Last updated on May 15, 2022
Today’s consumers are more aware of their shopping behaviors and expectations. They have specific demands for price, ingredients, delivery options, production methods, customer experience & service, and so much more. They also expect a seamless experience from online to offline and vice versa.
That’s why multichannel marketing no longer works. Marketers need another strategy that helps meet customers where they are and fulfill their expectations while achieving sales goals.
Enter cross-channel marketing.
In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about cross-channel marketing, including what it is, how it benefits your business, steps to implement it, and challenges you might face while doing that. We’ll also give you some practical use cases of cross-channel marketing for your inspiration to get started.
But before going into details, let’s find out why multichannel marketing is no longer effective.
Why Multichannel Marketing Is Not Enough Anymore
What Does Cross-Channel Marketing Really Mean?
Benefits of Cross Channel Marketing
Two Challenges With Cross-Channel Marketing
8 Steps to Create a Cross-Channel Campaign Strategy Plan
Bonus: Frequently Asked Answers About Cross-channel Marketing
Cross-Channel Marketing Examples
It’s time to implement Cross-channel Marketing for your business
Multichannel marketing means using multiple single channels separately to connect and engage with customers. These channels work independently from each other and thus don’t provide a seamless, connected user experience.
The main reason multichannel marketing no longer works is modern consumers’ shopping behaviors are fundamentally changed. Today’s consumers may see your Facebook ads, follow your brands on Instagram, visit your online store, read reviews, subscribe to your newsletter, etc. They may go through seven or more touch-points before making the first purchase.
This is why new approaches like cross-channel and omni-channel marketing are taking over.
To nurture them, you need to keep branding and messages consistent across different channels. You need to maintain the same first impression that people get when they see your ad or check out you on Instagram. This is challenging and time-consuming because you have to alter your content marketing messages for every channel.
Need data? SmarterHQ’s study found that 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails, and 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging. These findings align with Accenture’s, showing that 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide recommendations relevant to them.
According to Oracle, cross-channel marketing “employs multiple, connected channels to reach customers. This allows for an easier and more seamless transition from channel to channel. The different channels record information about the customer and communicate it between each other, so they can all come together into a single, consistent customer journey.”
For instance, when you do cross-channel marketing, your messages and branding are consistent across multiple channels. This variety of channels works well together, which effectively engages and supports customers as they move across touch-points and devices in the buyer’s journey.
A proper cross-channel marketing strategy brings many benefits to your business. Here are some of them:
Investing in cross-channel marketing can help you quickly take your business to the next level. Still, it can also come with some challenges you need to keep in mind.
First, you can provide personalized messages and recommendations only when you have a complete 360-degree view of each customer. To do this, you need to collect customer data from multiple disparate sources (e.g., your online store, email platform, social media, physical locations, mobile apps, etc.) and turn it into actionable insights.
Second, cross-channel marketing requires the right technology. Typically, it can take six to ten different tools for a brand to deliver integrated experiences. But the problem is as tech stacks grow, so do the complexity, cost, vulnerability, and inefficiency of the marketing campaigns. Hence, you should define your goals, budget, strategy, and the like from the get-go to figure out which tools you might need.
Work on data quality to understand the customers thoroughly and improve engagement with them through each channel. A good practice is using an all-in-one marketing solution like Insider, which provides a multitude of data points and helps you form a unified view of your customer as they navigate and leave signals across platforms.
Segment your target audience by demographics, psychographics, geography, and behavior. Doing this will help you understand exactly what customers in each segment need and tailor your messaging and product offerings to them.
List down the various channels where your customers are at. If they often visit your online store, use web push and onsite personalization to target them. If your customers shop online with their mobile devices, use app push notifications, email marketing, or RCS messaging to connect with them.
When you just get started with cross-channel marketing, try to create and optimize micro funnels first. An excellent example of a micro funnel is when you launch card abandonment cross-channel campaigns — running a Facebook ad, sending an abandoned cart email, sending a text message, etc. Doing this will help you find out issues in your broader marketing funnel and fix them right away.
Take advantage of A/B testing and multivariate testing to see what your customers’ cross-channel journeys look like, where they often hang out, and what different elements of cross-channel campaigns they better respond to. Then, tweak, improve, and optimize your marketing campaigns accordingly.
Once you determine cross-channel campaigns that bring you the best results, run them to all of your existing customers and new ones.
Use metrics and data analytics tools like Google Analytics to analyze and monitor your campaigns’ performance. Doing this will help you find out what works, and what hasn’t and collect valuable insights for your future marketing campaigns.
When you have essential pieces in place, repeat the above steps to improve your cross-channel marketing strategy performance further.
You can apply cross-channel marketing to engage and convert first-time visitors, boost retention rates, drive referrals, or reactivate silent customers, as shown in the picture below:
Here are four practical use cases to help you understand how to apply the cross-channel marketing approach in real life.
Let’s say you’re selling clothing. When someone visited your store the first time, they didn’t know what dress to choose, so they left without buying anything.
For example, you can ask them if they want to receive web push notifications about sales and new arrivals via desktop and mobile web. You can also offer a discount in exchange for their email address to run retargeting campaigns via email later.
To recover abandoned carts, you can create an abandoned cart flow, run retargeting social media campaigns, or show pop-ups on the website. You can also send web push notifications and SMS messages to remind visitors of what they left in their cart.
Upselling and cross-selling products are smart strategies to increase customer loyalty, sell to existing ones and boost average order value. You can offer upsells and cross-sells via email marketing, running Facebook ads, sending SMS messages, or showing them on product detail pages.
Do you have many customers who have purchased your products just a few times and then went silent? If yes, you can run cross-channel marketing campaigns to encourage them to come back. Think about sending them a discount via email, showing flash sales web push notifications, or running retargeting Facebook ads. If all else fails, try direct mail, that will stand out for sure.
For example, users who entered their email address in the sign-up form to subscribe to your email newsletter.
100 users per day.
Since the user can register once, we can use the “only time option” here.
Making the first order.
Checking if the user has ordered or not.
Yes, language and location.
Email, app push, SMS, and social media.
Yes, opening an email and clicking the link inside.
We want to send the first message immediately after registration but we’ll wait for one or two days since potential customers often don’t order right away.
Mobile application and website.
Yes. For example, customers’ offline shopping behaviors.
Increasing the repeat purchase.
A successful cross-channel marketing strategy will help you connect with modern shoppers in the right place at the right time and turn them into purchasing customers.
That said, executing it involves several areas of marketing and customer engagement, including data and insights, customer experience strategy, and customer segmentation.
It also requires the right technologies and ways of working for efficient implementation across all channels, so make sure your marketing teams are up to the task.We hope that this basic guide will help you understand what you need to get started with cross-channel marketing. In case you’re looking for a solution, contact us for an Insider demo today, and we’ll help you make Insider work for your business.
Nicolas is VP of Marketing EMEA at Insider. Passionate about new technologies and e-commerce, Nicolas has held various position at leading e-commerce and tech companies including Groupon, Microsoft and Bwin.