How to plan a successful cross-channel marketing strategy

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As mobile commerce becomes the norm, marketers will need to implement new strategies to differentiate themselves not only in customer inboxes, but also online, in order to remain competitive.

These are the findings of a survey conducted by Yes Lifecycle Marketing of more than 300 brands online and in-person. Survey takers, the majority of whom were retailers, plan to incorporate innovative tactics like dynamic offers, user-generated content and cross-channel initiatives to gain a competitive edge. They also plan on investing in the technologies to power those tactics.

Top three marketing goals

Survey respondents agreed that “increase sales” should be, and is, the first priority. Supporting this goal is always the challenge. Marketers know what they must do in order to get there, even though many are not there yet. “Improve customer engagement’ and “Improve customer acquisition” rank #2 and #3 respectively. Brands will look to marketing technology and service providers to help get them on the right path through an emphasis on technology innovation and analytic services.

Key findings

– Brands will differentiate themselves with more sophisticated marketing techniques: 38 per cent say that they’d like to use user-generated content next year.

– Marketers know their personalization efforts are weak and see value in improvement: 49 per cent say their communication efforts are one-size-fits-all and 68 per cent wish they could improve efforts.

– Brands are turning to marketing service providers and technology for innovation.

– Marketers consider virtual reality a luxury, not a necessity: 57 per cent and 55 per cent believe that virtual and augmented reality respectively does not apply to their organizations.

Integrate channels to improve sales

Marketers will continue to utilize proven marketing channels such as email and social media. However, many plan to implement cross-channel initiatives. 68 per cent report that email marketing will receive an increase in marketing budget this year. Social media marketing will also be a priority, with 54 per cent reporting their social media budget will increase. Brands also see value in integrating digital and offline.

Key Takeaways

– Email remains and will continue to be a tried and true method of customer communication.

– The resistance towards flashier tactics indicates that marketers are more pragmatic about improving marketing efforts. Marketers will focus on concrete, yet forward-thinking tactics.

– With the right technology, marketers can personalize their communications. Marketers who have a 360-degree view of their customers by accessing and analyzing their descriptive, response, and behavioral data will have much better understanding of customer needs.

– Marketers still struggle with personalization, and they know it.

– Brands see value in marketing technology and service providers, and favor providers that offer integrated reporting and analytics.