Imagine the impact when a potential customer sees a LinkedIn ad about a service you offer, hears a more thought-provoking version of it as they listen to a podcast in the evening – undistracted by interruptions and receptive to new ideas – and then receives an email with a clear next step the following day.
It’s undeniable that cross-channel marketing helps bring your vision to life: you meet your prospects and customers exactly where they are, and give them the content they need, in the format they want.
But this doesn’t just mean publishing tons of content across a random choice of channels and hoping for the best. Effective cross-channel marketing means bringing together your content and your channels in a way that makes sense for your customers: creating a clear journey from one message to the next.
To meet its potential, cross-channel marketing must be part of a cohesive and fluid experience. The former amplifies your message; a disjointed one distracts from it. At best, a fragmented experience means your efforts have little-to-no impact. At worst? You could end up frustrating your audience and losing their trust.
Creating that effortlessly smooth cross-channel experience means having complete visibility. Simply put: you can’t optimise what you don’t understand. To allow apples-to-apples comparison of channel performance, marketers need a centralised view.
It almost goes without saying, right? Just take the 99% of marketers in South Africa who emphasised the importance of having a complete view of all cross-channel marketing in the 2022 edition of our Marketing Intelligence Report.
But… Only 34% of marketers in South Africa evaluate cross-channel performance in one centralised view.
(The others? They might be stuck looking at data across multiple systems, digging it out from silos, or simply unable to track it.)
Unsurprisingly, data integration and management remain roadblocks in the marketer’s quest for a centralised, joined-up view of cross-channel performance. And it’s no wonder: you know just how many departments and disciplines your analytics cross. Even once you’ve tracked everything down, linking those disparate data sources isn’t easy.
Marketers around the world say their top five challenges with data integration and management are:
Data integration from aligned business units
Data preparation across sources
Automating data connections
Sound familiar? Let's take a look at three ways you can improve on what you've got.
1. Use a CDP to unify your data
Before you can use accurate cross-channel data in reporting and analytics, you need to ingest it, standardise it, and check for data integrity – which is tough (if not borderline impossible) to do manually.
So set your cross-channel marketing strategy up for success by unifying all your data in a customer data platform (CDP). Look for a CDP that can capture and unify data from anywhere, with high-scale ingestion. And to build those complete customer profiles, put identity reconciliation and resolution capabilities on your must-haves list.
2. Build complete customer profiles to understand key trends
Once your data is unified, you can create complete customer profiles across all touchpoints – connecting everything from identities and engagement data to marketing journeys and orders. Which means you can see the social posts that made an impact, the blog posts they read, the eBooks they downloaded, and the conversations they had with your colleagues.
With all the channels you use reflected in your CDP, you can start to identify trends, successes, and failures. And from there? You can make data-driven decisions about which content and channels to invest in, retire, or adjust.
3. Make it easy to surface valuable insights
You can centralise your data and build 360-degree customer profiles – but if it’s not easy to surface valuable insights, you won’t see a difference in your strategy.
Experiment with capabilities like AI and data visualisation to speed up the analysis process and give your team solid, tangible actions. And don’t forget to use this to update your goals and improve alignment on KPIs.
In 2022, marketers in South Africa identified the top three metrics they use to define success:
The great news? Optimising cross-channel marketing performance can improve all of them.
Customer satisfaction: This depends on creating a seamless experience across all channels – which requires high-quality customer data, closely linked to marketing tactics.
Marketing ROI: When you have a centralised view of all your channels, it’s so much easier to measure, optimise, and prove value across the entire customer journey.
Brand awareness: With a layered, cohesive journey – across channels and formats – you reach more people, prove your authority and authenticity, and have a deeper impact.
Now, find out what your peers in South Africa – and around the world – are doing in the latest Marketing Intelligence Report.
You’ll get access to insights from 2,500 marketers on topics like:
How marketers define their roles in the digital-first era.
How they're adapting to a privacy-focused data ecosystem.
The role of data – and impact of new privacy laws – in marketing-led growth and customer experiences.