The goal of your cross-channel marketing strategy should be to tell all your audience and customers a similar brand story across multiple channels. However, you need do so in a slightly different way for each one while holding user engagement. Your story has to be slightly different for each channel due to the fact that people on those channels interact with these channels in unique ways.
That means you can't just blanket each channel with the same exact content. While one channel may work more effectively for video like social media, another channel is best suited by tips and lists of content that deliver helpful advice as found on a blog. Figure what works well where and you've got a winning cross-channel marketing strategy.
Still not sure? Here are five brands with winning cross-channel tactics:
Mercedes-Benz has a cross-selling strategy that includes digital and social media channels, including paid media, owned media, earned media and content marketing. For example, its “Generation Benz” online community was integral in developing a customer profile for Mercedes Benz that would help them understand which marketing tactics would work best for each channel.
They determined that their campaign for their CLA model should include a traditional marketing tactic, which was a Super Bowl television ad with Usher and Kate Upton. This was also selected because the game was being played at a stadium they sponsored: The Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Additionally, they leveraged a microsite for that model and increased awareness across social media channels, including the #clatakethewheel campaign that targeted those in their early 20s to early 40s.
Additionally, Mercedes-Benz used paid Facebook ads, which was linked to video content also produced by the brand about the CLA model. In terms of earned media, they partnered with Casey Neistat, a known key influencer among the Millennial demographic, to cover that channel.
The result was the best product launch for the brand in 20 years, one million visitors viewed the CLA content online, and they had more visitors to their MBUSA.com website than at any other point in history. Additionally, they achieved an 82% conquest rate, which was the percentage of new buyers who had previously bought other luxury vehicle brands.
Starbucks and their Frappuccino Happy Hour campaign is a good example of a cross-channel campaign that delivered results. Starbucks updated their website and released a television commercial in conjunction with the 10-day campaign. They used common imagery across all channels to tie together the various tactics and messaging style they used for it. They included other tactics like an in-app message to customers that encouraged users to text "WOOHOO" to find out what the brand had in store in terms of summer surprises they would be offering.
Starbucks continued to send out regular messages that were cross-promoting their "My Starbucks Rewards" program to get more people to sign-up and use this loyalty program. The brand also created their own social media identities for Starbucks Frappuccino from its regular Starbucks social presence. Both identities, however, worked to promote the Frappuccino Happy Hour campaign without just copying the content from each other.
The focus for success here is to pick something that is worth promoting, limit the time to create that exclusivity and demand to not miss the opportunity, and maintain consistency across channels like Starbucks did with consistent visuals but customized content and delivery mechanism.
In continuing the emphasis on consistency as a key success factor for cross-channel marketing, Heineken's Departure Roulette campaign provides a good benchmark of this factor. Heineken's campaign focused on an interactive video that provides the viewer with an opportunity to get involved. They see those who take part and play the game win an exotic vacation while those that opted not to take the challenge go home. The video was tied to a Web series called "Dropped," which furthers the idea that the best journeys in life are those that are spontaneous.
The cross-channel tactics included marketing this video on its website, YouTube channel, and other social media accounts like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. The brand's logo and identity were clearly indicated alongside the video content but other than that the focus was on the visual engagement that the video offered that did not focus on beer or the brand. In this way, the marketing felt more about the user and less about selling them something. Yet, the user still connected the message of adventure and spontaneity with the brand that created the visuals and content.
The luxury vehicle brand created a continuous brand experience with cross-channel marketing that included numerous Google-related channels, including using the Google Display Network, homepage masthead and Masthead in Lightbox ads on YouTube, and visibility through mobile, search and Google+. The brand also focused on digital campaigns that focused on voyages like its "Bred for Adventure" campaign. This cross-channel effort also included traditional tactics like television ads.
The campaign also included four different influencers who created visual content for their blogs and Land Rover's microsite. Each influencer took multi-day trips to places like Glacier National Park and the Appalachian Mountains. Land Rover also took visuals of the areas and included these on their website and ads, which provided consumers a way to check out the interior and exterior of their Discovery Sport model. Their cross-channel efforts resulted in 100 million impressions from the YouTube homepage masthead, 11 million more impressions on Masthead in Lightbox, and 10% increase in search ad CTR. Further results found that online leads from its digital channel efforts now account for 15% of the brand's total sales.
Fitness brand, Under Armour, understands the need to create a cross-channel user experience. It combines its social presence, influencer marketing with admired athletes, and in-store content and interactive engagement with its “UA Shop”, a lifestyle-based custom shopping app and its Connected Fitness community.
The app delivers a personalized experience for customers collected from data on each customer, including their athlete inspiration, workout history, and previous purchase history. For example, its partnership with various apps helps to deliver data about what they are doing fitness-wise with their connected fitness tracker and geographical location. The result is that they receive specific product suggestions based on that data.
Other marketing tactics include the UA Play application, which allows users to scan barcodes across the store to learn about product details get other valuable content. This is a further way to connect the channels and draw the audience to all channels for a memorable experience. The result has been increased traffic and user engagement in their stores, on their website, apps, and social media platforms.
Cross-channel marketing success comes from consistency, interactive elements, and diverse content delivery systems. While everything digital rocks when it comes to marketing, these success stories also include in-store and traditional marketing tactics that extend the power of cross-marketing and touch customers and prospects in every way possible.