Why a cross-channel marketing approach is vital

Now more than ever we see an uplift in consumers surfing the web for their desired purchases. With an increasingly competitive landscape, marketers have a lot of work to do as this demand increases.

With so many channels on offer, a consumer has a variety of ways to research and buy, which means it’s essential you implement a cross-channel marketing approach to engage with consumers at every point in the purchase funnel.

In addition to using a cross-channel marketing approach to solidify the relationship with consumers, this can also be a better and more efficient use of your marketing budget. Rather than having either no visibility on certain channels, or having channels work in silos, a cross-channel approach allows you to identify:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of each channel
  • How certain channels support others
  • Where there is an opportunity to reduce one channel’s presence because another channel’s performance is stronger.

So, I hear you ask, what exactly is a cross-channel marketing approach?

Simply put, it’s leveraging one channel to support another, integrating the correct channels for your brand’s vertical whilst making the consumer experience flawless, and being in the right place at the right time.

For example, a social or display branding campaign will be one of the first touchpoints in the interaction with a brand, which will then assist a paid or organic search visitor when they are further down the purchase funnel.

The benefits of increased engagement via a cross-channel approach:

Communicating with consumers on a sole channel will generate a degree of performance but you’re relying on one type of user behaviour. There is so much more scalability with more channels in the mix.

Utilising multiple channels enables you to reach consumers at different times of the day, when they’re showing different behaviours, at different stages in the purchase funnel.

Each time you interact with a consumer, regardless of their intent, you’re solidifying your brand message, confirming your offering, and pushing them one step further down the purchase funnel.

Interacting with consumers on two or more channels during the purchase process can increase engagement with a brand by 166%.

In addition, the average consumer spends a whopping seven hours per day consuming media across multiple devices and platforms, so it’s more important than ever to cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd.

How can a cross-channel marketing approach make my media budget more efficient?

Often channels can work in silos, working towards their own channel objectives and growth, which in some instances can conflict with one another. 

This can be seen most obviously with paid and organic search when there are instances of cannibalisation, meaning in some cases you’re often paying for traffic which you could have otherwise had for free. By identifying where these pockets of opportunity lie, working together for overall total search growth, we reduce our spend on some areas of activity, which either allows you to reduce your budget or re-invest this in other areas of activity for incremental growth.

The most extreme cases are often seen on brand terms, such as in this example:

By working towards a total search approach in the above scenario, you could remove the paid search ad. With organic in a strong position and no paid search competition, the paid search team could then reinvest that saving into increasing their presence on Shopping, where they need to be present.

Often this is a continued review of opportunities which you can test throughout the year. 

With the paid search ad removed but organic in a strong position, you should see combined traffic remaining consistent, whilst budget is saved. 

So whether you are using multiple channels in your marketing mix but running them in silos, or you’re relying on just a few channels and limiting your incremental growth opportunities, now is the time to consider your plans for the rest of 2020 and how a cross-channel marketing approach could provide you with the growth you desire from your brand!

by Victoria Cooper-Samios
17 April 2020



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