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Why cross-channel marketing is so hard (and what to do about it)


Cross-channel campaigns have for years been the holy grail for marketing departments. It seems so simple, but still – most companies struggle to get cross-channel marketing right.

It’s easy to think that buying another new Martech platform will bring about change, but technology does not change how your organization works. To be truly cross-channel you need more – and it starts with data.

Connect your data

To run true cross-channel campaigns you have to make sure that you don’t just collect data, but that you connect it. Can you see where a conversion originated from? Can you see what route that customer took to purchase? If you can’t, you’ll not be able to create cross-channel campaigns that rely on building on what the customer has experienced with you before – just retargeting is not cross-channel marketing. To do that you need to know what a customer already bought from you, what advertisement they have already seen, where they have been on your website. This is being made much harder by the fact that third-party cookies are disappearing. Your owned data will just grow in importance, meaning ID solutions, content that people want to click on, and first party data collection will be key to be futureproof. Dan Nguyen from Frog’s Brand & Content department has written more about how to prepare for the cookieless world here.

Find out what really works – for your customers

A lot of cross-channel strategies you have read will tell you to create personas. But personas are the blunt instruments of yesterday, where we sat in conference rooms and guessed how people moved through our digital ecosystems. The way to do it today is through relentless testing. Invest in real-time analytics capabilities, attribution models, personalization engines and other tools to get your data to tell you what really works for your customers and products. Our Capgemini research shows that only 37% of marketers say they have data available on campaign performance to be able to support decision making. This is a foundational ability – not a good to have.

Give people the tools to do the work

The main reason why campaigns traditionally have been planned in channel silos is that marketing departments were organized in channel silos. To change this, you can’t just give people new job descriptions and tell them start working in a different way.

  • Redefine your KPIs. If you still measure campaign success in channel silos, then that is what people will maximize for. If you don’t have efficient attribution models, people will focus on first or last touch channels.
  • Promote and celebrate cross-channel thinking. If you always show off the flashy commercial when you present a campaign internally – that is what people will want to work with.
  • Focus on building internal knowledge and skills. Our research shows that 43% of companies are planning to bring the work done by marketing agencies inhouse in the next few years. You’ll not get there just by hiring new specialists, you need to upskill your campaign leads or marketing managers – they are the key to getting all those specialists to work together in the best channel mix for your audience.
  •  Create real-time decision paths. Real-time analytics capabilities are a start – but you also need to empower your team to be able to change campaign strategy on the fly when results start coming in.

If you are interested in hearing more around our performance marketing and growth offers – get in touch!

This blog is written by Malin Hendriksen who specializes in data-driven customer experiences in frog – part of Capgemini Invent.