By: Phoebe Keith, Paid Media Consultant, CvE
Marketers aim to create a cohesive and positive customer experience across all media channels — cross, multi or omni. And if done correctly, the jackpot translates to an increase in brand loyalty and improved topline results.
Media marketing campaigns frequently falter due to a lack of a holistic strategic approach. Overlooking the overarching vision can lead to negative consequences. Achieving synergy across various media channels is crucial, and it’s essential that they seamlessly integrate. Unlocking this synergy necessitates a profound comprehension of the dynamics of marketing transformation.
Many marketers tend to ignore or simply forget to keep in check two fundamental principles – 1. The level of integration and 2. Consistency. A simple miscalculation of these principles, that leads to unsynced media marketing channels and teams, can have a profound and adverse effect on your overall marketing efforts.
The Challenges of Disharmony
From multiple conversations with industry leaders, disharmony across marketing channels can lead to high costs, diminished returns, and brand ambiguity. For instance, subpar SEO execution or poorly designed landing pages can negatively impact the user experience (UX) leading to lost bids and conversions within your Paid Search ads. Similarly, negative brand associations arising from dissatisfactory Paid Social experiences or substandard creative quality can result in a lack of engagement.
A prevalent issue in the marketing industry is the existence of marketing silos lacking congruence, notably when multiple agencies manage distinct channels. This makes it extremely difficult to align objectives and ultimately achieve the business’ desired outcomes. These siloes often prioritise their respective channels, and that may well be the case depending on the business and its objectives. However, this can potentially cause competition, misaligned budget allocation, wasted resources, and loss of trust. Many marketers overlook the impact of these silos and lack of inter-communication on conversion rates and customer loyalty. This rigidity significantly hinders operational efficiency, fostering miscommunication and schedule creep. Without clear communication within your teams, and consistency across your tech stacks and media channels, you leave little room for strategic alignment and you run the risk of inducing high costs and unmet business goals.
The lack of integration and effective utilisation of data pose formidable challenges for marketers due to silos and a lack of cross-channel insights. It’s no wonder marketers grapple with the complexity of data integration – it’s a costly, complex, and time-consuming effort that requires sophisticated tech & data expertise and the right resources to tackle it. However, a well-executed integrated data architecture holds the power to improve decision-making across the entire business, to unify teams, and yield transformative results.
Here we look at achieving harmony from three angles – organisational structure, data integration, and media channel synchronisation – that will ultimately be the catalyst for your strategy to thrive.
Evaluation of your marketing team’s position within the organisation is integral for strategic success. Here are key aspects to consider:
Lines of reporting: Effective organisational structure and established lines of reporting are essential in fostering goal cohesion and clarity in roles and responsibilities.
Behavioural drives: Evaluating what skills lie within your teams and understanding their natural behavioural drives through assessments such as the Predictive Index (PI) are hugely beneficial in building well-balanced and collaborative teams that host the necessary competencies for achieving your goals.
Relationships: Evaluate the direct connections your marketing team has with important divisions and/or cross-functional partners such as the strategy team, the product development team, and the sales team. Establish unity among them and ensure there is strong alignment of goals and expectations.
External collaborations: Regular consultations with your external agencies are crucial. This practice allows for strong collaboration of ideas and learnings, as well as maintaining consistency of your brand messaging.
Communication: Ensuring open and consistent communication is fundamental to the harmony of your marketing teams and channels. This evolves from strong leadership and effective project management which lay the foundations of a collaborative environment, facilitating high performance and cohesion.
Integrating your data seamlessly across channels is crucial for an effective marketing strategy.
An established Customer Data Platform (CDP) with automation is integral for synchronising multiple channels, especially when they are managed by multiple teams, often external ones.
Central hub: Integrating your data from multiple channels into a single source of truth provides clear and comprehensive insights into customer behaviours and attributes. This improves the streamlining data management and significantly eases the process of personalising strategies and segmenting customers.
Reporting accuracy and segmentation: As first coined by Marketing guru Dr Jeffrey Lant, it takes 7 marketing touchpoints for a user to convert on average, so centralising all your data in one place makes it much more efficient to utilise that data for segmentation and retargeting. From this pool of data, you can easily build customer personas from the attributes and behaviours collected by the data, allowing you to personalise and tailor your messages to the right customers.
Clarity: The implementation of a CDP as a single source of truth fosters clarity among channels and the respective teams managing them. This clarity ensures a consistent approach to analysis and facilitates shared learnings, whereby suitable segments that contribute to the business goals can be identified and targeted, as well as segmentation gaps. From here you are better equipped to effectively measure your performance against your objectives and thus, improve your ability to achieve success.
Harmonising your media is a crucial facet to establish when improving your marketing strategy. Here are some of the key considerations that are pivotal for achieving channel synchronisation in your marketing efforts.
Align your business objectives and values: This is the first step in establishing an overarching strategy that harmonises all media channels and their key performance indicators (KPIs) to enhance overall customer engagement.
Carefully Select channels: To maximise the effectiveness of your multichannel strategy, carefully select channels that align with your business goals, ensuring you reach the most valuable users. Achieve this by creating brand personas, conducting competitor research, and testing small campaigns to identify the most effective approaches.
Create a polished customer journey: A successful and harmonised media strategy should encourage flow through the customer journey, reducing cost wastage and allowing you to reach high-value customers more effectively through personalisation, ultimately transforming a prospecting consumer to a loyal, repeat customer. This will not only increase brand awareness, higher engagement and conversion rates, but through the proper utilisation of your data and segmentation you could gain a higher return on investment (ROI).
Establish cohesive messaging: Achieve topline strategy harmony by employing cohesive messaging across all channels to facilitate a seamless customer journey, increasing purchase intent by 90% according to a study performed by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Avoid isolating messages between channels: Instead, use each channel to contribute to a cohesive brand narrative that guides users through the purchase funnel. On top of this, it’s crucial to recognize that each channel has its own unique purposes, behaviours, and best practices so, therefore, tailor your approach to play to the strengths of each channel for optimal results.
Siloed environments are negatively impacting the success of marketing strategies and the performance of teams and their respective channels. A lack of congruence and communication between them can cause confusion and misalignment of goals, igniting cross-channel competition, and resulting in wasted resources and missed opportunities. On top of that, the monster that is your data configuration can often be messy and unintegrated which makes it extremely difficult to properly segment, retarget and convert your consumers.
Firstly, to achieve marketing strategy harmony, one must consider the organisational structure within the marketing department. Effective team selection, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and effective communication strategies all lay the foundations of setting marketing harmony; and this is difficult to achieve without strong, transformational leadership.
Data integration through the use of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) is an effective way to stimulate harmony across your media channels as well as your teams. Using a single source of truth across your whole marketing environment ensures alignment of goals and consistency of operation.
Lastly, achieving media channel harmony takes choosing the right channels for your objectives and overall goal; strategising a seamless customer journey and consistent brand messaging; and playing to the strengths of each channel where one can elevate the other.
If you’re looking for guidance or support on achieving media harmony, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
Phoebe Keith. Paid Media Consultant at CvE