Strategy The Power of Consistent Cross-Channel Marketing

By Kellye Snodgrass

How a consistent cross-channel marketing strategy can help deliver on the promise of customer centricity

Today every commerce marketing team has a presence on multiple channels — email, social, display, etc. — but many teams are still working to move beyond multi-channel marketing into true cross-channel marketing.

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked. At the simplest level, multi-channel marketing is when you run different marketing campaigns on multiple channels, whereas cross-channel marketing is when your marketing campaigns are integrated across those channels.

 

The Benefits of Cross-Channel Marketing

The difference between multi-channel and cross-channel marketing might seem minute, but it matters quite a lot. That’s because while the multi-channel approach is channel-centric (what’s the best message for each channel), the cross-channel approach is customer-centric (what’s the best message for each customer, regardless of where that may be).

As a result of that difference, true cross-channel marketing achieves the same benefits of multi-channel marketing, such as being everywhere your customers are (note: a strong email marketing strategy is essential, but it’s no longer enough on its own) and then some.

For example, a recent study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that promoting a consistent message across multiple channels can increase purchase intent among consumers by 90% and increase brand perception by 68%.

Furthermore, consistency in everything from messaging to offers to colors can help build trust, familiarity and confidence, all of which are critical as consumers make decisions about which retailers to buy from in today’s increasingly competitive market.

In order to cross the bridge to true cross-channel marketing and realize these benefits, consistency is of utmost importance.

 

What’s Holding Retailers Back? Common Roadblocks to Cross-Channel Marketing

While everyone strives for true cross-channel marketing, most retail teams are still in the multi-channel boat. One of the biggest things holding retail marketing teams back is data silos. According to a recent report, 59% of retailers claim they can’t easily apply the same data from one marketing channel to another and nearly half of retailers struggle to visualize data in a centralized way.

While siloed data is a very real challenge, it doesn’t have to hold your team back from launching cross-channel marketing campaigns. In fact, you should be able to retain your siloed systems and get value out of your data faster if you can bring the data analysis and decisioning piece of the equation into a single place.

Essentially, you need a solution that can tie together data from those silos so that you have a single source to analyze all of your customer, behavior and catalog data and make channel agnostic marketing decisions. You can then use your unified data to launch consistent, cross-channel campaigns.

 

Making Cross-Channel Marketing a Reality: Sharing is Caring

Of course working around data silos is only one piece of the equation when it comes to making cross-channel marketing a reality. In order to ensure you not only have a centralized view of customer data but that you also put that data to work in the right way in order to launch cross-channel campaigns with consistency, you need shared goals, messages and tools across your entire marketing team.

Specifically, you should consider opportunities to:

  • Create a single, unified definition of success for your entire marketing team and any other teams with which you partner throughout the business
  • Establish cross-team campaign goals that target the same audiences and feature the same messaging
  • Do a cross-channel tech audit to figure out what technologies you can share across teams

 

Consistency in Action: How One Retailer Reaped the Benefits of a Customer-Centric Cross-Channel Strategy

So how does this push for a consistent, customer-centric cross-channel marketing strategy play out in the real world? The story of one global athletic footwear and apparel retailer says it all.

When the retailer launched a new shoe, the marketing team decided to test out a cross-channel approach that personalized offers across email, Facebook and the brand website. The team was well aware that the success of this strategy hinged in large part on creating a consistent experience for target customers across those channels and made a concerted effort to deliver accordingly.

The results of this approach proved well worth the while, as the retailer saw a 76% lift on clicks for personalized content onsite, increased its conversion rate by over 30% on cart abandonment campaigns and identified 50,000 new prospective customers, leading to a 130% increase in sales attributed to Facebook.

 

What To Do Next

With all of that in mind, are you doing multi-channel marketing or cross-channel marketing? At a time when customer centricity is everything, the benefits that come from a truly consistent cross-channel approach can’t be overlooked.

So what does it take to make cross-channel marketing a reality for your team? Check out the full story of how the leading global athletic footwear and apparel retailer made it happen.

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