The Basic Principles of Cross-Channel Marketing

By Bob Fetter, Senior VP, Pluris Marketing

To begin with, I’ve renamed this area of interest cross-channel marketing, as opposed to multi-channel marketing.  Anyone can do multi-channel marketing. Any retailer that has a storefront sends out emails and has a Facebook page is marketing in three channels.  Few companies, however, can do cross-channel marketing — where consumers are engaged with a brand in a consistent and directed fashion across every marketing channel.  Cross-channel marketing is tough, and here’s why:

  • Each channel is within an organization silo;
  • Data is difficult to pull together and coordinate;
  • Consumers use each channel in different and unpredictable ways.

o truly become an effective cross-channel marketer, marketers must adhere to some basic principles, most importantly to ensure that the organization is aligned to be a cross channel marketer.

In large organizations today, marketers typically refer to the owners of the web site as “the dot-com group” and confess that “we have little influence there.”  Often, the individual responsible for email is not the same individual responsible for social media.  All groups, including incentive and compensation schemes for each group, must be aligned across all channels.


Second, rethink the concept of marketing database: It’s actually an audience database. Within this database, extend what you capture from traditional transactional and demographic data to participation data.

What impressions are my customers and prospects seeing and when?  How are they interacting with me socially?  How often and why do they visit my web site?  What is happening in the call center or at point of sale?

Third, by capturing all audience data, marketers can now develop programs that engage each consumer in their preferred manner — and through the channel of their choice.

Don’t settle for blast emails and uncoordinated social strategies.  Leverage analytics based on detailed promotion and response history to truly develop “one consumer at a time” strategies. Think cross-channel instead of multi-channel, and you’ve taken a true step towards consumer engagement.

Bob Fetter is responsible for expanding Pluris’ leadership position in media and communications, retail, and other key markets. He has more than 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and operations.  Bob earned a graduate degree in management information systems from the University of Colorado, and has developed customer-centric strategies with such companies as, Chase Bank, First Union Bank, Nike, Dell and Sears.

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