There’s no doubt that cross-channel and cross-media strategies are one of the most crucial yet challenging elements of modern brand communication, especially for consumer brands. Successful brands — the ones we really love — are engaging, present, approachable and most importantly, relevant when it comes to communicating in a given format/channel. Being relevant is particularly interesting because it calls for the brand to be right where their consumers are. The question is, how can brands keep up in a world of ever changing communication touch points?
Successful Cross Channel and Cross Media Strategy requires the brand to look inward
Is that statement somewhat confusing? Why would you look inward if brand communication is all about consumers and pushing your message out there? The reality is that successful cross channel and cross media strategies are not only about glossy, holistic, comprehensive media plans. The brands that outperform their competition are the ones who invested in modular and scalable brand and marketing ecosystems, which enable their in-house team to react quickly to rapidly changing requirements of new technologies and consumer lifestyle trends.
Based on our experience of working with globally successful brands such as Red Bull and Bosch, there are 3 critical factors of successful cross channel and cross media set up: consistency, efficiency and scalability.
To ensure consistency, companies need to think in new infrastructures. Component libraries, digital design systems, digital brand guidelines and digital asset management tools enable a uniform UX and general brand consistency not only across different channels, but also across large and diverse teams working on different consumer interfaces. To give you an example: Team A is working on a mobile App while Team B is working on the new social media campaign. Both tap into the same predefined library of visual components. They don’t develop solutions from scratch, they reuse a library of existing components. This is an important aspect, especially for large consumer brands that regularly run large campaigns across different channels and need to empower the teams to work independently while still ensuring brand consistency.
We see efficiency as a result of flexibility. If teams can access existing branded communication templates and formats provided by the global brand management team and easily adapt them to local and channel needs without losing functionality, campaigns are created faster, more efficiently and most importantly, on brand. This means that teams can easily push branded, channel specific formats (i.e instagram stories, microsites for Facebook, simple pages, etc.) of the same campaign to different channels and within local markets. If the infrastructure is set up in the right way, your teams won’t need any developers to roll out existing campaign formats. The key factor here is for the system to be user friendly and easy to use. Internally, teams have to be trained and encouraged to use the system by themselves. This way, the global brand teams act as enablers; they are responsible for growing the library of successful formats that local teams can easily use for their cross channel media plans.
Sustainable successful strategies require continuous optimization and expansion. This applies of course as well to the cross-channel and cross-media marketing. The key here is to have a system in place that can easily adapt to the changing technology trends and changing requirements of communication channels. Our recommendation here would be to work with microservices and solutions like headless CMS. In this set up, you not only can provide channel based formats of the same core campaign but parts of this infrastructure can be easily adapted or even replaced without the necessity of complete infrastructural reset and migration.