What to Know Before You Jump into Cross-Channel Marketing

By Jessica Mays, Senior Technology Consultant on Mar. 15, 2016 View Comments

Marketing AutomationEasily delivering the right message to the right consumer at the right time is the dream for many ROI-driven marketers. Consider calls-to-action (CTAs). Did you know they actually convert 42% better when personalized than untargeted CTAs? That could make a big difference to your bottom line. Integrated, cross-channel marketing orchestration tools are key to making results like that a reality for your business.

I’ve worked with many marketing automation tools that allow teams to create dynamic and personalized email campaigns. However, email is only one channel and just a part of a customer’s greater journey with your business.

Cross-channel marketing automation platforms like Adobe Campaign, Sitecore Experience Platform (XP), or Oracle's Marketing Cloud bring content, campaign, and personalization rules into a single hub, pushing messages and offers to the customer without anyone hovering over it. Once implemented, marketers can use this one place to define, execute, and report on their marketing strategy.

So how do you approach a marketing platform implementation and successfully see it to completion? It all starts with the right plan…

Take Time to Plan Out Your Integration

When you prepare for your new automation tool, consider what channels you’ll focus on integrating. The more channels that are integrated into your cross-channel platform, the more consistent the engagement experience will be for your customers. The integrations available depend on your cross-channel marketing platform and include web content management systems, direct mail systems, email automation, social media, offer management, call centers, and other channel delivery points such as SMS and app notifications.

Remember That It Takes a Village

Adobe Campaign and other cross-channel marketing orchestration platforms aren’t necessarily simple, out-of-the-box solutions. These platforms require time and effort to set up each of the integrated channels as well as dictate campaigns, logic, rules, and data flows within the platform itself. It’s imperative to bring together a cross-functional team, including channel owners, a strong project manager, and vendor experts to build out the solution properly.

Prepare for Changes Across Culture & Teams

Software isn’t the only thing that changes when setting up an integrated marketing automation platform. There are also organizational changes to consider, which in many ways are harder to overcome than pursuing software implementation. Consider the current culture, resources, and adoption status quo before pulling the trigger on a tool.

For example, marketing teams that are separated by channel, or focused on niche aspects of the larger integration, will need to work together to create consistent online and offline experiences. Established processes for creating, testing, and reporting campaigns must be updated so traditional silos become one harmonious engine.

Get Started After You Get Buy-In

As the leader of many enterprise marketing-technology, or MarTech, projects, I’ve found a project’s success is nurtured through early and unfailing buy-in from stakeholders and involved teams. This should be established prior to platform selection and throughout development and adoption. Early buy-in is especially critical for highly integrated marketing tools like Sitecore XP and the others mentioned here, which affect multiple marketing teams’ daily workflows and outputs.

When you’re ready to kick off your work, gather a project team comprised of marketing and IT professionals. Also consider engaging an experienced consultant who has a history of successful MarTech implementations and, most importantly, direct experience with your new marketing tool. The added expertise drives a positive return on investment from a platform like Adobe Campaign or Oracle's Marketing Cloud faster than you might be able to realize internally, because your team is still learning the tool.


Have you used Adobe, Sitecore, or Oracle for your marketing orchestration tool? Or did you prefer another platform? Let me know by dropping a comment below!

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