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What Is Cross Channel Marketing?

Page Coleman
Page Coleman

Cross channel marketing is the use of consistent marketing messages and experiences to customers through various marketing channels, such as retail stores, websites, call centers, social media, and mobile devices. To accomplish this, comprehensive customer and prospect data must be available to each channel. Cross channel marketing can increase customer satisfaction and sales, but it can be expensive and challenging to implement.

To successfully perform cross channel marketing, an organization needs comprehensive data on its prospects and customers available to each channel. It should also capture information about which marketing channels the prospect or customer is using to engage with the organization. Various interactions can be tracked and used to make the sales process more convenient for the customer.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

For example, a potential buyer may spend months on various car websites researching the make, model, and options he would like. A car manufacturing website may allow the buyer to save that information online. The buyer then visits a car dealership in person to complete the purchase, and he is able to use the information he has saved online to speed his purchase. After the sale, the dealership may email a message thanking the buyer for his purchase.

Cross channel marketing provides advantages to the organization. Customers appreciate the convenience, and they tend to buy more from a seller who makes purchasing easy for them. Organizations can tailor marketing messages to individual customers based on their behavior across channels, increasing the likelihood the customer will buy from them. The organization can determine which customers or prospects use several channels, and these people are very likely to be remain valued customers over time.

When marketing for different channels is controlled by different departments, the various channels may be unaware of what the other channels are doing. This can cause conflicting campaigns, which waste the organization’s time and money, and confuse customers. Coordinated marketing can also make it easier for an organization to respect customer wishes about how they would like to be contacted and to comply with any national or regional opt in/opt out requirements.

Though cross channel marketing has important benefits, it can be difficult and expensive to implement. Many organizations have information on prospects and customers in different systems, depending how the person has interacted with the company. For example, a retail store may have different databases for customers who have visited a physical store and those who have shopped online. It can be time-consuming and expensive to consolidate this information and build a new system that allows data to be updated through the various channels.

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