Marketing strategy

The fundamentals of a cross-channel digital marketing strategy

“Multichannel”, “multichannel”, “integrated” and “holistic” are just a few of the terms used by marketers to describe campaigns that take place across multiple channels and platforms. However, when it comes to articulating what is meant by ‘cross-channel digital marketing strategy’, the explanations are decidedly unclear, often using grandiose statements such as’ creating a seamless and unified customer experience. every user micro-moment ”or marketing platitudes such as the need to“ break down silos and embrace people-centered planning ”. So it’s tempting to think that, as with much of the lingo endemic in the marketing landscape, “cross-channel strategy” is just another buzzword: no one knows what it means, but it is provocative. It * ahem * gets people moving …

The reality is that you are likely to use more than one channel, and having a way to tie those channels together to achieve a common goal is going to play a key role in the success of your marketing efforts whether or not you are using it. paid media, SEO, digital public relations or CRO. Here we have tried to present three simple and intuitive recommendations to make sure that you have mastered the basics of developing and implementing cross-channel strategies.

1. Integrated goal setting

Emphasizing the importance of goal setting may seem obvious, but while having a clear overall business goal is certainly a start (and probably a minimum requirement), making sure you translate your business goals into marketing goals and digital KPIs are something that every strategy will benefit from. It will also ensure that you are in a good position to describe your strategy to stakeholders going forward, as it will provide you with a clear framework for communicating how your strategy and distribution plans can impact broader business goals.

Think of it like this:

  • What is your overall business goal?

  • How could marketing impact this business goal? Use the answer to define your marketing goals.

  • How might your digital channels impact these marketing goals? Use the answer to define your digital KPIs.

Once you’ve completed the above process, you’ll end up with a KPI framework that clearly shows how your various digital KPIs all flow back to your overall business goal. As we all know, each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the KPIs it can drive. By using a framework like this, you can use a variety of channels with different KPIs, making sure that each has a clearly defined role in your overall marketing strategy.

2. Use quality information

Another that looks like it should be given, but “should” is the key word in this statement. While many strategies can claim to be focused on insight, the reality is that many are based on too many assumptions. As we will come to, there is nothing wrong with making assumptions as long as they are identified and tested. Before including anything in a strategy, ask yourself what ideas do you have to support that decision? This could be related to what your competition is doing or what you can glean from the different channels available.

Fundamentally, high quality information should be relevant, actionable, and supported by more than one source whenever possible.

Humans are creatures of habit, so we tend to default to things that we know have worked for us in the past. Applying the above criteria to all the information you use to develop your strategy will help you avoid falling into this trap. Ask yourself why you are recommending a particular creation, format, or channel. Is it because the data asks you to, or is it because it corresponds to the activity that you have already seen doing? Instead of just doing what has been done elsewhere, use information to guide your decisions as much as possible.

3. Create hypotheses

When planning digital campaigns, the focus is on data and rightly so. However, while we tend to create strategies based on the data we have, the data we don’t have can be just as valuable but is often overlooked. The reality is, no matter how much you know about your customer, your product, and your channels, all strategies are based on assumptions. As we mentioned above, you should try to base your strategy on understanding as much as possible, but there will always come a point where you have to make a guess as to what will work. This is where assumptions can play a major role in identifying which assumptions were right and which were wrong.

Assumptions must be based on insight; measurable with a clear KPI; and aligned with the framework of your goals.

Basically, every recommendation you make in your strategy needs to be turned into a hypothesis with a clearly defined testing methodology. Taking this approach will not only allow you to validate your strategy, but the test results will also provide you with a better understanding for the next activation cycle.

By incorporating these three relatively simple recommendations into your cross-channel strategy, you should be able to come up with a more integrated approach to your digital marketing efforts very quickly, especially when you cycle through this cycle repeatedly.

George Gangar, Head of Digital Strategy at Impression.