Flexing your Cross Media Muscles .

How can you make the most out of your cross-media campaign to open the door to deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences? These tips are a great place to start
Customer Experience

With the explosion of new communication channels in today's fast-paced, digital environment, developing engaging individualized communications with each of your customers across multiple media channels is more important than ever. Consumers determine what messages they see and when they want to see them using their preferred medium - making it critical for brands to get their cross-media muscles in shape to create increasingly powerful campaigns that leave an impact on customers.

Enter cross-media marketing.

Cross-media marketing is the ability to reach consumers across all media channels with consistent messages that are relevant to the individual recipient in terms of content, presentation, timeliness and channel. It's also about maintaining a highly personalized dialogue with individuals of the target audience. A single view of the customer with integration of the touch points across channels opens the doors to deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences, and improves response to those needs. As you learn more about your customers and reflect that information throughout your targeted communications across a variety of media, you can transform that relationship into a much more loyal and strategic one.

So how can you make the most out of your cross-media campaign to help open the door to deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences? These tips are a great place to start:

  • Data, Data, Data. Before going ahead with any campaign, it is important to understand that as with all personalized marketing strategies, robust data and a strong call to action are absolutely crucial to the success of a cross-media campaign. Historical purchase and demographic data along with real-time analytic insights and brand engagement data should all be used in tandem to build each unique customer profile and enhance the customer experience. Good, clean data will enable optimal personalization and digital technology integration.
  • Personalized Video. Video has a unique place in the marketing mix since content is easily digestible and ideal for communicating complex details simply and with minimal effort required from the target recipient. Combine the power of video with personalization and virtually all types of customer data can be displayed creatively, resulting in the most relevant viewer experience. Including cinematic-quality visual effects through variable text, personalized still images, special effects and animation will illustrate polish and professionalism while elevating the brand.
  • Personalized URLs (PURLs). Any marketer looking to engage and build a long-term relationship with their customers should consider PURLs. Simply adding a PURL to a personalized print piece drives recipients to more valuable information, increasing response rates and the return on marketing investment. PURLs move potential customers through the sales funnel quicker and easier which, along with the additional personalized design features and the inclusion of a targeted special offer, enhances the customer experience and brand perception.
  • Variable Data Printing (VDP). VDP allows marketers to incorporate all the demographic, geographic, and psychographic information they know about their customers (i.e. name, address, occupation, age, gender, interests, hobbies, spending habits, etc.) into their direct mail campaigns in clever, relevant ways that get noticed.
  • Marketing Automation: Marketing automation solutions enable campaign activities to be scheduled in advance, sometimes with recurrent patterns, and to audiences that are selected by CRM data and an individual's behavior in a current or previous campaign. Marketing automation is a great complement to any marketing program as it not only builds and strengthens relationships with new and current customers, but it also opens a new realm of opportunities for nurturing brand loyalty.

The ability to communicate individually with consumers, combined with consumer expectations for relevancy, makes cross-media marketing ideal. In a recent campaign, U.K.-based Latcham Direct created a sophisticated variable data cross-media campaign, kicking off with the distribution of attention-grabbing Christmas cards. The cards were designed with personalized images, text, and PURLs that directed customers to a site where they could choose a charity that Latcham would then donate to on their behalf. Additionally, they had the option to choose a gift for themselves, including a personalized box of chocolates, a handmade icing snowman or a calendar each delivered by a member of the Latcham sales team. In the end, Latcham achieved a 53 percent response rate, along with many inquiries for potential projects, and more than $2,030 raised for three local charities.

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work with today's consumers, so successful marketers are using cross-media approaches to reinvent the way their brand and customers communicate. Focusing on personalization and relevancy will help cut through the clutter of marketing messages and reach consumers in a truly meaningful way. Remember, time is important to consumers, and it's key to connect with them in a personalized way if you want them to spend it with your brand.