The four absolute fundamentals for cross-channel marketing

We’ve been talking a lot recently about how to adapt to a cross-channel marketing strategy using the Email+ approach, starting with your email channel and then one-by-one adding your other channels.

This is a very pragmatic and actionable approach and one that will serve you well. However, as you embark down that route there are four aspects of marketing you need to consider, four absolute must-haves to address in order to ensure you have a solid foundation for success.

Data qualityData quality

Let’s be honest here, cross-channel marketing is all about data. Without the right data, when you join up the dots, it simply won’t make sense… or worse, you’ll get an inaccurate picture. No data-driven strategy is effective if you’re starting with incorrect or incomplete data. Before you try to combine customer profiles and action against the data you collect, in each channel, be sure you have a system in place to affirm the accuracy of that data.

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Organisational changeOrganisational change

Designing a seamless customer experience can be complicated if your internal organization suffers from siloed departments and databases.  In fact in the UK 58% of brands have teams that are either only slightly integrated or are completely broken out by channel.*

While it is never going to be an overnight change, working with your counterparts in other teams to accomplish calendar and message alignment is a good first step for working together effectively. You may find that implementing some of these cross-channel tactics will actually serve as a catalyst for the organisational change you need. At the very least making sure the teams responsible for different channels have an open dialogue (and preferably are physically located near each other) is a must. Similarly it pays to ensure KPIs are the same across the board.

Check out this article on silo challenges to cross-channel marketing for more.

Marketing technologyTechnology

Lots of individual channels will have developed on their own, and, each time a channel was added to the inventory, a new process, a new piece of technology and new team will have developed with it. However, coordinating communications across channels is much easier when you have a single platform that can identify customers, engage with them and measure campaign impact.

You need to invest in the right equipment that can show you near instant replays so that you can assess the success of each new tactic. Likewise you need to have a platform that is adaptable to both new channels and partners. Think SMS, display and addressable TV as well as email and social. Who knows what the future holds so make sure you’re flexible enough to adapt.

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Single Customer ViewSingle Customer View

In order to operate effectively across channels you need to understand your customers across channels. Put simply this isn’t really possible without a Single Customer View (SCV). Linking a customer’s contact data is an essential step as you build cross-channel roadmaps for their brand experience.

Achieving a Single Customer View requires a customer’s relationships with your brand to be brought together, usually by matching name, address and date of birth, and applying a unique customer identifier (often described as a customer PIN) to each profile.

This identifier is then appended to every item of data relating to that customer – allowing all data on the individual to be matched and brought together to create a single view or record of that customer (hence – Single Customer View).

For more on this check out this helpful video on how to build your own SCV.

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*Experian 2015 Digital Marketer Report

Read the Email+ white paper here.

Cross-channel marketing consultant Jalna Soulage recently hosted a webinar on the Email+ approach which you may be interested in watching – check it out on YouTube.

Experian Marketing Services is a leading global provider of consumer insights, targeting, data quality and cross-channel marketing. Through the Experian Marketing Suite we help organisations intelligently interact with today’s empowered and hyper-connected consumers.

By helping marketers identify their best customers, find more of them, and then coordinate seamless and intelligent interactions across the most appropriate channels, Experian Marketing Services’ clients can deepen customer loyalty, strengthen brand advocacy and maximise profits.