Integrated marketing communications is not a new concept, albeit the media and the processes have evolved over time. Long story short, IMC or integrated marketing communication is nothing but incorporating more than one channel of communication to engage, promote and build relationships with your customers. For instance, ShopKick uses an amazing medley of channel integration by using heat sensing devices and mobile applications.
Why do brands need cross-channel marketing integration?
Whether we have realized it or not, but we consume a humongous amount of content everyday subsequently increasing our expectations and demands for premium quality content on a day to day basis. Check out this report by Reuter Institute for Study of Journalism.
It is a thumb rule among marketers – Be present where your customers are. And since customers are present everywhere brands scuttle their way into emails, SMS, mobile applications, TV ads, print ads and even radio! Many brands like Zivame, Bombay Troopers, Quikr, HDFC bank, Magic Bricks, Zomato etc. use both SMS and Email to reach out to their customer with skillful messaging. But, nevertheless there are a handful of challenges which marketers face day in day out while balancing their Cross Channel Communications!
1. Segmenting target audience across various channels of marketing
The target audience on every communication channel is different and so is the way in which they need to be segmented. A simple way to tackle this could be to first study your customers, the channel you’re using to communicate. For instance emails. Email recipients can be distinguished based on the kind of email you decide to send out and then section them based on their official hierarchy, scale of operations, location or type of product. This is very effective to test your email campaigns.
2. Difficulty in overseeing multiple platforms at once
Let’s face it, you had it coming. With multiple platforms to handle and to be unique everywhere is not a piece of cake. And to top it all, the time of sending out your communications. If you talk about social media, there are many management softwares that help you to handle several profiles and channels singlehandedly and effectively. Eg: HootSuite
And if managing Email and SMS is to be considered, one can send out SMS and Email simultaneously that has the same offer and link as a call to action. Check out some more tips on how you can use SMS marketing effectively.
3. Gauging customer behavior across channels and hence the messaging strategy
Customers behave differently on different channels and due to this, the messaging style, choice of content, frequency and tone will differ. On Facebook, users come with an intention to be in touch with friends and family and consume organic content shared by fellow users. While on Twitter, users skim through content quickly and leave short but frequent updates. Subsequently, your messaging tone and style on Facebook can be more engaging and conversational while on Twitter it needs to be short, crisp and to the point!
4. Tracking data across the channels and measuring impact
As you add on to your marketing arsenal, the complexity of mining data and analyzing it gets difficult. Use tools like, followerwonk, Google Analytics, HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot that let you track your campaigns, leads, multichannel marketing and real time analytics.
The customer and business ecosystem has evolved. It is very interesting to observe how effectively people multitask around us, being present on web, emails, podcasts and personal messages that demand multi channel promotion and reach. Brands can only evolve because, customers have a world of choices, but not the other way round.