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Cross-Channel and Channel 'Fatigue'
By: Kaitlin T. Gallucci
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A recent cartoon by Tom Fishburne (Marketoonist) shows a woman receiving a “ping” from a brand on her mobile phone. The update reads, “We just Tweeted that we Facebooked that we GooglePlussed that we blogged that we’ve sent you an email newsletter with an update.” The consumer’s response? “Good for you.” This is one of the current problems in the move toward cross-channel marketing.

One of the most vital aspects for successful cross-channel marketing is the maintenance of consistency across channels and, in turn, maintaining the best user experience throughout, at every point that a consumer may touch. The difficulty is, as Econsultancy describes it, “the lack of clarity about how we combine the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ channels, not just to co-exist, but also to contribute to each other to achieve customer conversion across multiple touchpoints.”

What Fishburne’s cartoon both humorously and accurately illustrates is that we have yet to master multi-channel integration (though credit is due to those who make the effort, and those making good progress). As previously cited, there is a lack of clarity and understanding. Brands have traditionally focused on individual channels, and with the introduction of every “next-big-thing” — new technologies, new social networks — marketers are quick to jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, the bandwagon isn’t always consistent with their current marketing strategy. Marketing departments (and IT departments) are at the moment generally unprepared for this kind of integration. That is inevitable, given the traditional approach of treating channels separately. The result for the consumer? Channel fatigue — causing that disinterested, “Good for you, Brand X” response that Fishburne illustrated (he appropriately titled his cartoon “Social Fatigue”).

Despite the uncertainties at the moment, Econsultancy explains, “Consistent delivery of content gathered from across multiple channels and re-distributed across others and centrally orchestrated and personalized user experiences, again driven by data gathered from all channels, are the new standards of the very near future.” But right now, without the proper orchestration and integration, the result is: brands Tweeting that they Facebooked that they GooglePlussed that they blogged that they sent us an email newsletter with an update.

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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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