How to drive consistency with your cross-channel marketing for the best customer experience

October 29, 2021 | 5 minute read
Cynthia Price
VP of Marketing, Litmus
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consistent cross-channel marketingThe average consumer sees thousands of ads in a single day. How can you break through the noise?

Aligning your cross-channel marketing message and creative is key, but doing so in an efficient way is vital for your team to be the most effective.

Read on for a few tips on how your team can successfully drive consistency with your cross-channel marketing.

What’s in store:

Clearly define your personas

Establish clear brand guidelines to support consistent messaging across channels

Create a design system to improve efficiency and cross-channel alignment

Leverage tools that integrate with your other, well ... tools

Automate quality assurance (QA) and testing for cross-channel marketing success

Clearly define your personas

Knowing your audience—and building every marketing tactic you do around them—is one of the best ways to create cross-channel consistency. Building a persona, or a representation of your key audience, determines who your messaging is for.

Key factors to consider when creating a persona include:

  • Demographic information like age, gender, location, income, role, etc.
  • Psychographic information, or the motivations and behaviors that likely inform their actions and decisions
  • Influences like brands, celebrities, and products they like
  • Goals that impact what they’re looking for in your product or service
  • Pain points with existing solutions
  • And anything else that might inform their world view

Good personas are based on existing customers or prospects you want to attract and are developed from real conversations with people that fit your target audience. Here’s an example of a detailed persona that can help you stay focused on the customer as you create your campaigns:

Persona

Establish clear brand guidelines to support consistent messaging across channels

According to our 2020 State of Email survey, nearly 27% of marketers don’t have email-specific brand guidelines. Check out this blog for a deeper dive into why you need them. Brand guidelines ensure your creative, voice, and tone are aligned across channels. But simply defining them isn’t enough.

Have you thought about how things should look in print? On the web? In email? That last one in particular can be challenging because email rendering is more complex than print and web, including the potential for image blocking.

The good news is that for channel-specific details, you can simply wrap that information into your existing brand guidelines or the ones you create.

Common things to include in your brand guidelines:

Create a design system to improve efficiency and cross-channel alignment

According to our 2020 State of Email survey data, about 35% of marketers spend 1-2 hours on coding and development per email—and another 34% take at least three hours. With over half of respondents juggling six or more emails at a time, those development hours quickly add up.

But with standardized email design, you don’t have to worry about coding emails from scratch, which saves valuable time so you can get emails out the door even faster. In fact, our very own email developer can build emails in 10 minutes now because of modular building.

Once you’ve established your brand guidelines, developing a design system should be much easier for your team. Design systems are a collection of reusable components and standards that teams use to guide their work. The key word there is reusable. Your team can basically turn your brand guidelines into deliverables and then assess what marketing assets need to be reused again and again.

Here are a few key components of a successful design system:

Brand colors and assets

Organize brand elements like colors and assets like logos, icons, and imagery. Having all of these items in a single place will make it easier to use them across all of your marketing materials.

Templates

Templates empower you to create more efficient, reliable, and scalable campaigns. They reduce the time it takes to create, test, and send (depending on your channel) a campaign—all while creating that consistent experience. And they can be accessed and easily used by anyone on your team, making new campaign production easier for more people. Some common areas where templates are helpful include:

  • Ads
  • Emails
  • Landing pages
  • Social media
  • Web pages

Modules

Modules are reusable content blocks that can be put together in different combinations to create emails or a range of full templates. For simplicity, we’ll provide a bit more detail from an email point of view, but the principles can apply to most of the deliverables mentioned above. Modules, also known as components, come in a couple of varieties such as snippets (tailored to a specific email, like a call-to-action button) and partials (consistent across multiple emails, like an email footer).

Now that you’ve created components to improve efficiency, where do you house them? Ideally, in a centralized location. Tools like Litmus Design Library can house all of your email-specific components so you can essentially just grab and go. Figma is another option for housing design and coding components.

Leverage tools that integrate with your other, well ... tools

50% of marketers say optimizing email workflow is a priority. Adopting a solution that already integrates with the tools you're using can help increase your efficiency and keep your campaigns aligned.

According to one blog I read, each extra task or ‘context’ you switch between eats up 20–80% of your overall productivity. To alleviate inefficiencies, you might want to consider integrations with the following tools or software:

When you have a consistent message, creative, and strategy across channels, it’s easier for your team to cut through the creative clutter and be more successful.

Automate quality assurance (QA) and testing for cross-channel marketing success

Last, but certainly not least: QA and test. As you build out the components above, it’s important to do quality assurance and test, especially when it comes to your emails.

With over 300,000 potential renderings for an email, ensuring your creative shows up in the inbox as intended is crucial in establishing trust in your brand. Automate pre-send checks with a tool like Litmus to see how your email looks in the inbox, analyze subject lines, verify links, ensure email accessibility, and more, so every email send is on-brand and error-free.

To learn more, read the Oracle guide: Essential Strategies for Cross-Channel Marketing.

Cynthia Price

VP of Marketing, Litmus

As VP of marketing, Cynthia's team drives and supports the Litmus and email community through content marketing, demand generation, and events. She has been in the email marketing industry for over 10 years and was previously VP of marketing at Emma, an email service provider. Cynthia is passionate about creating authentic communications and harnessing the power of email—the heart of the marketing mix.


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