What is Cross-Channel Targeting ?
The benefits of communicating with customers using multiple channels has been known to most marketers. Few realize the difference between cross-channel & multichannel-marketing. “Multichannel” implies driving the marketing communication through more than one channel. “Cross-channel” denotes the ability to drive a single campaign with a consistent message across multiple channels.
Why Cross Channel Targeting ?
For instance, today’s Direct communication channels involve: Email Marketing, SMS, Mobile & Social Media (among many others) with each channel offering unique features and advantages towards unique communications with the end-customer. Disparate systems of end-customer communication make it difficult to track interactions while multiple, disconnected (incongruous) communications can leave the customer feeling confused and indecisive about the Brand message. Such lack of co-ordination across multiple channels of communication can cause a business to lose customers … forever !
Many of today’s customers are in constant motion and are not always accessible via a predictable communication channel. With a single record of each customer, organizations benefit from flexibility and agility, defining and designing a cross-channel strategy and targeting customers regardless of their location. With coordination between channels, if a customer doesn’t respond via one channel, an organization can try another-escalating to high-cost channels only for the highest value customers. Or, an organization can choose a channel based on the message, thus leading to a pecking order or hierarchy of multiple channels for Cross-channel communications.
IAB’s Cross-Media Optimization Study (XMOS) demonstrates how cross-channel programs work. The same marketing dollars, when effectively synchronizing on- and offline advertising, can lift brand awareness by 8 to 34 percent; increase purchase intent by 5 to 1,000 percent; and dramatically increase sales.
How to go about Cross-Channel Communications ?
The key enabler for cross-channel marketing is having a single marketing view of the customer. This requires a system of records for customer data which Brands can target by creating segment profiles & keep a detailed track of all past cross-channel marketing interactions, personalize and automate marketing efforts across multiple channels, and accurately measure audience reaction and effectiveness. Such an effort also leads to de-duplication of the Brand Message avoiding dilution of content/intent vis-a-vis the customer. This method of integrated marketing communication via multiple customer touch-points leads to higher conversion rates, thereby higher ROI.
A cross-channel marketing platform immensely magnifies the effectiveness of reaching customers by creating single campaigns that are replicated across various channels. Content, graphics & message remain consistent. Campaigns are coordinated across channels effectively with customer data from previous campaigns.
Integrating emerging channels with traditional channels through cross-channel marketing enables marketers to attain the “Holy Grail” of marketing: reaching the right person with the right offer through the right channel at the right time-reducing the cost and improving the effectiveness of marketing efforts.