CROSS CHANNEL MARKETING – INTERVIEW WITH ROB WALKER
At Xcite we are passionate about cross-channel marketing! Cross channel marketing has been likened by Beth Kindig – of Business 2 Community website – to “managing a Formula 1 racing team. Real-time data from a variety of sources pours in every second and the difference between winning or losing lies in optimizing every single parameter in harmony with each other.” We caught up with Rob Walker – Managing Director of Xcite – to find out more about his views of cross channel marketing.
- First and foremost, what exactly is cross channel marketing?
Cross channel marketing is the ability to communicate intuitively with your audience over different channels such as PPC, Email, Social, etc. For example you may change the way you do your marketing based on the interest of different audiences – such as which section of your website did they visit, what topic did they search for, what stage they are at in the buying cycle (such as researching, ready to buy, previously bought etc).
Adverts can be then be tailored to your audience seamlessly over multiple channels.
- Is it the same thing as multi channel marketing? If not, what is the difference?
Multi channel is simply marketing over more than one channel (PPC, SEO, Social, Email, Content etc).
Cross channel is about building up insight around your audience and personalising the adverts / messaging independent of which channel your audience is on.
- You ran a blog back in May claiming that cross channel marketing is “the only thing”. Does that mean that you regard any other digital marketing strategy as not valid?
Each channel can be run separately very successfully, but being able to personalise an advert based on cross channel insight greatly improves the chances of converting a potential customer.
- Are the costs of cross channel marketing always justified? Do you have evidence to show that the results are really worth the additional cost and time put into cross channel marketing?
Campaigns do not need to be expensive to work, all you are really doing at a basic level is personalising adverts to your audience based on their preferences. You could just focus on two channels, paid advertising and social media for example, but the more you include the better the conversion rate.
It’s better to look at a campaign and realise that you need everything, however in reality you need to prioritise. What Xcite can do is to show you the best route based on research and experience. We would then aim to generate a positive ROI (i.e. costing less to generate a customer than you spend to find them) at which point we understand the key indicators we need to hit. For example the cost of conversion needs to be less than £10 to generate ROI, or to generate 100 sales we need to reach 100,000 people, etc. We use a range analytical targets and build up the campaign based on maintaining these targets.
- How would you advise a client to select the most appropriate combination of channels for a campaign?
It’s always a choice based on the client, some clients may want to raise exposure as they have long lead times, some may want quick wins as its a small insignificant sale, some want to drive repeat business. Whatever the objective we would tailor a campaign and give our best advice on how long it would take to achieve a positive ROI, and the costs involved.
- How does content fit in? Does it have to be the same on each different channel?
Content helps to provide value to an audience, and keeps them engaged around your brand so that when they are ready to buy you are in their line of sight. A general rule of thumb is that only 1% of potential customers are willing to buy from you today, leaving 65% who could buy over the next 3 months + and around 30% who would never buy from you. Content allows you to appeal to the 65% potential customers who could buy from you but are not ready today, meaning you generate more sales in the long term.
- Is there not a risk that if consumers feel “bombarded” by content on too many different channels, it might have the opposite effect and actually put them off? Surely some people believe that “less is more”?
The frequency at which we deliver advertising to customers can be controlled, but it’s a good point because achieving the right time to get in front of your audience -and how often we deliver the advert – are important factors in how positive the interaction with your audience is. By understanding the figures we can see whether we are having a positive effect simply by an increase in our targets, for example how long the audience stays on your landing page or website, the number of pages visited, etc.
- Why did Xcite Digital start using cross channel marketing?
We believe it’s the best way and right way to market your business, all we are doing is finding the right customers for you and getting in front of them with a personalised message. In theory this is everything you need to do, we are just using the latest technology and expertise to improve how effective we are at doing this.
- What has been Xcite’s most successful multi-channel marketing campaign?
Fair Finance by far. We were able to differentiate our client and find more customers for them that their competitors had missed. We then made sure we communicated to this audience in a way that resonated with them. By learning about the audiences and what worked for them we could apply this insight to other channels, for example updating more compelling messaging on Landing pages, social posts, email content, application form UX, etc.
- What is your favourite example of cross channel marketing from another organisation?
A hotel chain found that people were finding their hotel by using search terms related to Sport, they realised this was because people wanted somewhere to stay when visiting sports events in the areas. The hotel chain therefore added sports event listings to their website, mobile App, Social posts, Email campaigns, banner ads, content articles etc.
As you can see, Xcite is at the forefront of the use and development of cross channel marketing and both Rob and the rest of the Xcite team are fully committed to support our clients in implementing it successfully as a key pillar of their digital marketing strategy. Watch this space for more examples of cross channel marketing and how it can make the difference between the success or failure of your marketing campaigns.