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James Michelson selected to share "Interest in Cross Media Print Sales" by What They Think

The Three Tiers of Cross Media Marketing

While presenting at TS2 this year, a quick survey of more than 100 marketing managers and executives overwhelmingly agreed with the following:


• My budget is either the same or decreased from previous years

• My staff levels are unlikely to return to post recession levels

• The C-Suite is expecting to see social and cross media channels added to the mix

• There is increasing pressure to prove the ROI of every marketing expenditure


During a recent session I sketched out a diagram that may be useful for marketers looking to see where their organization fits into the scheme of things.  One on extreme is the low budget DIYer who uses a selection of free or inexpensive tools to create and distribute content across various channels.  The reason for this approach may be budgetary or a growth in experience that started with a newsletter to press release and continued to add channels and tools over time.  On the other extreme are the big spenders with fully integrated marketing automation systems and templated content that tie into enterprise level CRM systems that have dedicated support staff.


The challenge of the one side is that the manual process of logging into numerous systems and tools in order to create content is a pain in the backside and the result is multiple pockets of data that must be consolidated, usually without the assistance of a skilled data person.  The big spenders have challenges, too.  In addition to having to foot a six figure bill, front line managers, subsidiaries or division may not have access to the resources to utilize these systems to meet their emergent and needs.  Big systems tend to be difficult to change and customization is not a simple matter of shooting an email to IT.


Occupying the middle ground are those organizations that either do not have the financial resources to invest in a big system or have decided to spend the money elsewhere and those firms that have stretched into a cross media platform that will do most of what the big solution will do at a fraction of the cost.  Here is a breakdown:


Low Budget DIYers



• Easy to begin

• Low cost or free software products



• Labor intensive

• Data collected in silos

• Difficult to coordinate content across channels

• Difficult to coordinate content across divisions or departments

• Difficult to standardize and control brand, fit, feel and messaging


Estimated annual spend with setup included:   $ 700 - $ 900


Middle Ground

Estimated annual spend with setup included:   $ 1800 - $ 2400



• Blend of low cost and high functionality

• Low cost of entry

• Blend of self service and DIY tools

• Creation of systems by at any level of the organization is possible



• Systems may not perform every task desired

• May not offer complete automation of processes


Big Spenders

Estimated annual spend with setup included:   $ 40,000 to $ 500,000+



• Content can be locked down to only what corporate has approved

• Virtually unlimited customization and channels can be added



• Expensive

• Difficult and time consuming to implement

• Content can be locked down to only what corporate has approved

• Difficult to add products and content downstream


For those managers and executives with large budgets, the choice to select a fully integrated suite may still be worth reconsidering when the extra labor involved could easily be less than the license and setup costs of a huge plan.


Our advice:  For most firms, choose a blended system and create a body of content before you decide to spend the money and time to implement a huge marketing IT project.


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