Whenever a client approaches me with a new idea, I always start with the same question: “How does this fit into your big picture marketing strategy?” If that’s not the question your asking yourself and your team before each new project, chances are your leaving money on the table.
It’s the difference between having an online presence that’s just a bunch of pieces and having a structured online strategy that leads prospects through a very intentional path to conversion. One way achieve that structure is cross channel marketing.
Cross channel marketing is a single campaign run across multiple channels with a consistent message. Those channels can be a combination of online channels such as email, social networks or mobile and it can be offline through radio, tv and print. Cross channel marketing is a combination of any of these channels and it’s rapidly growing in popularity among marketers.
Unfortunately most brands cross channel marketing strategies look more like they’ve gone to the marketing tactics cookbook, chose 5 recipes and made a mess trying to combine all of them into one campaign. Their audience is more confused than convinced and we both know a confused audience doesn’t buy.
Here are 5 essential rules for executing a successful cross channel marketing strategy. Make sure to read over each one carefully.
1. Define Your Goals and Communicate Them
Let’s get one thing out of the way. “Building Brand Awarenesss” is NOT a goal. Neither is saying your going to “build your email list” or “increase conversion”. Don’t worry, I won’t get off on a tangent about goal setting (Not right now at least) but if you aren’t clear on how to create an effective goal, I’d encourage you to start with the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
The purpose of setting goals is to give meaning and focus to every strategy and tactic in your marketing plan. But your goals have another big job to do. They need to manage expectations. If your marketing goals aren’t clearly defined in the beginning and communicated to your team, your marketing campaigns will fall apart before they have a chance to work.
2. Measure What Matters
When tracking performance across multiple channels
Be careful of converting metrics when measuring from channel to channel. Not all actions are created equal. A Facebook fan can’t be compared directly to an email subscriber. Their intentions are completely different. Instead use tracking system such as Google analytics if your tracking online behavior to measure conversions across multiple channels.
In every cross channel marketing effort, don’t forget to measure the conversion of your audience as they move from channel to channel using things like tracking codes or tags inside Google Analytics. That way you can measure prospects behavior across multiple channels rather than giving attribution to the last referring channel only.
And again, get everyone on board with the metrics you plan to use to measure the campaign. Your goal is only as good as the metrics you measure it by. Vanity metrics like website visitors and Facebook fans are part of a much bigger picture and should be viewed as such. Taking them out of context of your overall marketing strategy may result in a temporarily happy CMO but it will end in a failed campaign.
3. Keep Clicks Down
How many clicks does it take your prospect to get what they want? I remember one client I worked with on a cross channel strategy made their prospect click 10 times over 4 different channels and enter their information twice! Needless to say, their conversion rates weren’t very high until we simplified things.
Cutting down on clicks is a simple way to reduce friction is between your prospect and the desired action. You don’t need to pre-qualify them by making them jump through hoops and fill out long forms. Wait until you actually get them into your funnel first!
Dont’ try to pick up a Facebook fan, then get an email address, then get the consumer to fill out a survey. You wouldn’t do that to someone you just met in person, would you? You can’t lose if you keep your focus on the prospect’s experience. Remember to always ask yourself, WIIFM. What’s in it for ME?
4. Understand Audience Behavior Across Each Channel
Do you know how the demographics differ across each of your marketing channels? We used to only need to know our website demographic but market fragmentation has split our audience up into much small segments. Prospects in each channel tend to communicate differently. Pay attention to those differences and use them as opportunities to connect with your customers.
Your email list might not care to add you on Facebook. That’s ok! Focus on giving them what they do want. Experiment to find out what calls to action they are interested in and adjust if you need to.
5. Limit Your Calls To Action
if you give someone 8 options on what to do next how quickly do you think they’ll choose compared to giving them the best option?
every page and platform and post should be intentional. Your customer wants to be told what to do next. Stop giving them a buffet of options and limit it to one primary call to action.
“But we need to brand our web presence by including links to every channel, site and sign-up form we have…” WRONG! If a customer is already signup up for your email list, they’ve told you what they want. Give them what you promised when you signed up. When you include a call to action, make it relevant to the content your providing.
If your reading this and realize you have some work to do, don’t worry! There’s always someone doing it worse : ) In this case I stumbled upon Sony’s Facebook Page. Not only is their landing tab the length of 3 computer screens but every red arrow I threw in there is a call to action. They’re trying to get users to attend events, enter contests, take photos and tweet them, become a fan, follow them on Twitter and we could keep going! What do you think their audience is going to do? Probably nothing.
How do you optimize your cross Channel Marketing?
Now it’s your turn. Share what you’ve learned marketing across different channels. What have you noticed or done that has improved the effectiveness of your marketing?
Photo Credit: squacco