Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion, and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.
Read this blog and learn the ways to leverage data to achieve the best cross-channel marketing results.
In a world where users are increasingly spending their time and attention on multiple devices, the importance of cross-channel marketing has never been more essential to acquiring and retaining customers.
The goal is to get customers and encourage them to become loyal advocates for your brand. They will then influence other prospective buyers through word-of-mouth advertising or social media posts. In this way, a single customer can lead to dozens more over time.
But achieving an impeccable cross-channel marketing setup is no easy feat. It requires the most essential ingredient of them all - Data. Using data insights to sync up your multiple marketing channels can drive more traffic to your website, retain existing customers better, and curate a memorable customer experience.
So let's dig in and understand how to leverage data to achieve the best cross-channel marketing results.
What is Cross-channel Marketing?
A cross-channel strategy is one that is synchronized across all channels or touchpoints with your customer. This ranges from email to social media channels, mobile apps, online videos, and more. The goal of a cross-channel campaign is to give users a cohesive experience through multiple channels.
Cross-channel marketing is vital because it offers many benefits such as:
- Driving conversions by engaging with users at their moments of need.
- Driving conversions by presenting the right message to users at their points of interest.
- Reducing the cost per acquisition by bringing customers back to your site or app through post-purchase marketing campaigns.
- Retaining existing users by cross-selling and up-selling with personalized communication.
- Increasing revenue by allowing users to purchase items online or offline, across devices.
Data - The Primary factor affecting the success of cross-channel campaigns
Without the right data insights, you will not be able to sync your marketing strategy across all channels. In fact, not using a cross-channel strategy can lead to significant revenue losses every year since consumers that shop across multiple channels lead to a 30% increase in LTV (Lifetime Value).
Why Data Matters So Much
Data is far from a new trend. For decades it has helped businesses make better, more informed decisions about their core operations.
But today, data is playing an increasingly important role in the marketing realm as well. It allows marketers to understand what users are doing on their site or app, at which points they are most likely to convert, and how they can be encouraged to the point of maximum conversion. For example, Hubspot reports that when marketers use personalized CTAs, they perform 202% better than generic CTAs!
A high-quality data infrastructure helps marketers cross-reference and unify their data from disparate sources such as CRM, web analytics tools, email marketing platforms, etc. All these data sources come together and deliver a unified customer experience that is personalized and targeted to users in real-time.
This is how new-age marketers can craft personalized messages that give users a seamless experience with their brand across different channels and devices.
5 Practices To Use Data To Support Cross-channel Marketing Campaigns:
Let's go through the five practices you need to make your data work in your favor:
1. Consolidate all data on a single platform:
To achieve a fully synchronized cross-channel marketing strategy, you will need your data in one place. You can do that by either connecting all your data sources in a central hub or by integrating all marketing channels with a single data source. This will allow you to accurately build your customer profiles and track their purchase history, behaviors, preferences, and more. Here are the steps to consolidate all data on a single platform:
- Create a standard customer ID for cross-channel analysis.
- Collect data from your points of sale and add that to your data platform.
- Set up a system to match your data about customers and transactions.
- Create a master customer record with all the information you have collected from each touchpoint.
- Analyze your data to generate customer profiles, segment customers, create targeted offers, and more.
- Create and implement a feedback mechanism to integrate updated customer information.
2. Work on polishing the data
Since data is collected from disparate sources, it may contain inconsistencies and duplicates. As a result, the customer profiles you build might lack accuracy and be incomplete. Therefore, it would be best if you put in the time and effort to clean and standardize your data before you begin analyzing it. This is important because you will not ensure accurate insights without a standardized and complete customer data set.
In addition, you have to pay close attention to the customer's preferences and needs. Their behavior can often be influenced by factors like demographics, geography, usage history, etc. If your data infrastructure cannot take this into account, you will not be able to deliver a personalized experience to each user.
Steps to ensure data hygiene:
- Identify all your data sources.
- Determine how to unify disparate customer records into a single source using mapping tools.
- Ensure accuracy of customer records by standardizing information across all records.
- Remove duplicate and incomplete records to create clean, standardized customer profiles.
- Set up processes to measure data performance.
3. Build robust customer profiles based on the data
Now that your data infrastructure is in place and the quality of your data has been improved, you can begin to build customer profiles. These profiles should not just be an amalgamation of information but should include specific triggers that generate a need for them to engage with your brand. Again, be as specific as possible when creating these triggers, and you will be able to improve the customer experience.
For instance, you could create segmented customer profiles based on their buying behavior. For example, people who purchase a product within 7 days of clicking on an advertisement can be mapped to the 'promoters.' Conversely, people who do not buy anything can be added to the list of 'non-customers.' Your business can then design its strategy to target these segments accordingly.
Steps to build reliable customer profiles:
- Determine which factors are essential to map your customer profiles.
- Identify the type of profile you need for each segment of users.
- Map customer experiences with your brand based on these profiles.
- Monitor customer engagement levels by profiling their behaviors, choices, and more.
- Avoid static reports at all costs. Instead, keep them dynamic in the sense that they can incorporate updated information and in real-time.
4. Target customers as per their channel preferences
Customers are increasingly opting for personalized experiences. They research online, check prices on their mobile phones, and then walk into a store to complete the transaction. If you want to provide them with this experience, you must use cross-channel analytics and engage with them on the channel that they prefer the most. Identify where your customers are located, what they are looking for, and how they prefer to interact with your brand to deliver a custom experience.
To know where to find your customers, you can:
- Conduct a survey or perform an analysis of your data.
- Determine the location of different customer segments.
- Monitor trends in using technology and digitization across geographies.
Steps to target customers in line with their preferences:
- Map customer profiles based on online and offline touchpoints.
- Create personalized triggers for each segment of customers by considering the channel they will use to engage with your brand.
- Target them on the channel they prefer most, either online or offline.
- Deliver a personalized experience by taking your customer's preferences into account.
5. Provide personalized messaging across channels
The last phase of a cross-channel marketing strategy can focus on providing personalized messaging across channels to engage the audience better. It is not enough to have a profile of your customer's buying behavior. Data is not an asset until it is put to use. It would be best if you leveraged it to craft relevant and hyper-personalized messages across multiple channels to boost engagement and sales.
For example, if a customer has already visited your online store and made a purchase before going offline, you can send them a digital coupon for their next purchase. This way, it will encourage them to make future online purchases as well. You can also offer discounts based on their past purchase history.
If you have not incorporated this till now, you might have been leaving money on the table. According to Hubspot, marketing campaigns that are low on content relevancy have an 83% lower response rate than targeted campaigns.
You can customize your message by:
- Incorporating customer behavior and feedback from across channels to develop a personalized strategy.
- Targeting them on the channel that brings you better results.
- Analyze data from all touchpoints to understand the behavior and patterns of your audience.
- Deliberate different personalization strategies for different user segments.
- Leverage data to match your customer's context and work out a message that catches their attention.
- Deliver the right content at the appropriate time by considering your customer's location, resources used, and platform preferences.
If you want to succeed with your marketing strategy, you must take data insights into account. Data is vital for any business to optimize its cross-channel marketing efforts and create a cohesive customer experience across channels. By analyzing your audience's preferences, you can create personalized strategies that will help you boost engagement and connect with customers on a deeper level.
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