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June 2009

Cross Channel / Cross Media Marketing Errors – Part II – The Conversation

It is more than coordinating across channels that is important to successful marketing campaigns.  Customers must be effectively engaged and by actively soliciting their input and preferences marketers can maximize the return of every marketing dollar spent.  The errors to avoid continue.

x Controlling the Conversation
Today’s marketer, more than ever, must let the customer control the marketing conversation.  By letting the customer choose the channels and content, relevancy will increase and response rates and ROI will follow.  This choice can be active or passive.  Tracking links on a page is a passive technique while asking a question is an active one.

x Not creating 2-way communications & asking questions
Customers will answer any question you ask.  By simply giving tperhe opportunity to easily provide input the quantity and quality of data collected can be staggering.  Most customers need a good reason to provide an email or phone number, but they will answer preference questions without hesitation.  By using personalization across media we can identify these prospects and assign the feedback to their customer record.

x Not implementing data collection mechanisms
Every contact is an opportunity to learn more about your customer.  Always have link tracking, opt-in, quick surveys, and other feedback mechanisms on every touch you make to increase your market intelligence.  The wen makes this easy to execute.

x Creating data silos
Assure that internet, CRM, trade show, direct mail, email, SMS-text, social media, broadcast, point of sale, and phone contacts ultimately feed into one database.  Even if this process must be done manually, data is data and can be combined.  Virtually every system in use has an export feature and managers at every level must make this collection a top priority.

Driving customers to the web and presenting the opportunity to provide input is the first step in creating sophisticated cross channel campaigns.  There can be no excuse for not beginning to coordinate marketing efforts, even if the first step is as simple as creating a new landing page that each channel in a project uses to collect data.  Even small efforts will rapidly build a powerful house file of warm leads that will provide the best source of revenue.

Cross Channel / Cross Media Marketing Errors – Part One

Depending on what vendor is selling what product, cross media or cross channel marketing is presented differently.  Most combine one, or at best two, media and claim to provide a “solution” to the cross media marketing challenge.  The truth of the matter is that no special software is required to execute truly integrated cross media campaigns.  They can help, certainly, but are not required.  Do not feel obligated to spend thousands of dollars on software or services to begin a vibrant and effective cross media strategy.

Simply adding a Personalized URL (PURL) onto a printed piece does not a cross media marketer or solution make.

By taking a few moments to consider these easy to avoid mistakes when creating campaigns, marketers can greatly improve response rates, conversions, customer satisfaction and ROI.

x Not taking the first steps
It may be daunting to coordinate marketing efforts across channels.  In small firms there just isn’t enough time and in large ones politics and cross departmental coordination makes any task difficult.  The opportunity cost of not making this effort a priority is so high that it makes sense to avoid the following errors, most of which are quick and easy to execute.

x Not considering marketing efforts 
         across channels as related

Most marketers overlook the fact that every campaign can be coordinated with minimal effort and without a major overhaul to existing efforts.  Use unique phone numbers, web addresses and landing pages to track response and collect all the response metrics in one place.  Excel will do if there is no better option or the budget is just not available for a sophisticated solution.  Managers with different areas of responsibility must be forced to coordinate their efforts across all product lines and channels.  Every touch is valuable and too expensive to waste.

x Relying on one channel
In many cases marketers tend to focus on one or two channels.  Even sophisticated organizations which utilize a broad spectrum of media tend to foucs their efforts on a few core medium.  It is well established that customers are more likely to buy in their preferred channel if they have been touched by another.  Direct mail drives internet sales and websites drive brick and mortar purchases.  Coordinating channels, and putting a mechanism in place to allow customers to let you know their preference, will dramatically improve marketing effectiveness.

x Using a weak web address
Some firms will use a special web page on their main site, like to try and track a specific offer but the “/offer” is often truncated by the respondent.  By changing the web address to, relevant content is served.  This is especially true of broadcast media where the link is not in front of the user.

x Ignoring the power of the landing page
What radio, TV, print, direct mail or email advertisement today does not include a web address?  From NPR, Field & Stream, and the internet, copywriters casually throw in the company website as a response channel.  There is no way to tell if the traffic came from SEO, paid search, or a printed piece.  Additionally, the content seen by visitor is not specific to the advertisement that drove them to the site in the first place.  The benefit of the driver is lost.

Cross Media Marketing for Events

Last week The Experiential Agency (XA Interactive) hosted a fabulous event for the trade at 1028 Hooker in Chicago. It was more than a great function. The party hostesses used a tablet PC and a VDP Web® landing page to gather emails, cell phone numbers and opt-ins for promotions and messaging from the guests.  The dark pad and trendy page were well received, looked very cool, and drew a crowd each time the hostess stopped to get the survey.  A thank you email automatically fired to the respondent.  Many were received on PDA’s while they were still at the event.

The contact, opt-in, and survey information was delivered directly into the agency’s data base of prospects.  The information could be used to send follow up direct marketing via SMS-text, email, and direct mail based on the opt-ins gathered by the hostesses.

This process would be a terrific data collection and brand building mechanism for any special event such as a trade show, shopping mall promotion, charity activity and more. Data collection rates, including the time spent circulating around the space and chatting with guest was one survey every three minutes for a very efficient means of collecting vital demographic and survey information.

Best of all, the cost of developing the entire system was less than the cost of a few extra guests at the bar.