This article is the first in our Pillars Powering Cross-Channel Personalization series — a six-part series on uniting all marketing channels for truly connected customer journeys.

As knowledge becomes more accessible, companies’ efficacy diminishes. With so much noise competing for their attention, customers no longer respond to mass marketing to discover items and services. 

Retail companies must now enhance their brand voice and give value that consumers cannot get from self-service. 

Marketers: it’s time to start thinking about omnichannel relevancy and how the four pillars of relevance may help you maximize your brand strategy.

What is a Cross-Channel Marketing Strategy?

Cross-channel marketing refers to using many marketing channels to deliver a seamless customer experience for your target audience. 

The message should be sent from one channel to the next in a logical progression. Through individualized people-based marketing, marketers can develop in-depth profiles of their consumers while also increasing customer loyalty by connecting with them at several contact points.

Marketers must be aware of the platforms their consumers are using and at what times they are doing so. By applying this data to their campaign strategies, marketers can reach their customers where they are. 

The only way to give your customers a more detailed and personalized experience is to be present across key channels. Cross-channel personalization allows you to make more meaningful moments at every step of the customer’s interaction with your brand.

The Growing Need for Omnichannel Marketing

In the B2C ecosystem, cross-channel marketing technology serves as the execution engine of your marketing plan. Even the most well-thought-out marketing strategies will fall flat if they depend on inadequate or ineffective tools. 

You have a far better chance of succeeding if you use the correct marketing technology – so cross-channel execution requires the right tech.

As the data shows:

  • According to Altimeter, 70% of marketers do not have a unified or integrated content strategy. 
  • As mentioned in a post on Econsultancy, <25% of all marketers claim to understand client journeys and adjust their channel mix appropriately.
  • A whitepaper published by Experian stated that approximately 89% of marketers have difficulties generating a single consumer perspective.

For the most part, people use multiple channels to browse, shop, and interact. And it’s not uncommon for them to begin their route to buy on one track and finish it on another, maybe stopping at a third along the way and so on. 

Because of this channel-crossing, an integrated picture of your consumer across all channels is vital to any customer-centric business.

The Role of Data in Cross-Channel Personalization

Businesses that employ omnichannel marketing techniques maintain most of their consumers, so being able to engage with them across several media touchpoints is critical. Your marketing success depends on how effectively you use data. 

It involves the following steps:

1. Finding out who your consumers are

The first step is to get to know your consumers, and the data you collect from them can help you do just that. In addition, it should include details such as the issues they’re having, the media types/platforms they enjoy, and the devices they use. 

To better understand how you can assist them, you can use the information provided to put yourself in their shoes. 

2. Consistency across all platforms

It’s expected that customers would have a uniform and seamless experience across all platforms – they will exit the interaction if there is a lack of cohesion or difficulty moving from one channel or device to another. Data can show you where your clients are losing interest and where you can make improvements in their experience.

3. Content that is useful and relevant

Your ability to create fascinating, relevant, engaging, and beneficial content for your customers will be determined by the data you collect from them across various touchpoints. Create content relevant to your customers’ interests to make their time spent on any channel worthwhile.

4. Individualization on every platform

Providing a tailored experience across all contact points is critical to a customer’s satisfaction. As part of this, you’ll be able to communicate with buyers on their preferred channels at a frequency they desire and provide relevant and helpful content.

5. The capacity to monitor and collect fresh consumer data across all channels

Keeping track of consumer activity across channels can help you learn more about your customers’ wants and likes. To provide a more tailored experience for each consumer, you must collect as much useful, actionable data as possible.

6. Analyze and test to improve

Looking closely at metrics and finding out what is and is not working will allow you to make adjustments and revisions.

The Four Pillars of Cross-Channel Personalization

Rolling out customization across channels isn’t easy. There are four core aspects of omnichannel personalization, each of which poses its own set of obstacles for marketers.

1. Customer data and segmentation

Creating a 360-degree overview of customers, also referred to as a consolidated customer dataset, is the first step toward cross-channel personalization. 

Customer data, we know, is the lifeblood of personalization. For this reason, a company’s capacity to determine client preferences via data is closely tied to its ability to provide tailored experiences. 

To deliver the best possible service to your customers, you need to know as much as possible about them when they engage with you. CRM platforms, point-of-sale systems, loyalty programs, online accounts, email registrations, and even third-party sources are places where companies may collect customer information.

2. Activation

Activation is a critical component of cross-channel personalization. For personalized marketing, activation is integrating client segments into numerous marketing channels. Using a 360-degree customer database as a forward-facing engine for personalization is significantly more effective than using it as a backward-facing data analysis tool.

3. Essential personalization

Excellent content and creativity are the most effective strategies to draw people’s attention and urge them to take action. Customers don’t tend to simply generate data for you on their own. Instead, the marketing team must create customized data collection strategies – while remaining mindful of opt-in rules, consent regulations, and privacy restrictions. 

4. The agile marketing operational model

Deploying an operational model that breaks out of departmental silos and focuses on the consumer rather than the company’s organization chart is the most difficult challenge. A promising strategy called agile marketing is being widely applied to deal with this problem. 

Iterative development, regular feedback, and collaboration are hallmarks of agile teams and projects. Agile marketing helps to foster continual improvement and cooperation in marketing operations.

Final Thoughts

Omnichannel customization isn’t relatively as straightforward as you may think. Four key components must be in place to achieve a successful customization program: 

  • Effective data use and segmenting
  • Activation of inactive customer segments (such as defecting, lapsing, etc.)
  • Consistent personalization across platforms
  • Better project management with agile processes

Putting these pillars in place is not impossible, but it requires a dedicated approach to consistency in your cross-channel orchestration. Going forward into H2 of 2022, more marketers will begin using data more strategically to achieve better business outcomes.

Handpicked Related Resources:

To get an in-depth breakdown of these pillars, grab the 6 Pillars Powering Cross-Channel Personalization eBook.

Ema Mockup Cross Channel Ebook Cover 01