How often have you heard the term multi-channel thrown around as a marketing jargon? Quite often, I bet! You may have also heard about the concept of “cross-media” used whenever a marketer has presented a strategy. In today´s advertising world, campaigns are being designed to constitute a mix of “traditional” and “digital” media. Agencies understand that consumers and buyers are impacted by several kinds of media. Therefore, they are more frequently combining both traditional and digital media into their campaigns. This is referred to as cross-media campaigns.

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Do keep in mind that “omnichannel” refers to strategies where consumers can engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. It is not only digital engagement. With an omnichannel campaign, potential customers can access products and services by calling a company on the phone, using an app on their mobile smartphone, or with a tablet, a laptop, or even a desktop computer. Each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.

One problem encountered in cross-media campaigns is that different strategies, although executed in combination, are measured separately, in silos. This does not provide a complete view of a campaign and its results. It is no longer enough to have different views of the various media that impact a consumer or a buyer. A single customer view that presents the complete customer journey is needed. A prospect or customer can embrace in many touchpoints, traditional and digital, before making a purchase or closing a deal. These include searching on the internet, visiting an expo, visiting a website, visiting a store, engaging in social media, viewing a video, reading reviews, etc. All these can be part of one single customer journey, and if we don’t measure it in full, the results will provide an incomplete scope.

In addition to cross-media, there is the aggregated complexity of cross-device. According to Pawel Gershkovich, global senior product manager at GFK, 35% of the people use two devices, 22% use up to three devices when engaging in a product research or purchase. We must also add two other complex dimensions:  first, the device type (laptop/desktop, tablets, and smartphones), and second, the country. This is because the way consumers use devices and move from one to another, differs from country to country.

To plan an effective campaign, marketers now need to understand what the consumer is doing across devices and how these activities interact with the traditional touch points country by country. Tracking all these and being able to measure the customer journey requires advanced technology, the combination of platforms, and the holistic skills of marketers that understand traditional and digital media. The data from all those media must be extracted, combined and correlated to draw useful conclusions. And despite all these, some things will not be measurable and cannot be predicted, but the more information a marketer can gather, the closer she can get to understand the consumer or buyer in her target.

Metrics need to include measuring different people, in different segments, in various campaigns, so there is an understanding of the interaction online and in the store. Increasingly, people use multiple devices during the process of a single transaction. So, marketers need to make sure that they understand these interactions and are ready to interact.

According to a study published by Telco 2.0 Research, if we take 100 potential customers, 65 of them start their research on a Smartphone, 25 starts on a PC/Laptop, and 11 starts on a Tablet. But not all of them finish on the same device. For example, out of the 65 potential customers that start on a Smartphone, 61 continue a PC/Laptop, and 4 continue a Tablet. From the 25 that start on a PC/Laptop, 19 continue a Smartphone and 5 continue a Tablet. And many of them might then decide to go to the physical store. So, all these combinations present a measuring challenge that needs to be considered since the campaign is being planned.

Marketers using cross-media need to start breaking the silos using technology and intelligence as a connector between the traditional silos.

If you’re looking for someone to help you devise an effective cross-media strategy for your brand, keeping in mind all that we discussed in this blog, get in touch with a WSI Consultant today.

About Carlos Guzman

Carlos has been a member of the WSI community since 2004, he leads a digital marketing agency ranked #20 for Mexico and servicing Mexican and Latam customers. Their specialty is in social listening and analytics-based digital strategies.