It’s sheer madness to think that from the dawn of long-distance commerce (roughly 150,000 years ago) right up until 1982, the only way people were able to buy and sell goods and services was via physical channels.
Fast forward to 2022 and in the US alone, digital channels account for 21% of total retail sales with that figure expected to hit 24.5% by 2025.
Today, your customers have a multitude of channels at their fingertips, and they use them for everything from communicating with friends and family to making purchases.
If you want to maximize your sales and increase your chances of attracting, converting and retaining more customers, your brand needs to be present and ready to engage with buyers no matter where they’re spending their time.
We know that creating a cross-channel marketing strategy can be easier said than done, so we’re here to offer some inspiration. In this article, we’re sharing 6 stellar examples of cross-channel tactics that drive the results you need to thrive in a competitive space.
First Things First… What is Cross-Channel Marketing?
Let’s tackle the basics first.
Every day, your target customers spend their time across multiple platforms and devices, seeking engaging content, answers to questions and solutions to problems. With that comes a number of distractions — and more than a fair share of competition.
If you want to rise above the noise of competing brands vying for your customers’ attention, engaging with them across a single channel is no longer enough. You need to be ready and willing to connect with them where they’re spending their time.
Cross-channel marketing accomplishes exactly this. It’s the strategy you devise to engage your customers across multiple channels with content and offers that are personalized to their individual wants, needs and product interests.
By increasing the number of touchpoints you have with your customers and creating a relevant, memorable brand experience, you’ll keep your brand front and center, increasing your chances of driving repeat sales.
6 Brands to Inspire Your Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy
These 6 brands are doing cross-channel marketing right. Take a look at how they’re executing their marketing across multiple devices and channels, and gain some inspiration for your own strategy.
Starbucks uses their cross-channel loyalty platform to drive repeat business
This coffee giant earned their name as one of the top cross-channel marketing brands out there — and not without good reason. Their strategy is built on the back of their integrated loyalty program.
Starbucks first launched its loyalty cards back in 2001 as pre-funded credit that could be redeemed in-store against purchases.
Today, they’ve mastered their loyalty strategy, where their rewards cards can now be funded and redeemed not only in-store, but also across mobile, web and even in-app. Bigger, however, is the fact that any changes you make to your Starbucks account are updated across all of your channels in real-time.
What results has Starbucks seen?
Their loyalty-focused cross-channel marketing strategy has paid dividends in terms of customer and brand loyalty. Starbucks Rewards members visit a shop once a week on average and are 5.6x more likely to visit a Starbucks location every day.
However, the benefits Starbucks sees from its loyalty strategy run deeper than surface-level sales.
Their loyalty card collects valuable first-party data on its users, giving Starbucks invaluable, actionable insights. Starbucks uses these insights to create sophisticated, personalized cross-channel experiences that keep current customers engaged and target new audiences with greater accuracy.
Under Armour powers cross-channel engagement with first-party data
International activewear brand Under Armour understands its customers spend time across multiple channels and has adapted its marketing strategy to take advantage of this.
Under Armour has created a compelling cross-channel customer experience across a diverse range of key marketing channels:
- Interactive in-store experiences
- Social engagements
- Influencer content
- Custom shopping app, UA Shop
- Connected Fitness community
Under Armour uses the wealth of first-party data it’s collected on each of its customers to power personalized in-app experiences on the UA Shop app, including purchase history and details as specific as their past workout history and even athlete inspiration.
Plus, by partnering with well-known fitness apps, Under Armour is able to use workout and health data to map product recommendations to individual customer goals and activity levels.
Heineken uses cross-channel to amplify advertising campaign impact
Picture this: you’re at a bustling London airport, rushing to check-in and catch a flight. All of a sudden, you’re presented with an opportunity that could change everything — the chance to drop your plans and go on an all-expenses-paid adventure to a random location in the world.
Would you do it?
Heineken set about finding out with their campaign, Destination Roulette, as part of their web series “Dropped”, which was founded on the principles that the best journeys in life are those that are spontaneous.
Heineken broadcast their Destination Roulette campaign across social media, YouTube, email and web with connected messaging, delivering a consistent message and user experience. This consistency maximized campaign exposure, netting millions of video views.
M&M’s connects old and new channels to compound engagement
For years, securing SuperBowl ad space has been the pinnacle of traditional advertising achievement for many international brands. However, with the growing impact of digital marketing on their young customer base, M&Ms knew they had to do things a little differently.
The New Jersey-based confectionery brand aired their ad during SuperBowl LV on 7th February 2021, doubling down on exposure with a connected campaign across their social media channels before, during and after airing. On top of teasing the ad to their followers, M&Ms even offered the chance to hop on a Zoom call with one of the brand characters, Yellow.
Jump on a call with Yellow to see our #SuperBowlLV ad! Tune in on February 3rd for the big reveal. More information at https://t.co/wYiv4A2oa9 or see here: https://t.co/J1j9nrjkW0 pic.twitter.com/JMBWs1Qmee
— M&M’S (@mmschocolate) January 27, 2021
After the TV ad aired, M&Ms followed up across their social channels with featured snippets and clips of audience reactions, along with hashtags related to the ad and even an M&Ms sweepstakes.
— M&M’S (@mmschocolate) February 9, 2021
Rebecca Minkoff takes in-store mobile with interactive touch-screen devices
Source: Think with Google
Luxury fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff’s cross-channel journey began when they noticed customers would turn to their phones to learn more about products when the store wasn’t big enough to display the information on the shelf.
So, they decided to better that customer experience by introducing interactive touch screens to their stores. Customers could use these screens to discover more information about key product features – and send the details to their phones.
By doing this, if customers weren’t ready to complete a purchase in-store over the counter, they would be able to do so via mobile at a later time. This allowed Rebecca Minkoff to see exactly which products their customers were interested in, paving the way for 1:1 personalized cross-channel retargeting through automated email and paid social.
Mercedes Benz drives CLA sales with an integrated cross-channel strategy
In 2013, Mercedes Benz achieved their best launch in 20 years. How? Turning their heads toward cross-channel marketing.
By combining both digital and traditional marketing strategies, Mercedes Benz took data they’d gathered from their online community, Generation Benz, and used it to develop a successful advertising strategy that was highly relevant to its users.
Like M&Ms, Mercedes decided that the Superbowl was the best place to launch their new range.
So, they set up a separate microsite dedicated purely to the new CLA, set up Facebook ads and created the hashtag #clatakethewheel to encourage engagement from their target audience.
They also strengthened their reach by involving Usher and Kate Upton in the ad and engaging prominent YouTuber Casey Neistat and other Instagram influencers.
By the time the campaign rolled to an end, Mercedes had garnered over 80 million impressions, with the new CLA driving Mercedes sales up 14% from the previous year.
Whilst it’s no secret that going big with advertising campaigns can yield serious results, not every brand can afford the $233,333 per second price tag of a standard Superbowl ad.
With a customer engagement platform like Emarsys, you can effortlessly orchestrate 1:1 personalized cross-channel marketing campaigns that attract more customers, drive repeat sales and win lasting loyalty. Discover the power Emarsys can bring to your marketing.
Register for a free 3-minute demo now.