If you ran a business in the 1920s, your marketing strategy would probably look something like this:
Now, with the average city-dweller on the receiving end of over 5,000 ads a day, getting your brand message to stand out is a bit more difficult.
Every day, your potential customers go on a journey, from inbox to social media to Google, and if you want to drive the best results for your business, you’re going to need to tag along for the ride.
This is known as cross-channel marketing, and in this article, we’re going to explain what it is, why it’s important, and also weigh up the pros and cons so you can decide if it’s a fit for you. Read on to find out more.
Each of these 5 growth pillars comes with dozens of individual strategies, yet most companies rely on only a handful and expect to see results.
Sadly, most of the time, this just isn’t going to happen.
Every day, your customers go on a journey from Facebook to Google to their inbox - multiple times. If you want to stand out from the crowd of other companies also fighting for their attention, you need to swap out quickfire, hopeful marketing methods for a cross-channel system that takes you along for the ride, too.
A stopped clock is right twice a day, and the same applies to digital marketing - just because your campaign is delivering some results occasionally, that doesn’t mean it’s performing at its best.
A cross-channel marketing strategy helps you to capitalise on these otherwise missed opportunities by following your prospects on their online journey, giving them the right information at the right time.
When they’re browsing an article online, you might have an eye-catching display ad to boost brand awareness. When they’re making relevant searches on Google, you’re right there at the top of the search results with an ad that tells them you’re the right choice.
Advertising isn’t a one-size-fits-all activity - it takes work, and it absolutely needs to be tailored to your business. Cross-channel marketing recognises this by taking the data you have on your audience and creating a comprehensive experience that caters to everyone.
When your ads are firing across multiple channels, giving your audience the right information at the right time, you’ll have built a seamless customer journey that guides them right through from first discovering your brand to making that all-important purchase and coming back for more.
Cross-channel marketing boasts numerous advantages for businesses of all sizes but like all marketing strategies, it also comes with a set of drawbacks. Let’s take a look at both so you can weigh them up before jumping in.
When you deploy the “right place, right time” principle, your brand message will be seen by far more people than if you simply advertised on one platform.
The benefits don’t stop here. For example, if you’re a florist, you can capitalise on local search to get your brand in front of people who are in the market for your services and ready to make a purchasing decision.
Your campaigns no longer have to accommodate a single end goal. In fact, you can tailor them to target different objectives at different parts of the advertising process.
Cold audiences could be driven to an email subscription, followed by a sequence that gradually nurtures them, whereas warmer audiences can be pushed towards making a purchase with a limited-time offer.
You could have the best offer in the world, but if you don’t make it easy for your target audience to take advantage of it, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Cross-channel marketing takes care of this. By retargeting website visitors across Google, Facebook and Display networks, you give them an easy avenue to convert when the time is right.
With this many ads running on this many channels, you need to be prepared for increased costs. Even though you’re likely to see a return down the line, if you don’t have a substantial starting budget, cross-channel marketing might not yield the results you want.
The ability to show your customers the right message in the right place at the right time doesn’t come without its downsides. Namely, you need to know your target audience inside out and set up detailed, accurate buyer personas.
For companies who have the time and resources to conduct extensive research, this isn’t a problem but for those who are time and resource-poor, it might not be a great fit.
Not all of your ads are going to work, and when they’re all interwoven, separating strong performers from their lacklustre counterparts isn’t always an easy process.
If you’re not data-savvy or don’t have the systems set up to analyse your ads properly, you’ll run the risk of unnecessarily wasting your budget.
Pursuing cross-channel marketing doesn’t mean that you have to be immediately present on every platform.
First, do your research. Figure out who your target audiences are and create detailed buyer personas for each one. Where do your potential customers hang out online? What interests do they have offline? How does your product or service help to make their lives better?
Once you’re armed with an arsenal of platform-specific search and display ads tailor made for your target audiences then you’re ready to get the ball rolling…slowly but surely.