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Why Cross-Channel Marketing is Essential for Modern Businesses

Imagine pouring your heart and soul into a marketing campaign, only for it to vanish into the digital abyss. In today’s oversaturated media landscape, countless emails go unopened, social media posts get lost in the scroll, and targeted ads fail to resonate. The culprit? A fragmented marketing approach that treats each channel as an island instead of incorporating them into a unified ecosystem.

This single-channel strategy might have worked in a simpler era, but today’s customers are digital nomads, seamlessly transitioning between platforms and devices. They adopt new channels and can even abandon old, tried-and-true channels when they no longer benefit from them.

Additionally, when customers see disparate, disconnected messages on different channels from a single brand, it can feel like those messages are coming from different companies altogether. In modern marketing, truly reaching and resonating with customers requires a holistic strategy that transcends the limitations of a single touchpoint. Consistent messaging needs to move across marketing channels—a.k.a. cross-channel marketing.

Why Cross-Channel Marketing is Essential

Cross-channel marketing isn’t about blasting generic messages across multiple platforms. It’s about orchestrating a personalized, unified customer experience, ensuring consistent branding and messaging across all touchpoints. Cross-channel marketing not only benefits the customer, it benefits your brand too.

Reach Customers Where They Are

Single channel campaigns can miss some customers entirely if that particular channel is not the one that customers are actively using. By reaching them on their preferred platforms with relevant messages, cross-channel marketing allows for a much higher likelihood of those messages to be seen and interacted with.

Tip: Marketing platforms that are driven by historical data and AI can allow marketers to easily set up campaigns that automatically leverage channels that customers interact with most. Best-practice marketing organizations will ensure that their martech platforms can do this with ease.

Boost Engagement & Conversions

Imagine a customer browsing a product on your website. With cross-channel marketing, you might retarget them with a social media ad featuring the product they viewed, followed by a personalized email featuring that product and then, if they still haven’t interacted with your messaging, an SMS or push notification with a discount code.

This creates a cohesive experience that resonates with the customer and increases the chance of conversion. By tailoring communication to each channel and leveraging customer data for personalization, cross-channel marketing guides customers seamlessly through the buying journey, leading to significant improvements in engagement and conversion rates.

Tip: Map out each stage of the buyer’s journey and create templated content blocks for each stage and channel, leaving space for dynamic content snippets that contain personalized content for things like products viewed, sale prices and even promotion dates.

Build Stronger Customer Relationships

Consistency across touchpoints fosters trust and loyalty—the bedrock of any strong customer relationship. A single, impersonal message might be easily lost or dismissed, but a well-coordinated cross-channel campaign can create a lasting connection with your customers.

Cross-channel marketing allows you to deliver relevant content and offers at each stage of the buying journey. This can be easily done with best-in-class marketing platforms that leverage historical data on customer interactions to determine segments, channels, content and send times. This personalized approach shows the customer you care about their individual journey, rather than just a quick sale. This builds trust and fosters a sense of loyalty that goes beyond a single transaction.

Tip: In addition to where they are, think about when a customer is more likely to engage. Historical data should help inform when each customer is most active and knowing this, in addition to their preferred channel, can demonstrate that you really listen to your customers.

Fueling Cross-Channel Marketing Campaigns with Customer Data

If there’s one thing to take away from this post so far it’s that effective cross-channel marketing cannot exist without a strong foundation of quality customer data. This data allows you to personalize communication, tailor content to specific channels, and ultimately, create a seamless, individualized customer experience. Below are some key steps to developing a cross-channel marketing strategy built on customer data.

1. Create a Unified Customer View

The key is to establish a unified customer view. This is your single source of truth for customer profile and interaction data. This can be created within a traditional CDP (customer data platform) or data warehouse. This platform will be able to gather or ingest customer information from all touchpoints—website visits, social media interactions, email clicks, purchase history, etc.—and create a holistic customer profile.

For companies using a data warehouse, the approach might involve creating a central repository within the data warehouse that compiles customer data from various sources. This ensures a comprehensive understanding of each individual, enabling personalization across channels.

2. Segment Your Data

As we discussed in our recent blog post, Making Better Customer Segments and Why it Matters, effective segmentation goes beyond basic demographics and emphasizes building comprehensive customer profiles based on data points like purchase history, product preferences, message interactions, website visits, etc. to create highly targeted groups for personalized messaging.

Experienced cross channel marketing professionals, armed with modern platforms, leverage layers of segmentation which allow them to start with broad audiences—think, all customers who have opted in to marketing emails—and then whittle those groups down to smaller and smaller segments with layered segments for highly personalized messages. And the best part is that these layers can be reused repeatedly for future campaigns—small and large, specific and broad.

3. Automate Marketing Tasks

Choose a cross-channel marketing platform that integrates with your chosen data source and allows you to streamline the campaign creation process through AI-driven automation. Some notable Iterable examples are:

  • Predictive Goals: An AI-driven feature that analyzes user behavior and predicts which users are most likely to perform certain actions based on business goals
  • Copy Assist: which helps marketers generate copy for messages
  • Send Time Optimization (STO): Another AI-driven feature that leverages customer interaction data to send messages at the most optimal time

Automating as much of the campaign creation process as possible, while still sending customers highly personalized, relevant campaigns, is a win for both the marketers who are being asked to do more with less and the customers who feel more connected to brands.

4. Track Cross-Channel Analytics

Lastly, track and analyze customer behavior across all channels by leveraging the analytics insights tools found within your cross-channel marketing platform. Firstly, with these insights you can keep a finger on the pulse of your active campaigns so that you can identify any potential issues before they become real problems.

Secondly, you’ll use them to monitor how well specific channels are performing as well as the content being leveraged within those channels. This will help you optimize where needed for active campaigns and inform your strategy for future campaigns. By continuously analyzing your data, you can refine your cross-channel strategy and create even more seamless customer journeys.

Remember, high-quality customer data is the fuel that drives a successful cross-channel marketing campaign. By implementing these steps, you can create a unified experience for your customers, regardless of the touchpoint, and ultimately achieve your marketing goals.

Build Connections Between Channels and With Customers

In the competitive world of modern marketing, a fragmented approach leaves your brand adrift in a sea of noise. Cross-channel marketing empowers you to break free from these limitations. By orchestrating a unified customer journey across all touchpoints, you can transform fleeting interactions into lasting customer relationships and ultimately, drive sustainable business growth.

To learn more about how Iterable can help you automate and optimize your cross-channel marketing campaigns, schedule a custom demo today.

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