In marketing, so many more choices and channels are available than there were twenty or even ten years ago—it’s almost mind-boggling. The temptation might be to stick to your corner and avoid innovation or cross-media marketing at the risk of confusion or weakening the impact of what you already know works.

We’ve all heard some variation on the proverb about the three cords that the sage winds together saying, “Three together are stronger than each apart.” This ancient and oft-used proverb rings true in many aspects of life, as well as business. A cross-media campaign is like that three-strand cord. Each strand has a relationship with the others, and while it takes some work to wind them together, the strength they add is more than the sum of their parts.

But what exactly is a cross-media campaign? What is it made of? And why does your business need it?

What is a cross-media campaign?

A cross-media marketing campaign coordinates several different marketing channels into a single effort. Each channel may be employed individually yet simultaneously, or they can be made to interact with each other (ex. using a radio commercial to send people to your website.). In either case, the role played by each channel in the campaign adds a unique element to the mix and reinforces the impact of the other channels by sharing your message in a slightly different way.

Cross-media marketing doesn’t happen by accident. It is a strategy business owners implement to share their message more effectively, based on what they want customers to do (sign on, increase commitment, take advantage of a promotion, understand your company better, etc.), and what kind of response they need from particular target groups (new clients, potential employees, various kinds of prospects, etc.).

What’s a cross-media campaign made of?

As the name suggests, a cross-media campaign involves several different types of media. These can include: television, radio, and signage, newspapers and magazines, print ads and print marketing materials, recruiting and training materials, websites, emails, social media, and video (including YouTube).

So what combination should you use? This depends on your business needs. Are you campaigning mainly in-house, or outward toward clients and prospects, or a blend? Who are the audiences you’re trying to reach, and where are they already plugged in? Once you have their attention, where do you want to direct them next? And what’s the main call to action for this campaign?

There’s no formula for a cross-media campaign, but it is best practice to combine “traditional” media options (like direct mail, brochures, newsletters) with digital (email, social media, QR codes, YouTube channel, etc.).

And often, it’s smart to hire a consultant or a marketing partner to help envision, coordinate, and execute your cross-media campaigns efficiently.

Why does your business need cross-media marketing?

Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Ultimately, the decision is with you, but here is why it has worked for others:

It increases impact.

In order for marketing to work, it needs to be seen, get attention, and move someone to action. These are different steps that involve a complex process of input and decision making, and the results vary widely depending on the context the viewer is in, the time of day. Is it possible or convenient right now for them to respond? Are they hungry, sleepy, in a bad mood? Have they just gotten paid? Are they currently not looking for your service but might sometime in the future? There is an infinite number of factors that can go into whether a marketing campaign gets the attention and response you need from your target audience. This is where cross-media marketing has the advantage. If you are sharing the same message through different channels, it’s appearing in different contexts, at different times of day, and hitting your audience in various phases and stages of daily life.

It makes repetition work.

Memory is improved by multiple ways of receiving the same information. Good marketing addresses a real concern or need and then persists with a single message pertaining to that need, from multiple angles, in slightly varying approaches, until something happens. Bad marketing that doesn’t have a sense of proportion, tone, or audience, is like the faucet that won’t turn off until it gets shut off. Good marketing is appropriate persuasion, which works best when repeated relevantly and in different ways. Cross-media marketing is ideal for this since you can fulfill this element of good marketing, even with a single campaign.

It lands strategically.

Different prospects and clients will have different ways of tuning in. This means you can target, target, target with your different channels. Do your research, learn and listen, know what you want from your audience, and then you can use a cross-media campaign to reach different generations, genders, socio-economic and lifestyle groups, and make different cultural connections.

A person reading the local paper may not be the same person checking out a flyer at a trendy coffee shop. Instagram and direct mail can differ widely and therefore complement one another in the target groups they reach. Then again, it’s also likely that an individual Millennial or an individual baby boomer would fit into all of these categories, depending on lifestyle, region, culture, etc. So a cross-media campaign not only diversifies widely who you’re able to reach, but it will also overlap in many places and for a good portion of your audience—again, reinforcing the message, getting attention.

Every day, Range, a Deluxe company, helps businesses like yours increase impact, streamline vision, and see more revenue through cross-channel solutions. Visit our website to see how we raise the bar in business and finance marketing or get in touch with a consultant today.