Introduction To Cross Channel Marketing
Let’s begin with the basics – what is cross channel marketing? Cross channel marketing, also known as omnichannel marketing, involves managing your brand’s image over many channels, such as social media, email or television. Cross channel marketing allows you to reach more people who may be looking for your product or service, reduces risk and allows your business to respond better to changes beyond your control – such as Facebook being offline for six hours!
Essentially, if you are restricting your marketing to only one channel, you are limiting your reach & making your business vulnerable to several external factors. The key to effective cross channel marketing is that consumers can interact seamlessly with your brand over a number of channels.
Traditional Marketing vs. Digital Marketing
When choosing your combination of channels, it is beneficial to have a balance between traditional & digital marketing channels. Although it might be tempting to stick to ‘tried and tested’ channels such as print & television, digital has made it possible to tap into new markets easily.
With digital marketing, it is possible to reach potential customers on the other side of the world with just a click. Around the world, the number of people with Internet access is rising each and every day. In Australia alone, 86.5% of the total population now have Internet access. Failing to dip into digital marketing means that not only are you failing to reach a large proportion of people, but you are also falling behind your competitors.
Not only does digital marketing allow you to reach people on the other side of the world or country, but it is also highly measurable when compared to traditional marketing channels.
With digital marketing channels, you can see how many people have seen, clicked or undertaken the desired action from your ad. Such a granular level of data cannot be gained from traditional marketing channels. In fact, one of the struggles with digital marketing is having too much data! This being said, when you know which data to focus on, it is possible to gain insights into who your customers are, which help to inform future marketing – both digital & traditional.
Unsure Which Channels Are Right For You?
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to picking the proper channels for your business. One crucial factor to consider is to determine where you can reach your target market. For example, if you are looking to reach consumers interested in buying car parts, Pinterest is probably not the best channel for you. However, if your business sells home décor, it would be worth pursuing a far more viable channel.
Similarly, it is just as important to consider the goals of your campaign when choosing a marketing channel. While Native & Google Display are great channels for higher funnel objectives, such as brand awareness, or middle funnel objectives like lead generation, they are less effective for lower-funnel objectives such as sales or donations. Instead, paid search & social media would be a more practical solution for lower-funnel objectives.
Keep in mind that the right channels for your business will also vary depending on country & region. For example, although Facebook might be one of your best-performing channels in Australia, where 70% of adults have social media accounts, it may not perform as well in Germany, where it has been reported that only 37% of German adults have social media accounts. Make sure that you are aware of cultural differences & how they may impact your marketing efforts whenever you are entering new markets.
Still On The Fence?
We’re nearly there! Remember that time you browsed for a pair of shoes on a website, and later that day, you were seeing Display & Facebook ads for the next week? Although this technically has to do with retargeting, it highlights how ensuring you are on multiple channels increases the number of touchpoints a consumer has with your brand – by touchpoints, we mean every time a customer comes into contact with you, your brand.
With research now showing that consumers can spend weeks, if not months, in the decision-making process (the messy middle), it is more important than ever that your brand is visible to consumers during this period.
How Can I Measure Effectively With So Many Touchpoints?
With your brand being visible across so many different channels, it can be difficult to know which channels are actually performing best. Fortunately, that is where attribution comes in. Attribution is all about assigning value to the steps in the customer journey that led to a conversion or desired action.
Confused? I don’t blame you!
Let’s imagine that you own a business that sells surfboards and you’re running ads on multiple digital channels. A customer recently purchased a surfboard through your website, but they interacted with your business through multiple channels over the last 2 months. 60 days ago, the customer clicked on a Discovery ad and then browsed your website. 15 days later, the same customer Googled ‘surfboard’ and clicked on a Paid advertisement for your business. However, just yesterday, they saw your ad on Facebook, clicked on it & then purchased a surfboard. What event or events actually led to this one purchase – was it the initial Discovery ad, the Search ad or the Facebook ad? Depending on the attribution model & window you are using, you might end up with a different answer!
Although I could go on for hours about which attribution model & window is best (don’t tempt me) – the short answer is there is no one size fits all approach. However, as a general rule of thumb, when implementing a cross-channel marketing strategy, it is often better to reduce the attribution window (the period of time between when a person interacted with your ad and subsequently took an action). By reducing the attribution window, there will be less of an overlap between channels and you should be able to identify more easily the channels that are performing best for your business.
Not Sure Where To Start?
Need help developing and implementing a cross channel marketing strategy that works for your business? Reach out to us today!