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What the Heck is Cross Channel Marketing and Why Would I Want To Do It?

Steve Olenski
Master Principal Sales Architect

The term "cross channel marketing" is hardly new. It's been around for hundreds of years. Ok, maybe not hundreds but in some ways it seems that way, doesn't it? 

Marketers the world over have espoused its virtues and sang its praises while others, well have not. Far too many marketers still do not reap the benefits of cross channel marketing. I'll get into why I think this is a little later. 

But for right now, let's start with the basics: What is cross channel marketing?

Cross-channel marketing or multi-channel marketing or omni-channel marketing or whatever term you prefer is all about engaging with your customer or prospect across every digital channel and any device. From the inbox to social networks to the web, and across laptops, tablets, and smartphones, today’s consumer moves seamlessly and fully expects you to be there with them, providing a true integrated experience.

It’s no secret that the best customers are the ones who engage with brands across multiple channels. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the brands who deliver value to customers across channels see strong growth.

How much growth?

Then add in the fact that, according to Forrester, cross channel retail sales in the US alone will be nearly $2 trillion by 2018—and you can see why delivering a strong cross channel experience is paramount for success.

And make no mistake about it, consumers use more than one channel. For one example let's turn to Google research which revealed 90% of shopping consumers never stay on just one device when making a purchase.

Why Ask Why?

The reason so many marketers are in fact not reaping the cross channel marketing benefit has to do with technology and over abundance of the marketing technology (martech) options currently available. 

According to Scott Brinker and the latest installment of his now legendary Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic there are nearly 4,000 martech vendors operating right now.

The challenge is not that the tools simply aren’t available. It’s easy to batch and blast a broadcast message to email, social, and mobile audiences. But marketers struggle with personalizing experiences for customers as they meander along their own individual, unstructured paths that cross channels—and leave behavioral data and ID numbers strewn into silos across the marketing department.

The fact is there is an inherently important need for your organization to have a single customer identity that unites behaviors across all channels into one comprehensive profile. 

Today, certain technologies can link all the unique cross channel identifiers of a customer back to a single unique identifier. Once you have a single unique identifier, you can really know who your customers are across all channels, and begin to:

  • Personalize interactions based on channel preferences and behaviors.
  • Reach a more precise level of targeting and segmentation by using cross channel behavioral information in real time.
  • And most importantly, integrate cross channel communications and speak to each customer with a single voice regardless of channel.

Many marketing technology vendors can execute on some aspects of personalization. And some might even be able to help marketers target their customer better. But the ability to actually use personalization and targeting to integrate cross channel communications differentiates Modern Marketing solutions from other, less comprehensive alternatives.

By unifying cross channel identities and creating campaigns on a scalable cross channel program canvas, the right technology empowers marketers to reach new levels of digital sophistication.

Download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Cross-Channel Marketing and learn how to take full advantage of cross channel marketing. 

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