Cross-Channel Marketing: Tips + Examples to Drive Your Strategy

Written by: Scott Cohen

Published on: 02-14-2024

Scott is the CEO at InboxArmy and has more than 20 years of experience in email marketing.

I’ve said for years that, at a minimum, know what your customers have done with you. When customers are thrown off balance by different brand experiences in different channels, it can lead to frustration and diminish brand love. (A great example of this: 89% of customers get frustrated when asked to repeat their issues to multiple representatives across channels.)

The best way to prevent this is through cross-channel marketing where the goal is to create a consistent experience for your customers when interacting with your brand across any channel.

Yes, this is easier said than done. But cross-channel marketing can help you build the right strategy to deliver the most relevant, consistent brand message to your customers.

In this article, we’ll explain the differences between cross-channel marketing and multichannel marketing (yes, they’re different). We’ll also walk through the implementation process of cross-channel marketing and provide examples of popular campaigns from renowned brands who have a strong grasp on this strategy.

But first…

What Is Cross-Channel Marketing?

Simply put, it’s a digital strategy where marketing channels–paid channels like social, owned channels like email and your website, even your physical locations–work together to achieve a common goal of connecting with your customers in a unified way.

The goal is consistency, and cross-channel marketing is designed to offer enriching experiences throughout your customer’s journey–without bombarding them with disconnected messages. From the initial ‘Hey, nice to meet you’ to the final ‘Thank you for choosing us,’ it ensures that your brand becomes a resonant and unforgettable part of their experience.

Whether a customer discovers you on Instagram, reads Facebook reviews, receives a tempting email offer, or enters your store, they should encounter a cohesive, compelling brand. This ensures they can easily grasp, process, and retain your brand identity.

What Is The Difference Between Cross-Channel And Multi-Channel Marketing?

What is the difference between cross-channel and multi-channel marketing


Multi-channel and cross-channel marketing “look” similar: reaching customers through multiple channels. The key difference: How and what messaging is delivered.

Cross-channel marketing focuses on delivering a consistent message across multiple channels throughout the customer journey, whereas multi-channel marketing provides different messages through different channels. Multi-channel marketing excels in broad outreach and visibility–cross-channel marketing prioritizes a seamless and unified experience across the channels.

The dynamic interplay of channels ensures that the brand story unfolds cohesively, making each touchpoint a meaningful part of the customer journey. 

ITo simplify it a bit more, let’s compare:

Aspect Multi-channel marketing Cross-channel marketing
Core strategy Thrives on diversity, reaching the audience through various platforms for increased visibility. Seamlessly integrates and coordinates multiple channels to create a consistent and uninterrupted user experience.
Primary goal Establishes a presence across various channels, aiming to enhance accessibility to potential customers. Focuses on creating a consistent and cohesive user experience across all channels.
Channel operation Channels may operate independently, functioning as distinct entities. Channels seamlessly collaborate, complementing each other with shared data and information flow, optimizing the user journey.
Message consistency Faces challenges in maintaining consistent messages across diverse platforms, leading to potential variations in brand communication. Ensures uniformity in messages and content presentation across all channels, fostering a cohesive brand image.
User experience May lack seamless continuity, with potential disruptions in the user journey. Empowers (potential) customers to effortlessly transition between channels without losing the thread of their journey, creating a natural and continuous experience.
Strategy selection Optimal for achieving broad outreach and visibility. Ideal for businesses emphasizing a seamless and unified experience, ensuring each touchpoint contributes meaningfully to the customer journey.

Why Should You Use Cross-Channel Marketing?

Cross-channel marketing is a pragmatic shift in your approach to how you engage your audience. It involves understanding your customer’s journey, nurturing connections beyond transactions, and creating a brand that stands tall in every interaction.

Cross-channel marketing facilitates this transformation by enabling you to synchronize customer experience across all touchpoints seamlessly. There are many compelling factors to consider as to why you should adopt this marketing strategy in your business. 

Streamlining the customer journey

Streamlining the customer journey


The modern customer journey does not take place in one channel. The transition from a pre-purchase customer stage to a purchase then post-purchase stages can be long and tenuous. It ensures seamless transitions between marketing channels, allowing messaging to customers to flow effortlessly from social media to search to website, email, and in-store interactions.

Establishing a strong brand identity

Brand identity is built through consistency in message and approach. And the process for building a resilient brand need not be overly complex.

Take Starbucks, for example. They maintain a uniform brand and message across their stores, websites, and ads. They have repeatedly proved that success lies in being present everywhere with a familiar and cohesive face.

Building genuine connections

Consistency across multiple channels can foster customer loyalty. It also promotes relevant customization of communication and interaction with your customers across various channels.

A result of consistency and customization is a brand that’s more relatable and attuned to the diverse ways in which your audience interacts with your content. When your customers feel your brand “understands” them, you can build a genuine connection, establish trust and loyalty, and turn customers into brand advocates.

Micro-segmentation and personalized shopping

When the “left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing” when it comes to being bombarded with messages and ads across channels, the best case scenario is that your customers ignore you. This can be the case when brands employ a multichannel strategy and not a cross-channel strategy.

Now imagine you leverage what you know about your customers and present personalized ads addressing their current concerns and follow up with targeted emails. And when they arrive on your site, you personalize the landing page to be about the products and/or services they’re interested in. Assuming it doesn’t fall over the “creepy line,” it’s much more likely that your customers will engage with your marketing.

That’s the power of cross-channel marketing. It empowers you to:

  • Understand customers by delving into their demographics, habits, and intents. 
  • Discern users’ preferred channels and tailor offers at various stages of their shopping journey. 
  • Craft personalized messages from customer data.
  • Deliver content on the channels users favor.

The impact is incredibly clear: 94% of marketers state that offering personalized experiences has significantly increased their sales. 

3 Essential Elements of Cross-Channel Marketing


Unified customer profiles and data integration

This is the “brass ring” for marketers. A unified, “single source of truth” customer profile that functions as a digital ID card. A unified view of each customer, ideally across all channels, is a main driver for delivering a seamless experience.

Building a comprehensive customer profile will aid you in understanding your customers’ preferences, behaviors, and history with your brand. It’s a challenge, for sure, but an essential goal for your marketing channel. You can overcome these challenges by:

  • Breaking down silos between different channels and systems
  • Building a seamless flow of information to enhance your marketing strategy

Note: Only 65% of marketers claim to possess high-quality data on their target customers. As I’ve said previously, this is easier said than done.

Consistent messaging and branding

It’s vital to maintain a consistent brand tone and message across all channels. It’s also crucial to maintain a continuous and coordinated presence to maximize interaction with your audience. This level of consistency builds trust across the board and helps you successfully establish your brand presence.

Seamless customer journey mapping

Picture this: A potential customer discovers your brand on social media, explores your website, and is now in conversation with your sales team for a demo. To make this transition seamless and logical, meticulous tracking of every customer interaction is crucial.

Efficient customer journey mapping requires a deep understanding of your customers’ current stages, the touchpoints they encounter, and the decisions they have to make along the way. Mapping your marketing touch points across all channels ensures a smooth journey while allowing you to tailor the experience for customers at each step.

Challenges of Cross-Channel Marketing


Cross-channel marketing is effective–but it’s hard. There’s no way around that statement. Let’s explore a few of the common challenges associated with implementing cross-channel marketing.

Fragmented customer journeys and data integration

Today’s consumer journeys are non-linear and add complexity to tracking customer interactions. They often start their shopping journey on one platform and conclude on another, making it challenging to follow their fragmented path.

Gathering and organizing data from diverse sources requires the use of data and analytics platforms–perhaps customer data platforms as well. These customer data tools enable businesses to collect, analyze, and create a unified view of their customers and derive actionable insights as well.

Sounds easy? It’s not. In fact, 37% of B2C marketers struggle with creating a single view of customers across channels and interactions. And only 72% of marketers are willing to invest in incorporating a cross-channel strategy.

Consistency and channel silos

It asks marketers to deliver the same style, tone, and message to customers, irrespective of the platform with which they engage your brand. This consistency poses challenges, particularly in heavily siloed companies where different teams manage marketing channels independently.

Silos hinder the creation of a cohesive customer experience. Branding deviations occur, confusing your audience and diluting your brand’s effectiveness. All of which can have an impact on brand recognition and trust.

Measuring ROI and attribution

If you’ve heard me speak in the last few years, you know how I feel about attribution. The reality is that 80% of organizations are struggling to establish a universal set of metrics and methods to nail down how effective their marketing efforts are. Add in the complexity of how customers navigate through multiple channels and multiple touch points before making a purchase decision, and it gets even more difficult.

To tackle this complexity, businesses must bring advanced analytics and top-notch tracking systems. These tools empower companies to accurately measure their return on investment (ROI) and identify the most effective marketing channels.

Adapting to evolving customer behavior

Customer behavior is dynamic and influenced by ever-changing trends. They’re also not buying in just one way. In 2023, 69% of consumers preferred purchasing a product in-store, while 52% preferred an online retailer selling various brands.

As customer behavior changes, so must marketers adapt their strategies to align with these changes. It requires agility, a keen understanding of market dynamics, and a finger on the pulse of customer preferences.

It’s a challenge just about every brand faces–particularly with the constant emergence of new platforms and communication channels.

Cross-Channel Marketing Examples

Let’s take a look at some compelling cross-channel marketing examples that showcase the power of a strategic approach in driving engagement and fostering brand loyalty.

1. Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott employs a fantastic cross-channel strategy, leveraging social media trends, collaborating with influencers, and creating compelling in-store experiences. And guess what? It’s not just for show; it’s yielding serious results by boosting brand awareness and driving many consumers to their stores. For them, brand and performance marketing are like two peas in a pod, working together to impact metrics and attract online and in-store traffic.

Kendra Scott even hit TikTok stardom during the university rush season, making waves without offering any incentives, solely relying on genuine brand connection — the power of brand identity. They’re not putting all their eggs in one basket. They keep it fresh by exploring alternatives like BeReal and Lemon8 to stay connected with consumers.

2. Domino’s Pizza

Domino's Pizza


Domino’s Pizza has mastered the art of cross-channel marketing, and it can be seen from the fact that it provides seamless customer experience across various channels. You can order pizza using its user-friendly website or mobile app. Once you have placed your order, you can track real-time delivery on Alexa or their apps using its AI-powered voice search feature.

They took a step further when they allowed their customers to order a pizza by simply tweeting a pizza emoji — the ‘Tweet-to-order’ campaign. This resulted in over 500 emoji orders in just one day. It made headlines on USA Today, Forbes, Good Morning America, and even the Jimmy Fallon Show.

3. Rothy’s

Domino's pizza email


Rothy’s, the San Francisco fashion brand, leverages Gladly to sync up customer interactions across every channel — email, phone, and chat. They believe they need to create a brand presence across various platforms and sync the customer experience to be able to build a community of loyal advocates. 

For instance, Rothy’s tracks customer browsing journeys and collects net promoter scores. Combining these data allows them to help customers locate the info they need without exiting the checkout experience. In essence, they use data to bring teams together to collaborate and spot trends.

Rothy’s is beyond making shoes; it is shaping a brand experience. They use insights to craft brand positioning, communication styles, and marketing strategies. This video explains how Rothy’s topped the fashion market by being consistent, customer-centric, and building relationships that last a lifetime.

4. Warby Parker

Warby Parker


Warby Parker’s renowned purpose-driven marketing, exemplified by their ‘Buy a Pair, Give a Pair’ initiative spanning 75+ countries, has successfully distributed over 15 million pairs to underserved communities. Through transparent annual impact reports, the brand fosters customer loyalty, leading to increased sign-ups via their website or app. 

Upon signing up, users receive a compelling welcome email, seamlessly blending shopping options with brand storytelling and educational content on material sourcing and eyewear manufacturing. 

They further use the award-winning virtual try-on app to help select frames and receive updates on affordable and quick vision prescriptions. This leads to personalized and convenient shopping options, encouraging customers to return.

Warby Parker email


Warby Parker emailsSource


Their UGC featuring #warbyhometryon on Instagram showcases real customer profiles over celebrity endorsements. This strategy fosters brand familiarity and trust.

In a nutshell, Warby Parker’s cross-channel strategy is a vision for sustained growth and customer love. Disrupting a $140 billion industry, it sets the gold standard for brands that marry purpose, personalized experiences, and community engagement.

(Note: I wear Warby Parker glasses–but that’s not the reason they’re highlighted here. And I’m not getting paid to mention this either.)

How To Create a Cross-Channel Marketing Campaign


A successful cross-channel marketing campaign requires strategic planning, precision, and a deep understanding of your audience. This step-by-step guide outlines a great starting script for creating a cross-channel marketing campaign that resonates across diverse platforms.

1. Understand your target audience

This is true whether you’re doing cross-channel, multi-channel marketing, or marketing to your cat. Understand your audience.

Start by conducting thorough research to gather insights into their demographics, preferences, behaviors, and pain points. Utilize data analytics, customer surveys, social media listening, and market research to gain a comprehensive understanding of who your audience is and what motivates them.

Identify where your audience spends their time online, including social media platforms, websites, forums, and mobile apps. Remember, not all channels are created equal, and your audience may not be equally active on every platform. Pay attention to their preferred communication channels, content consumption habits, and the devices they use. Strategic channel selection is critical to effectively reaching and engaging your audience.

By understanding your audience’s habits and preferences, you can tailor your messaging, content, and channel selection to effectively engage and resonate with them across multiple touchpoints. This targeted approach maximizes the impact of your cross-channel marketing efforts and enhances the overall customer experience.

2. Unify your data

The core aim of effective cross-channel marketing is to provide a seamless experience. Unified data is the only way you’ll truly get there.

You need a single source of truth for your data–and a centralized way of activating upon that data. Whether it’s a CDP or a CRM or whatever acronym you want to use, you need to centralize and integrate your various data sources into one place. Sources like your CRM system, website analytics tools, social media platforms, attribution platforms, etc. Integrating these tools streamlines data management processes and empowers marketers to deliver cohesive and impactful cross-channel experiences.

This unified view of your customer will allow you to better segment your audiences, create content specific to audiences (and perhaps, eventually with the help of AI, the individual), and enable you to ensure your messaging and brand voice remain consistent across all channels. 

3. Reconnect with retargeting

Cross-channel marketing encompasses the entire customer journey, from pre-purchase to post-purchase interactions. It’s crucial to maintain engagement even if a customer hasn’t made a purchase or is an existing customer. Retargeting plays a pivotal role in this aspect.

By leveraging data from previous interactions with your brand, such as website visits, email opens, or social media engagement, you can create personalized retargeting campaigns tailored to each customer’s interests and preferences. 

Like the friendly shopkeeper who remembers you and suggests the perfect product when you stroll by, this strategy targets users who have interacted with your brand but have yet to seal the deal.

How can brands employ effective retargeting? Use attention-grabbing ads to remind them of what they browsed, offer a special offer, or highlight why your product is a game-changer. With cross-channel retargeting, brands can maintain a consistent presence throughout the customer journey, effectively nurturing leads and driving them toward conversion.

4. Analyze and optimize results

Analyzing and optimizing results is crucial for refining strategies and maximizing impact. Implement analytics tools to track key performance indicators (KPIs) specific to each channel. Assess the impact of your campaigns, and pay attention to which channels are driving the most engagement and conversions, as well as any bottlenecks or areas of underperformance. 

With these insights, you can make informed decisions to optimize your campaigns, such as reallocating budgets to high-performing channels, refining messaging and targeting, or experimenting with new tactics. Continuously monitor performance and iterate on your strategies to ensure ongoing success and alignment with your business goals.

NOTE: One big KPI I like to “solve for” is the question around how many touch points (from all channels) it takes to convert the average customer. This insight can be instrumental in testing new marketing messaging and strategies and provide an amazing benchmark against which to measure success.

The Future of Cross-Channel Marketing

With the proliferation of digital channels and the rise of omnichannel experiences, brands will increasingly focus on creating seamless and integrated customer journeys across multiple touchpoints. In fact, 72% of customers want to connect with brands on multiple channels. This highlights the importance of a robust cross-channel marketing plan for all brands trying to forge stronger connections and tap into a broader audience. 

Furthermore, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies will play an important role in enabling personalized and predictive marketing strategies. It will allow brands to deliver hyper-targeted messaging in real-time. 

For instance, 35% of consumers use AI chatbots over traditional search engines for their search queries. It’s only fair to say that it is poised for a tech-driven revolution.

Hubspot blog research trends

The convergence of online and offline channels will blur further and drive the need for holistic measurement and attribution models to accurately track and optimize cross-channel campaigns. 

Final Thoughts 

Cross-channel marketing is not just a strategy but a dynamic journey that guides potential customers seamlessly from awareness to loyal advocates. The wealth of data available is the gateway to unlocking invaluable customer insights, enabling brands to craft personalized and impactful campaigns. 

Success in this marketing requires a united effort from the entire team to face the challenges ahead. By embracing collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to delivering cohesive brand experiences, businesses can thrive in today’s competitive landscape. With a strategic approach and a dedication to continuous improvement, it paves the way for sustained growth and lasting customer relationships.

But before I leave you, let’s do this

Take a deep breath. Yes, this is a big undertaking. Yes, it’s worth it. You’ll get there.

About Author

Winner of the ANA Email Experience Council’s 2021 Stefan Pollard Email Marketer of the Year Award, Scott Cohen is a proven email marketing veteran with nearly 20 years of experience as both a brand-side marketer and an email marketing agency executive. He brings to our clients a unique blend of experience building and managing larger CRM and retention teams, sending millions of emails and SMS per week, and award-winning copywriting chops. For more information, follow him on Linkedin

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