How well do you know your customers? Relying on guesswork when you decide how to market your business can result in many valuable customers slipping through the cracks and many missed opportunities. It doesn’t have to be like that. As individual customers are becoming more precious in today’s tight digital economy, cross-channel marketing can help you reach out to them by leaps and bounds. Moreover, they will be the right ones – those that are interested to engage with your product or service, become loyal buyers and eventually grow your business.
- Did you know that two-thirds of all e-commerce visitors typically use more than one channel to complete a purchase? In contrast, only 5 percent of marketers say that they have developed a cross-channel marketing plan to meet these needs.
But what is cross-channel marketing exactly and how does it work in the context of the purchasing cycle? The cross channel marketing-definition is often mixed with the one of multi-channel marketing. This confusion deserves a bit of a clarification so that you get a better idea of the cross-channel advertising benefits that are not applicable to the alternative.
Cross-Channel and Omni-Channel vs Multi-Channel
Multi-channel simply means using more than one channel, for example, a desktop and a mobile to transfer a brand message tailored to the specific channel. Multiple channels can even include the TV or the radio.
Cross-channel advertising is about offering an integrated user experience across all channels. With this practice, customers create a consistent picture of the message you’re trying to deliver, while you collect data on how their behavior changes across different devices and platforms. That’s right – the device customers use can affect their purchasing decision. If you notice that customers drop off a specific device without buying, but return to do the purchase from another, you can avoid making the wrong push too early in the shopping cycle and focus on the most profitable platform.
- 72 percent of customers prefer connecting to a brand through multiple channels.
A consistent brand experience affects customer retention, in a good way, of course. But limiting the cross-channel advertising definition to a unified brand message doesn’t do the best service to the possibilities it can deliver. There is more.
Relate to Customers
Generating a cross-channel marketing strategy can help you analyze user habits by tracking their browsing activity and comparing it to their purchasing decisions. You can pick up data about their favorite device or channel and apply it to offer an attractive product in a different way. Simply put, going cross-channel is not only about marketing; it’s about building relationships with your clients by fine-tuning into their needs. Although it somewhat resembles client relationship management (CRM), it’s more focused on the reverse process. To be more accurate, cross-channel advertising messages are more about what goes out and CRM is more about what comes in.
- 51 percent of businesses use at least eight channels for customer interaction
As you can imagine, trying to deliver a consistent brand message across so many channels is not simple. It’s easy to spread yourself too thin while trying to match user expectations. Most marketers have already a tight schedule, packed with meetings, constant notifications, and multiple analytics tools. Analyzing whether a customer prefers email notifications or Instagram ads is complex. So, what are the benefits of cross-channel advertising in this mix and how can you ensure that the practice doesn’t become another item you need to cross off from your to-do list?
Making Informed Decisions
You gain an incredible amount of data from your customers from the many ways you use to reach out to them on daily basis. It’s no longer enough to analyze the data independently and target your audience by device. Cross-channel marketing can help you gather insights across devices and use it to make better decisions about your marketing strategies.
Independent device messages are the bare minimum. Cross-channel ads, especially if they are developed by using an intelligent cross-channel marketing software encompass the bigger picture. A software can analyze pairs or groups of devices at different points of the customer purchasing cycle. It can help you find systems and blueprints undiscoverable by the “naked eye” or by isolated tracking and analytics tools. In some areas, a person just cannot (and it doesn’t need to) compete with automation.
Multiple Connection Points
Why should you pay attention to delivering a consistent brand message with cross-channel advertising? 86 percent of customers regularly switch between at least two channels, whereas 73 percent do their online shopping on more than one channel. With these numbers in mind, you need to follow the direction the customer focus takes you. Ads are no longer about keeping the lines of communication open in a straightforward manner. In the age of scattered attention, casting a wider network is necessary to remain attractive and present. As a strategist, you can concentrate on the bigger view, leaving the nitty-gritty to a cross-channel advertising platform.
Effortless User Experience
To understand the benefits of effortless user experience, it’s enough to recall the worth of Amazon’s one-click purchasing option. Customers don’t like struggling with how they get their products. In fact, they will very much abandon a business that doesn’t serve them fast. So, if you only deploy multiple channels without finding out where customers face the most effort, you’ll be letting them struggle in vain where they don’t have to. This is where cross-channel marketing hops in to reduce, if not totally eliminate unnecessary customer efforts that can drive away customers from your website or e-commerce store.
A single channel provides a lot of information about your customers. However, if you concentrate only on how customers interact with that particular channels, you’ll be using only bitesize chunks of the user behavior. Instead, you need to concentrate on the full course meal or the complete customer journey. Customer behavior is unpredictable. While mobile browsing can be most effective for social media sharing and collecting product feedback, a customer may actually prefer to log into a desktop platform to finalize a purchase.
- Reaching out to a customer by creating a cross-channel advertising campaign increases engagement by 166%.
Message consistency and better engagement create an accumulative benefit: improved customer loyalty. Multi-channel marketing has its drawbacks. It can overstimulate and misinform customers about your brand, for instance about sales, available discounts, and store or product launches. Can you imagine the frustration of a customer who finds out that the store in his area has been moved to a new location because his email info was not updated as soon as the website published the news?
Cross-channel marketing ensures brand consistency, constantly delivering clear messages to your customers. Consistency is at the core of trust and loyalty and therefore boosts customer satisfaction.
Cross-channel marketing software based on artificial intelligence can speed up the manner in which your business gathers insight from the data abundance. AI advertising tools are similar to using the ‘brains’ of leading platforms like Google and Facebook, overseen by an intelligent and experienced marketing analyst.
To learn more about how an AI cross-channel marketing platform can help you grow your business, visit Frank.ai and request a free demo.