Today, customers use multiple communication channels when they interact with a business or buy products and services that they want.
Not only this, but they often pass seamlessly back and forth between channels and devices during the purchasing process. This means that all of our customers have now become “cross-channel.”
Because your clients are now cross-channel, you need to be offering them a cross-channel experience if you want to evolve with them.
Cross-channel marketing is a necessary evolution of communication, and it has become a key component of perfecting your customers’ buyer journeys.
The buyer journey refers to every interaction that the client has with the business throughout the entire sales funnel.
The buyer journey relies on multiple different channels throughout. For example, the website is needed for the customer to browse products, the brick-and-mortar store when the customer goes to pick up the product they ordered online, email in order to stay in contact with customer service, and social media to visit the store’s website and leave comments about the product and brand.
In order to speed along the buying decision (especially the actual act of buying the product) you need to be sure to offer them as flexible of a buyer journey as possible.
One thing there cannot be is a lack of communication or an interruption when the client switches from one channel to the next.
Seventy-three percent of shoppers buy from more than one channel.
The ultimate goal is to usher consumers toward purchasing your product or service.
HOW TO CREATE A CROSS-CHANNEL MARKETING STRATEGY
GATHER ALL CUSTOMER DATA IN ONE PLACE
If you want to create a winning cross-channel campaign, you can’t have all your analytics data in different silos, you need to gather it in one place.
A data silo is a group of raw data that is accessible by one department but isolated from the rest of that organization. This results in a severe lack of transparency, efficiency, and trust within that organization.
MAP THE BUYER’S JOURNEYS
You want to figure out how people go from hearing about your company for the first time to buying your product or service, which is referred to as the customer journey.
In general, you will learn that most customers who have purchased your product or service did not do so immediately after visiting your website for the first time. Instead, it’s likely that they have visited your website several times, read a few blog articles, followed you on social media, subscribed to your email newsletter, checked out the sales page more than once, and maybe even sent an email to customer support.
As you look at data from the customer journey, you will start noticing various behavioral patterns, since people brought in through different channels (paid ads, SEO, email marketing, etc.) tend to behave differently.
Your aim should be to identify the three most common buyer’s journeys that lead to purchasing your product or service and focus on growing those channels.
USE PERSONALIZED CONTENT TO NUDGE PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE BUYER’S JOURNEY
Once you have a clear understanding of how most people get to the point of purchasing your product or service, you can use content personalization to nudge them in the right direction at each touchpoint.
For example, let’s say a potential customer enters a search query into Google, clicks on a link to your blog, and reads said article. What should you do next?
Well, you could offer them a generic lead magnet, put them through a generic autoresponder sequence, or send them a generic sales email.
Or, you can offer them a targeted lead magnet related to the article they have just read, put them through an autoresponder sequence that is focused on the problem addressed in that article, and send them a sales email that zeroes-in on that specific problem.
It’s safe to say that the latter approach will almost certainly yield better results.
You should build out these “Choose Your Own Adventure” marketing funnels where the content shown to the potential customer is personalized based on their previous behavior.
Of course, this will take a significant amount of time, energy, and money, but if you get it right, cross-channel marketing will significantly improve your bottom line.
IT CAN HELP YOUR PPC CAMPAIGNS
You want to win your pay-per-click auctions, and you want to pay less. And it’s actually possible.
If you create campaigns across different channels centered around a unique message, the distinctiveness will help increase interest, leading to an uplift in search volumes and a reduction in price-per-click.
IT CAN GIVE YOU A SEARCH ADVANTAGE
The message of your campaign must be something that people can easily search. Once you are set on this, tailor your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. This way your ads will be highly relevant when people begin searching.
With strong relevancy, your PPC quality scores will be higher than competitors. This can enable you to pay less per click.
With the establishment of cross-channel communication, you can effectively serve the needs of your end user—the shopper—while also increasing retail ROI and performance across the board.
Whether it’s used to improve traceability, increase promotional sales, or drive loyalty and customer satisfaction, the ability to share data, insights, product information, and more is crucial to the success of retailer-supplier relationships.
Assess your current communication strategy, identify areas of improvement and implement systems, strategies, and collaborative tools to find success.