Cross channel marketing strategies are notably vast – and since they are comprised of multiple carefully crafted touch points across a wide array of connected channels, you can imagine that optimizing these campaigns is hardly ever seamless. If an expository advertisement seems to be underperforming, is that simply because another advertisement is spurring the sale? Or, is that advertisement just not effective?
Customers are exposed to more advertisements than ever before in today’s marketing environment, with recent estimates suggesting consumers are exposed to anywhere between 4,000 to 10,000 adverts every day. With this increased volume of messages, marketers need to not only directly address their needs and interests – they need to find better understand their customers to navigate and interact with your journey across channels.
To achieve maximum exposure on each channel, it’s imperative that brands adopt an effective cross channel strategy. However, it’s not easy to build an effective cross channel marketing strategy by scratch – it takes research, creative, commitment, a series of tests, and learning. Let’s begin with a hypothetical example of a successful cross channel marketing campaign, and then outline a few questions that will help you gauge the status of your current campaign:
- How Does Cross Channel Marketing Work?
- What is My Current Marketing Attribution Technique?
- What Types of Consumer Data Am I Analyzing?
- Is My Data High Quality?
- Am I Prioritizing the Right Marketing Channels?
- Can I Access Technology Designed for Cross Channel Campaigns?
How Does Cross Channel Marketing Work?
Think of how an average consumer may engage with a business that uses cross channel marketing – take the Dollar Shave Club for example. Before the consumer begins their daily grooming routine, they check their phone and see an advertisement for inexpensive razors from a company they had never heard of. This “Dollar Shave Club” is offering a $5 trial of razors and topical creams for a limited time – but since the consumer had never heard of this business, they assumed they were not reputable and moved on.
Later that day, they turn on their TV to watch their favorite late-night comedian and see another advertisement from Dollar Shave Club, with an offer to a different trial package. When the consumer recognizes that this company has the brand reputation needed to get a spot on prime time television, they follow the offer and order their trial. Throughout their trial, they receive several paper mailers to their address, advertising new packages that they may find appealing based on their trial purchase. After interacting with a variety of touchpoints across multiple channels that were chosen based on their unique strengths, the customer subscribes for the long haul.
Of course, this is an idealized scenario that shows only one scenario for success. Creating a seamless strategy that encourages action like this requires constant refinement. Here are some questions that will set your campaign in the right direction
What is My Current Marketing Attribution Technique?
What kind of attribution method is your organization using now? Last-touch attribution? Multi-touch attribution? Time decay? Or something else entirely? Cross channel campaigns must be backed by industry-leading attribution strategies that provide the most granular reach and engagement data possible. However, many of today’s methods for measuring marketing effectiveness lack the ability to combine data from different data sources (such as online and offline metrics) or cannot provide timely recommendations.
The best measurement and attribution models will be able to identify exactly which consumer groups are viewing and engaging with your advertisements, and break down exactly which ad they viewed, where it was displayed, and when they saw it. Then, it should be able to break this data into both aggregate and person-level measurements, with aggregate data informing general consumer trends, while person-level data helps you deeply understand a narrow segment of consumers.
Since cross channel marketing encompasses both online and offline channels, it is crucial to measure engagement on both types of channels. While it can be difficult to measure the impact of offline advertising in particular, methods like unified marketing measurement allow you to match engagements with ad exposure data (such as geotagging, zip code data, or in-store purchases within a certain geography) to help trace the path that a customer took on their cross channel journey.
What Types of Consumer Data Am I Analyzing?
Marketers need to access data that uncovers when individuals were exposed to a certain ad and have the personal data necessary to string multiple engagements together into a single, comprehensive journey. For a cross channel campaign, this is not a one-and-done procedure, either – it must be replicated for each microsegment of your consumer base.
Some of this information is found by collecting data produced solely from your own campaigns. However, for the best campaign possible, marketers should access data from organizations that produce a large amount of consumer data. But only purchase this data either directly from the source, or from a reputable third-party partner that has close relationships with these companies and the ability to answer in-depth questions regarding the quality of the data.
Is My Data High Quality?
Once your marketing team has obtained first-party campaign data and second- or third-party market data, it’s important to thoroughly vet their original source. A recent estimate by Forrester found that 21 percent of every media dollar is wasted due to poor quality data. Unreliable data often causes marketers to overspend, craft the wrong messaging, or even lead their entire campaigns astray – so it’s no wonder that 82 percent of marketers say that improving their data quality is a top priority.
There are a few steps that organizations must take to sure up their data. They should create a standard methodology for analysis that highlights any outliers or missing data as their first line of defense against clearly unreliable information. Then, marketers should create standard templates for their data. The better the data intake, the faster more accurate your marketing analysis.
Am I Prioritizing the Right Marketing Channels?
Marketers should prioritize the channels that give them the most reach within their target market, instead of following gut feelings based on what competitors are doing. For example, you may believe that marketing your products on TikTok will help you capture a younger demographic – but if you’re seeing that TikTok exposures scarcely lead to future engagements, it would be better to continue using tried-and-true channels while you continue testing and learning with a platform like TikTok.
Look at which exposures tend to make up the customer’s journey, especially if certain pathways seem to directly lead to sales. Try to work within this framework, occasionally running smaller campaigns that mix-and-match potential pieces of the customer’s journey to test uncharted waters. At the end of the day, always put the bulk of your budget into what already works.
Can I Access Technology Designed for Cross Channel Campaigns?
Cross channel marketing is empowered by big data, and basic technology like an Excel spreadsheet simply won’t make the cut. To unify marketing measurements into a single, cross channel strategy, marketers need a data analytics platform capable of organizing and analyzing big data.
Marketers should be on the lookout for technology that helps them not only analyze data in a timely manner, but also provide “what-if” scenarios that help them see what their campaign could achieve if it were optimized. Then, it can break down what this optimization entails – such as providing the best time to deploy this message to a certain segment, or determining if the ad would be more successful on a desktop versus a mobile device.
Some industry-leading optimization platforms even offer extensive processes for assessing and validating the quality of your data. This can help your organization hit two birds with one stone, and eliminate the need for additional data vetting technologies that cost your organization time and money. Look for a solution that validates data from arrival, to ingestion, to consumption using a representation and/or anomaly analysis.
A holistic cross channel marketing strategy won’t only help marketers increase exposure – it will also help them get a complete view of how their customers interact with marketing messages. When marketers maximize the value of their media placements by backing up each move with an intricate understanding of consumer motivators, increased revenue is the outcome.
As you continue crafting your cross channel campaigns, understand that constant optimization is a necessity. Keep an eye out for the areas that your target consumer is active in and constantly collect data about their behavior. Then, analyze and distill this data to understand exactly what encourages these customers to react. Once a campaign has been launched, continuously refine it with the feedback you collect from customers – and bring it back to market again with messaging that’s more powerful than ever before.