the same customer across channels.

All you need is a string of code on key pages of your website. When a customer leaves the site to browse another channel, you can automatically serve them a relevant ad. With dynamic retargeting, the creative and messaging is personalized according to the customer's previous interaction with your brand and where they are in their journey.

Retargeting doesn't just apply to display ads on publisher sites. It's also common on social media and video platforms. Many of the ads sitting in the average person's Instagram feed, for example, are there because of retargeting.

With retargeting, marketers get:

  • Assurance that the same individuals who visit their site see their brand on other channels
  • Ads personalized according to the customer's previous behavior and where they are in their journey with the brand
  • An automated way to achieve both

Which is why retargeting punches well above its weight, with a return on ad spend (ROAS) of as much as 13x in some cases.

Now that's effective cross-channel marketing.

Download How to Build the Perfect Cross-Channel Plan in a Week to start making the most of your marketing dollars.


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