Cross-channel marketing: Why is it so popular?

Gone are the days when marketers would simply launch a campaign on Twitter or Facebook and wait for it to succeed.

Now, more than ever, a holistic approach is required and this is where cross-channel marketing comes in, as the practice of using multiple channels in an integrated manner to reach customers is ideal for today's 'always-on' consumer. For example, launching a specific hashtag to accompany a TV advert is a great way of moving the conversation online and move people further down the sales cycle.

Four-fifths of marketers worldwide will run cross-channel marketing campaigns during 2014, according to an Experian study. It also found that 38 per cent of these strategies will feature three channels, while 14 per cent will use up to five.

Considering that multi-channel consumers spend around four times more than single channel shoppers, it's clear to see why marketers are targeting this demographic.

Why use cross-channel marketing?

Engagement is the key word for marketers and cross-channel is the best vehicle for achieving this. Research by Forrester points to the fact that when executed correctly, cross-channel can deliver greater ROI, improve customer relationships and develop more efficient marketing operations.

More channels equals greater exposure and this in turn should help to boost a brand's publicity. These campaigns also allow companies to collect data on their existing and potential customers. By analysing this information, they can refine their message to improve the chances of being successful in the future.

What do marketers need?

While cross-channel has rightly been lauded as an innovative way to interact with a target audience, it requires unstinting commitment. Integrating multiple consumer touch-points will require major organisational overhauls, while the right mixture of web analytics and social media management tools are also required.

Most importantly, companies cannot afford to be working in silos, as interconnectivity has to be at the heart of a cross-channel marketing strategy. While newsletters, social media profiles and surveys can all be used to generate interest around a brand, without real-time customer insights the success will always be limited. So for brands looking to build their customer base, cross-channel marketing is worth serious consideration.