Marketing is undergoing a significant transformation. New devices, social networks, and mobile technologies have fragmented consumer communication channels in ways that would have boggled the mind just a decade ago. The “post-PC” reality is upon us and the marketer’s challenge is to find a way to create a communication strategy that gets results without alienating the audience.
Most of the marketing commentaries we hear today discuss the terms cross media marketing and multi-channel marketing as being interchangeable. The similarity is that both use more than one type of media as part of a campaign but, they are not the same.
Multi-channel campaigns use multiple channels to reach their audience allowing recipients to choose their desired media channel in which to respond. The messages conveyed tend to be similar in all channels used. Some marketers feel that the more touches in a campaign or the more channels they use to reach their audiences the more successful the campaign will be. When used properly, multi-channel campaigns are designed to measure the effectiveness of the campaign and to identify which media channels are preferred by their individual audience members.
Once this information is gathered and analyzed the next step is to develop and deploy a cross-media marketing campaign strategy. This is different from the multi-channel campaign strategy in that it is now known what the audience will respond to and which channels the audience is tuned in to. Marketers can now create campaigns that target their individual audience members on a personalized basis so they no longer appear to be clueless as to what the audiences’ preferences are.
Cross-media campaigns provide relevant content and a call to action in the preferred media simultaneously as part of an integrated campaign. The objective is to show concern and understanding for your customer’s needs; not to show them that you have no clue what platforms, devices or methods of engagement they prefer?
Marketing is still all about building relationships, and what better way is there to build a relationship than to start a conversation?
Marketing is still all about building relationships, and what better way is there to build a relationship than to start a conversation? Continuing to measure response and channel preference in these on-going conversations is what cross-media is all about.
There are many studies that proclaim which media channels that audiences prefer. Be careful. This assertion is usually biased by whichever channel the originator of the study is associated with. There is really only one way to determine the best media channels and message for your audience and that is to continually test and measure this yourself. One caveat, however, preferred media can and does change over time. Don’t just set it and forget it. Continue your analytics with every campaign and adjust as necessary.
Learn your audience’s preferences and measure the impact of each channel. Your efforts will be rewarded with higher response and conversions. You will be able to determine the best touch points required to get and keep your audience engaged without exhausting them with too many of the same messages.