Research from Braze found that users engaged 185 percent more when they received email and in-app marketing messages versus just email. But, cross-channel marketing isn’t always a guarantee you’re reaching your audience in a way that will lead to engagement and conversion. Third-party marketing channels report on data differently, and rarely let you know how your audience across these channels overlaps. While you may use similar segments across different channels to target your ideal consumer, the odds are your competitors are using those same segments — making your efforts less effective. Read on to learn more about what your brand can do to improve cross-channel marketing.
Difficulties with data silos
You’ve got data from Facebook, Google Ads, email... Not to mention, your marketing team works with different data than sales or account management. All this data exists in silos. Data silos can lead to inconsistent information, repetitive campaigns, and even inaccurate insights into your customers and prospects. And customer data is most useful when it provides a complete picture.
Data silos exist for many reasons. As companies and marketing plans grow, data storage isn’t always considered. For cross-channel marketing to succeed, information needs to be complete and shared between channels and teams. A goal many hope to achieve by integrating their marketing technologies, sales platforms, and more.
Why Integration is Helpful, but Often Not Enough
Cross-channel marketing requires customization and personalization. It can be a big-time commitment to launch different, yet complementary messaging for each channel and their respective interfaces. That’s why companies are increasingly investing in data integration strategies.
Without proper integration, all of that data is idle and siloed in each of those individual platforms, and we need to figure out how those systems can talk to each other and create a holistic view of our customer.
-ANISH JARIWALA, INFORMATICA
In short, integration entails bringing all of your third-party technologies together so you can launch campaigns and collect customer data in a more unified way. That said, integration alone doesn’t mean understanding what’s working and what’s not. Data orchestration solutions integrate disparate technologies but also allow for centralized, cross-channel campaign launch and automatic audience segment enrichment by feeding any audience data you collect directly back into the platform.
Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels reports are another place to gather insights on cross-channel marketing performance. This view will help you understand how your marketing channels are working together and how to optimize your cross-channel marketing approach.
Taking Control of First-Party Data
According to a 2018 study by Sizmek, 85 percent of US respondents and 75 percent of Western European respondents said that increasing their use of first-party data is a high priority. Why is first-party data so important? Besides web browsers cracking down on ad trackers and data privacy laws going into effect, there’s another, even more prevalent angle to consider.
All companies run campaigns to acquire new customers through third-party platforms like Facebook or Google Ads. But, when you upload your first-party data to third-party platforms, they receive granular information about your audience: names, ages, past purchases, and more. While third parties don't use that information from the get-go, they can use it once people from your anonymized segments interact with campaigns on those channels. The platforms then have your data in their own segments which are, in turn, used by companies (and competitors) who run campaigns via those platforms as well.
Your audience data should be a major competitive differentiator. But, data becomes significantly less valuable when it’s used to inform popular third-party segments. When you run campaigns through an in-house data orchestration platform, however, it ensures that you only provide third-party platforms with audience ID numbers — not granular audience information. The result? An ability to take control of your first-party data to create valuable information that only your company can fully access to target the right people across channels and devices.
Next Steps for Cross-Channel Success
Cross-channel marketing is a must-have to compete online, but it’s not enough on its own. First, you must have a strategy to manage and streamline your data. You must also have a way to connect your data sources and make sure it isn’t shared with other platforms.
Neiman Marcus has been cited as an innovator in this area. For example, when a customer searches for a specific shoe size, that information is saved for future searches. It is also combined with information from store locations and geolocation data to let customers know where to find an item right away. To see how Data orchestration can improve your cross-channel marketing from connecting online/offline data to platform integration, get in touch for a free evaluation with our SA team.