What is Cross Channel Marketing and Why Should You Implement It?

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It really does do what it says on the tin. Cross channel marketing means using a variety of different marketing channels to communicate your brand and your brand messages to your customers. Each of these channels should work together to provide a cohesive message, creating a powerful customer journey across emails, text messages, social media, mobile apps and so many more.

Cross channel marketing enables you to reach out to your customers and address them in a way that is relevant to them. It differs from multi-channel marketing by connecting different channels using single and cohesive campaigns.

In short, it’s a unified and integrated experience that can be personalised by tracking preferences, tailoring content, and dovetailing channels. It successfully puts the customer at the heart of every campaign.

Here at Smart Printing Company, we have experience in delivering single campaigns across multiple channels, rather than multiple campaigns running simultaneously. We select and use different media, activated based on customer preferences or behaviour.  It’s a powerful approach that is yielding impressive results for our clients.

What are the key benefits of cross channel marketing?

It’s a really targeted approach. It enables you to connect with your customer or potential customer using a channel they respond well to. You can send them relevant and personalised offers, increasing your conversion rates.

The personalisation goes further than that. Messages aimed at new customers are clearly different to those aimed at customers who have been loyal to your brand for some time. Knowledge of where a customer is in relation to your brand is also vital in the retention process. Timely reminders of offers, end of terms, options and choices go a long way in helping to maintain loyalty.

Using cross channel marketing helps you to understand your customers and provide them with valid, relevant, and useful information, enhancing your reputation and the trust in your brand.

So the key takeaways are consistency, relevance and personalisation, combined with higher levels of customer retention and increased sales. You can save time and money too by understanding what channels your customers respond too, avoiding wasting effort and budget – as well as customer forbearance!

Meeting your customer’s expectations

This is an important aspect too. By unifying your communications, you avoid the possibility of mixed messages, such as differing levels of discount on different channels.

You can also monitor the frequency of contact, avoiding bombarding a customer with emails or SMS messages which can make them reach quickly for the unsubscribe option!

How to implement a cross channel marketing campaign?

It’s all about the technology you use. For many brands, this can be a discordant approach, with different teams using different methods to communicate with customers on various channels.

It’s important to unify your approach to achieve full control and transparency. Often, a staged approach is the best, identifying which channels you would like to start with and improving your performance. As you evaluate your customer data and your understanding of your customers grows, you can also grow your cross channel base to include new areas.

It’s important to have all your information on a Customer Data Platform (CDP) with analytics to track their interactions and make informed decisions on their engagement.

Learn about your customers

Learn as much as possible about your customers. Who are they? Where are they? Monitor when they open emails or interact with SMS messages and work out their patterns and preferences, then build this into your campaigns.

This is known as a ‘buyer persona’, identifying communication and buying preferences, needs, and buying habits. It’s often a good idea to take yourself on your customer’s journey through your buying process to identify the plus and minus points, from initial interaction with your website through to final payment. You can often identify ways to improve and enhance the process.

Knowledge of your customers should expand beyond who they are to include how they prefer to consume their data and how best to prompt a response or interaction, delivering campaign messages according to their individual preferences.

What channels should you use?

Customer behaviours and preferences will change even over short periods of time, according to specific timings and messages. As an example, a pizza business might email a voucher on a Friday morning when the recipient is at his/her desk and may order lunch. This approach would be far less effective on a Saturday night, when the recipient is at home, in which case SMS would be a more successful approach. Equally, arriving home on Monday evening with the Monday blues, a consumer may appreciate opening their door to find a ‘money-off’ voucher for an early week dinner discount!

One of our recent examples was an event campaign linked to an online booking platform, which engaged attendees in the run-up to the event, created follow ups and also an interactive experience during the talk itself. We achieved a 75% ‘show up’ rate from total bookings, a 100 Net Promoter score (measuring the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services to others), and subsequent business opportunities with 23% of the attendees.

So it’s not a question of using everything, all the time. Some channels work better alongside others. Analysing your customer data will help with this decision. Never forget social media in your content strategy for the unique opportunity to interact directly with customers.

Cross channel marketing will help to improve your customers’ experience of your brand, and ensure your brand is kept in front of them in an appropriate and acceptable manner. Getting started in cross channel marketing is easier than you might think. At Smart Printing Company, we can plan, design and implement cross channel marketing campaigns. Give us a call to discuss the opportunities!

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