We won’t talk about the impact of pandemics on trends in marketing management. After a crushing blow, businesses have got used to the new rules and adapted their marketing plans accordingly. Hence, it’s more important to focus on what marketing and customer communication approaches work today and what makes them more effective.
In 2021, digital marketing spending increased by 9.57% compared to the previous twelve months. Marketing teams state that US companies reinvest 13.2% of the revenue into marketing. It looks like businesses are ready to spend more on customer engagement, retention, and loyalty.
It’s also worth noting that their investment doesn't focus on a single channel. Businesses realize that only a customer-centric approach and cross-channel communications can make consumers happy. After adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy, the customer satisfaction rate shows up to a 23X increase. This and other benefits of cross-channel communications inspire businesses to run multi-channel marketing campaigns in 2021.
Want to know more about hot trends in marketing management and cross-channel communications? Keep reading to discover communication trends, challenges, and solutions.
Customer Communications in 2021: An Overview
This year, cross-channel communications will be primarily digital, automated, and personalized. Offline cross-channel communications like direct mail campaigns play a secondary, supporting role and complement digital communication trends. The most critical interactions happen with the help of social media, email campaigns, content marketing, push notifications, in-app marketing, and other digital customer experiences like voice search.
Here’s the latest statistics that proves the growing popularity of personalized and automated cross-channel communications:
- 72% of consumers prefer connecting with brands that offer a multi-channel experience;
- Modern customers are active on 6+ channels on average;
- 62% of US consumers are ready to share their email address to get personalized offers;
- 33% of US marketers spend at least 50% of their budgets on personalization;
- 51% of companies are using marketing automation;
- To create personalized customer experiences, 47% of marketing teams use data-driven marketing, 36% -- personalized content marketing, and 34% -- omnichannel marketing;
- 83% of B2C marketers use blog posts in their content marketing efforts, whereas 74% promote content through emails;
- 50% of marketing teams adopting a multi-channel marketing strategy usually manage to meet their financial targets;
- Businesses that have an effective omnichannel strategy record a 9.5% annual revenue increase per year.
These are just a few numbers that reflect what’s happening with communication trends and why omni- and cross-channel communications dominate. They show that marketing teams leverage automation solutions to connect multiple channels and enable consumers to govern the communications. Leads should be able to get in touch with the brand and see marketing messages whenever they want and through the most convenient channel.
Even though customers love cross-channel communications, these trends in marketing management aren’t easy to implement. You may face considerable challenges and unforeseen issues. Learn about the possible problems below to prevent them.
Challenges Caused by Current Communication Trends and Possible Solutions
Following the trends in marketing management, software vendors offer various platforms for cross-channel communications. Although the adoption and integration of cross-channel communications might seem easy, it’s not.
34% of marketers state they have difficulties evaluating the role of digital marketing technologies in the long run. They cannot predict how communication trends will shape cross-channel communications in the future. Hence, they don’t know what touchpoints to focus on. 29% claim their main challenge is to design processes that optimize the shifting roles of channels. Many also complain about data migration issues and poor interoperability of cross-channel communications solutions.
Therefore, in most cases, cross-channel communication trends bring the following challenges:
#1. The Right Combination of Channels
The choice of marketing and communication channels is tricky since there are so many options available. Besides, the channels you use will determine what software is needed, so you should carefully plan it.
Therefore, it makes sense to analyze how consumers already interact with your brand and pick several prospective channels you currently ignore. Professionals recommend considering alternative cross-channel communications, like WhatsApp or TikTok, to make your products and services stand out. The backbone of cross-channel communications remains unchanged: email marketing, social media, in-app messages, push notifications, call centers, and direct mail for business communications.
#2. Integration of Multiple Tools
One platform cannot support all kinds of cross-channel communications. Therefore, you will need to combine several tools that complement each other. If you pick a solution with poor interoperability, you will have trouble integrating it and won’t go cross-channel.
We recommend checking the list of software integrations before adopting it. Make sure the chosen platform connects to multiple kinds of marketing, CRM, and analytics solutions.
#3. Data Import Issues
Data formats vary across tools and systems. Hence, when a business starts using several software solutions, it’s likely to face data import and integration issues. As a result, the company will have to waste a lot of time trying to get data into the system. This translates into considerable financial losses.
That’s why it’s better to choose a cross-channel marketing platform with data import capabilities. You will be able to integrate it with your database smoothly. For example, Inkit’s reach enablement platform has a proven 100% data import success rate. You can use it as a basis to connect multiple tools avoiding data formatting issues.
Additional Tips on Reaching out to Customers Through Multiple Channels
We’ve collected some valuable tips that should help you improve customer interactions across different channels. Use them to make your cross-channel marketing efforts more effective.
- Encourage reviews on social media and word-of-mouth marketing. 9 in 10 consumers read reviews before making a purchase;
- Pay attention to messengers, such as WhatsApp, Viber, or Telegram, since their popularity rapidly increases among other communication trends;
- Let customers manage interactions by implementing trigger-based communications across channels;
- Automate email and physical address verification to make your customer communications more accurate;
- Make sure your website has a featured snippet when displayed in browsers. This helps customers to easily find your page when they decide to get in touch;
- Invest in SEO to make your brand more visible online and help consumers easily find your company via search queries;
- Don’t forget to record customer communications across all the channels to monitor customer service quality and stay regulatory compliant.
The applicability of these tips depends on the combination of cross-channel communications you use, of course. Another factor is your marketing budget. A good cross-channel marketing campaign always requires long-term investment.
Inkit’s REP for Keeping with Cross-Channel Communication Trends
Inkit is a reach enablement platform (REP) offering automated address autocomplete and verification, automated marketing campaigns, and paperless document rendering. You can integrate it with your marketing tools or embed any of the Inkit’s capabilities into your existing infrastructure through an API. Inkit allows you to easily connect software for cross-channel communications, make them more accurate, and keep messages in a single format through document rendering.