4 Ways Your Brand Is Held Back From Successful Cross-Channel Marketing

By now, we’ve heard all the benefits of cross-channel marketing: most notably, 73% of consumers shop on multiple channels, and brands with cross-channel strategies achieve 30% more in customer lifetime value.

And if you’re reading this blog, you’re already ahead of the curve. You’re likely running a robust email marketing program and have a mobile app with all the bells and whistles. 

But unfortunately, we’ve got to be the bearer of bad news with some hard-to-swallow pills:

However, there is good news: The challenges that are holding your team back from truly effective cross-channel marketing can be overcome. You just need to recognize how they manifest and what small steps you can take today to build a more holistic, integrated marketing strategy.

We at Iterable are here to help: Here are the four roadblocks you should remove to improve your organization’s cross-channel marketing performance.

1. Your customer data is all over the place

Before you can build a cross-channel marketing campaign and dive into creating engaging content, you have to know who you’re targeting and what customer data you’ll need to use for personalization. If that information is stuck in various CRMs or data warehouses, then you can’t turn it into actionable insights. It’s essential that your marketing technology stack includes platforms that integrate flexibly together with modern APIs and universal webhooks, so you can retrieve customer data from any source and route it to the right location. 

Lucky for you, we’ve done all the legwork into explaining how to build a best-in-class growth marketing stack. We’ve hand-selected and vetted partners like Movable Ink that embrace collaboration, rather than fragment your data even further. Check out our recommendations for analytics providers, e-commerce solutions, lead capture tools and more. Once you tackle the tangles of your MarTech, you can move on to the next challenge—wrangling your workforce.

2. Your teams are literally siloed by channel

This challenge is trickier, because we understand that not everyone in an organization has the ability to decide how their department is structured. And traditionally, when the reach of digital marketing was much narrower, it made sense to create channel-specific teams—one for email, one for direct mail, etc. This, however, greatly inhibits cross-channel success, so it’s just as critical to centralize internal communication as it is to centralize your customer data.

How should your team be organized, then? While the specific answer will vary from business to business, start by thinking—first and foremost—of the customer experience. Perhaps it would benefit your brand to structure teams based on specific product lines or stages of the customer journey. For instance, because modern growth marketing platforms enable messaging via email, mobile push, SMS and other channels, many email marketing teams are now focusing on retention across the board and owning all customer communications. That level of empowerment is one we’d like to see more brands support!

3. Going global is an afterthought

When marketing teams, particularly in the U.S., start thinking through a global lens, it’s usually in regards to regulations like GDPR. While highly important, compliance should not be the only thing on your mind when engaging an international audience. In fact, messaging strategies can change significantly, even between U.S. and U.K. marketing teams at the same brand!

People are more likely to buy products and services in a language they understand, so it’s short-sighted to ignore non-English speakers. Localization is about more than translation—it’s about adapting all content to a specific market. Make sure your visual experience is just as dynamic, whether it’s featuring a local skyline in an email header or adapting item prices to different currencies. And given the fact that nearly 6 in 10 international marketers don’t have support in all the markets in which they operate, it’s essential that brands supply their boots on the ground with the technology needed to localize effectively.

4. You can’t personalize messages without engineering assistance.

Oftentimes when we talk about personalization, we discuss use cases like cart abandonment reminders or promotions with next best offers. But in order to create those messages, what we really need is metadata—all the information about a product, like its category, image, price and description. For instance, if you’re a food delivery service and want to build a “top-rated restaurants near you” campaign, you need access to criteria like restaurant ratings, popularity scores and geolocation.

The challenge here is that often enterprise brands reserve access to this metadata. When marketers want to include individualized recommendations in their cross-channel campaigns, they often have to rely on their engineering or data science teams. Empowering marketers to create dynamic content experiences is precisely why Iterable recently launched Catalog, which provides out-of-the-box functionality for deep personalization. When marketers can act quickly without technical assistance, real-time engagement can become a reality.

This is not to say that creating a cross-channel customer experience happens overnight. Overcoming these four challenges takes time, technology and fundamental operational change. But recognizing your roadblocks is the first step to removing them, and that step can be taken today.

If you’d like to learn how Iterable partners with Movable Ink to power cross-channel marketing that makes an impact, request a custom demo of our integration.

About the author

Alyssa Jarrett, Director, Brand & Content Marketing, at Iterable

Alyssa Jarrett is Director, Brand & Content Marketing, at Iterable, where she specializes in creating data-driven content to educate growth marketers on how to develop world-class customer engagement.

She has previously served in marketing roles for companies in SaaS and big data, including Ripple, Objectivity, Splice Machine, and Cray. Alyssa holds an M.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism from California State University, Fresno.