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The Complexity of Cross-Channel Marketing
By: Kaitlin T. Gallucci
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Digital marketing brought about the alleged death of print and traditional media. Now, talks about the next wave of marketing innovation are speculating the death of digital…that is, the death of “digital” as a separate marketing area, or silo. Lines between channels are blurring as we prepare for the new school of marketing with cross-channel integration.

How is “digital” marketing defined? It’s a complex area. Social media and mobile media are digital by nature, but are often referred to as if they are separate channels. Digital marketing is a wide-spanning channel. But, when a consumer can scan a bar code on a print ad, using a mobile phone, and be connected to an ecommerce website…what is that? Print, mobile, or digital? What about when that bar code is scanned within a brick-and-mortar store? And what if it redirects to a Facebook page? Then is it social? What about when a consumer makes a purchase through a Facebook tab or a mobile/tablet app? The lines between various digital and non-digital marketing channels are dissolving.

It’s been said before that someday soon, we won’t even say “digital marketing” anymore; it will just be “marketing.” There will be no separation between traditional and digital channels, and therefore no need to differentiate in discussion.

Brands are still adopting, adapting, and changing digital media usage, and with the introduction of more complex technologies, we will continue to awkwardly adjust. But when marketing is taking place across multiple channels, there’s hardly room or time for adjustment — a brand needs to not only be present on all channels, but its presence must be cohesive. It’s not enough to have a great store layout, great customer service, and/or a great ecommerce website; you also need a great Facebook page, a great Twitter page, a great mobile site, a great app, a great email newsletter, and a great “whatever’s-next.” Wherever your consumer is, they expect to find you, and they expect to have the same great experience across all channels. And if they still like getting catalogs and direct mail, those had better be great too.

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About the Author
Kaitlin T. Gallucci is a New York based direct and digital marketing strategist. She tweets here.
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