Growing Your Business Via a Cross-Channel Approach

By Tink Taylor | 28 May 2018

Tink Taylor, the founder and president of dotmailer, discusses how important it is for retailers to implement a cross-channel marketing strategy.

The increasing popularity of multiple social media platforms has seen cross-channel consumers become the norm. They are engaging with brands on several fronts and the expectation is that businesses need to provide a seamless experience across all channels.

In order to cater for this array of platforms, brands need to adopt engagement strategies that align with the consumer’s preferences for each. In the same way that an omnichannel approach involves more than plastering the same message across all communication modes, companies need to recognise the specific nuances and messaging styles associated with each channel.

With this in mind, here are some of the newer channels that businesses should be keeping an eye on.

Push Notifications

Push notifications are quickly becoming one of the most popular modes of messaging for companies with a mobile app. Given the sheer amount of marketing that an average individual is exposed to, marketers typically see great appeal in a push notification that cuts through the noise and is delivered straight to the customer’s mobile screen.

That being said, the challenges associated with push notifications are two-fold. Firstly, the potential reach hinges on the number of users that download and interact with the brand’s app. Hence the app needs to appeal to the market with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Furthermore, the value proposition of the app should be evident; users will simply not interact with an app that doesn’t add value to their experience.

Consumer reaction to push notifications has also been mixed. In fact, recent research from Facebook has shown that 71 percent of app uninstalls are because consumers identified push notifications as intrusive and annoying. When looking to communicate via this channel, the crucial first step is obtaining consent before proceeding. Following this, marketers will need to find the right balance in personalising messages and offers to foster user engagement with the app.

Direct Digital Messaging

Digital messaging platforms such as Facebook’s messenger and SMS systems are another great example of channels that enable companies to deliver messages directly to the customer. These channels are able to cut through the ‘digital noise’ as 90 percent of short message services will be read within three minutes. It gives businesses more value compared to paid media and can reduce resourcing costs for service staff.

For example, websites that have pop-up live chats are more likely to have returning customers as they recognise the automated service as a direct channel to the brand. In fact, in-app messaging is now becoming vital in an age where the consumers seek faster two-way communications.

According to the report by Statista, more than five billion people will own a mobile phone by 2019. And given 82 percent of people open every text message they receive, it seems almost foolish to leave SMS out of your marketing strategy. A range of international companies – from pet stores, to post offices and even fast food restaurants, are using automated text messages. The messaging space is not limited to personal contact lists but is open as a multipurpose platform for businesses to reach accessible consumers.

When it comes to an omnichannel approach, it’s not about delivering the same message twice or in one session but using the available channels to show users they are valued and recognised. As technology in this market continues to grow, brands that don’t diversify their approach run the risk of annoying their consumers to the point of abandonment.

The channels listed above clearly outline how companies can take advantage of their current resources to retain a customer base and even expand it. However, ultimately the best solution often includes leveraging two or more of these tools to engage customers with the right message at the right time.

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