What Is Cross-Channel Marketing Really?

By | July 22, 2011

I am currently reading Cross-Media Marketing by James Michelson, principal and founder of VDP Web. I must say, it’s refreshing. Right up front, he made a point that I haven’t heard expressed as directly or succinctly, and frankly, it needs to be said.

What makes a campaign become cross media or cross channel is how the responses are funneled into a single data collection point, either systematically or manually, to generate a dialogue with the prospect. . . Anything else is just advertising.

Wahoo! Someone needed to say it, and thanks, James, for saying it well.

We’ve been talking a lot about cross-media and cross-channel marketing in this industry and too often it’s confused with multi-channel marketing.

Multi-channel simply means using multiple channels to reach the same prospect. It doesn’t say anything about integrating those channels or creating a dialog. Cross-channel marketing means just that — one marketing campaign operating across multiple channels.

The implication of cross-channel marketing, as Michelson points out, is a common data collection point that creates a two-way conversation and level of integration that tells the marketer something about that prospect. Otherwise, it’s just hitting customers from all angles with different media. That kind of media smash has its place, but cross-channel marketing is something specific and different.

This is an important distinction and something we need to talk about more. In fact, if we focused more on cross-channel marketing and less on multi-channel marketing, I wonder how that would affect our clients’ campaign ROIs?

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4 thoughts on “What Is Cross-Channel Marketing Really?

  1. Direct Mail Marketing Services

    Agree,Just like to add to the blog that for fetching the benefit out of Cross marketing, An organization needs to integrate and manage the traditional and emerging technologies-and the ability to use any of these channels interchangeably-will enable them to reach customers in motion and optimize the full customer experience, for instance consistent communication from direct mail to email to text messaging to video communication at the point of sale.

  2. Lisa Query

    Yes, we are fine-tuning our own cross-channel marketing program, and no matter what the channel, each one has to point the consumer in the same direction…back to your company’s message or offer. Conclusion: All roads point towards the same place, but that place has to be worth finding!

  3. Diane Toomey

    Thanks for the info on sourcing the book, Josh. I’ve ordered it through my local independent bookseller. I had to smile when the clerk on the phone told me it was a “print on demand” book and might take up to 15 business days to receive; another sign of the times. Looking forward to reading it cover to cover!

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