There’s a wide variety of marketing channels brands can use to communicate with their customers—email, SMS, push notifications, etc. But, cross-channel marketing doesn’t just mean using multiple channels, it means using those channels in a cohesive way to create a seamless experience for customers. On average, a customer interacts with six-to-eight touchpoints before making a purchase. Each interaction shouldn’t require the customer to start from scratch—they should build on one-another, creating an overarching journey that leads the customer to purchase.
The challenge with building a cohesive cross-channel strategy, however, is being able to prove the return on investment (ROI). With channels ending up in silos, trying to measure the return can often result in individual channel ROI versus an overall ROI. To help overcome those hurdles, we’re offering five tips for measuring cross-channel marketing ROI.
1. Know Your Channels
When designing a cross-channel marketing strategy, with ROI in mind, it’s crucial to identify the channels your brand will be using to reach customers. You don’t have to use every single channel, but use the channels that make sense for your brand, customers, and product.
Understanding which channels you’ll be using and the strengths of each channel will help you determine the impact each channel has on the customer journey. SMS for example, is the perfect channel for urgent communications. If a deal is about to expire, send customers an SMS to let them know. An email, however, is less urgent but better for fitting more information. Decide which channels will be a part of your journey and play to their strengths.
Envision the Journey
Speaking of the customer journey, when aiming to understand cross-channel marketing ROI, marketing teams need to consider what the whole cross-channel journey will look like for each customer. What is the first touchpoint? What comes next? What if they take an unexpected path? Do you have a plan?
Without a journey designed to take advantage of each channel, it’s hard to measure how effective the overall cross-channel strategy is. You’ll end up re-siloing the channels when looking at ROI because collectively they can’t communicate with one another like they should be.
2. Set Goals
To determine if your cross-channel strategy is delivering a high ROI, you have to first set goals you want to accomplish. What are you hoping to achieve by implementing a cross-channel strategy? Without setting goals, it will be hard to suss out what impact your cross channel strategy is having on your bottom line.
For example, maybe one goal is to increase app downloads. Your team can design a path to download through multiple marketing channels. First, maybe you send subscribers an email with a deep link to the app store. If users don’t open it, maybe then you send an SMS. By setting app download as the goal, you can determine right away which channel—or, more likely, channel combination—is more successful in achieving that goal.
3. Test, Test, and Test Again
When achieving goals, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. The way to accomplish the goals you’ve set is to test out different scenarios to see which is the most impactful. If you give up after the first failed attempt, you’ll end up unfairly skewing your marketing ROI—if a desired goal isn’t met, you’ve sunk costs. But, if you can adapt and test all possible scenarios, you can improve your return by running the most impactful campaigns.
What’s better than testing? Automated testing. With Iterable’s channel optimization, you can automatically run tests to design a customer journey that garners the highest engagement. Not only is this process automated, but it’s on an individual level. Iterable’s AI-powered optimization suite can, based on historical data, determine the channel with which each user is more likely to engage.
4. Define Key Performance Indicators
Key performance indicators (KPIs) can determine whether or not your cross-channel campaigns are having a positive impact on your bottom line. Without setting KPIs it’ll be difficult to determine what tests are successful and which aren’t. KPIs help your team both define goals and determine if they’ve been accomplished.
It’s important to note that there are both channel-specific and overall KPIs—both of which you should keep track of when trying to measure cross-channel ROI.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
- Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
- Email deliverability
- App user growth
5. Let Your Tools Do the Work
The right martech tools can take your marketing efforts to the next level. With technology providing capabilities—like automation—measuring marketing ROI should be a breeze. You’ll be able to understand exactly how each channel is performing not only alone, but as part of a broader cross-channel strategy.
With Iterable’s Studio, as an example, your marketing team will be able to evaluate each step of the customer journey with detailed analytics. These analytics allow you to adjust message-level resonance, calibrate Journey progression, measure campaign proficiency, and assess lifecycle efficacy holistically. Like we said, measuring cross-channel marketing ROI will be a breeze.
Understanding Cross-Channel Marketing ROI
Cross-channel ROI is the return on investment of the entire cross-channel strategy—each step in the overall journey working together in unison. To measure this ROI you need to understand how each channel interacts with one another to lead customers to a purchasing decision. When layering marketing channels on top of one another they become more powerful, so your marketing team can’t just look at the performance of each individual channel—they’ll end up selling themselves short.
By knowing your channels, envisioning the journey, setting goals, testing, and implementing the right martech tools, you’ll be able to measure the cross-channel ROI. Not only that, you’ll be able to develop a successful cross-channel marketing strategy.
To learn more about how Iterable’s capabilities can help your team measure cross-channel marketing ROI, schedule a demo today.