Tag Archives: Cross Channel Marketing

Breaking the Consumer Stress Cycle

Since the beginning of time, people have made decisions based on their emotions, regardless of age, gender or location. We know that up to 90 percent of the decisions we make are based on emotion, rather than rational thought and measured consideration.

All sorts of emotions drive our behavior. Depending on how people are feeling at any given moment, they may make completely different decisions. After a good day at work, for example, you might head out for a drink with colleagues to relax. But after a long stressful day, you might want to just go home and binge watch Netflix. Emotions drive our decisions and actions, from day-to-day decisions on what we eat and drink to long-term actions on what we choose to do with our lives.

Stress, in particular, is a huge driver of strong emotion and irrational behavior. Those who are stressed may become withdrawn, irritable or anxious. In the world of online retail, this sort of emotion can have huge implications for the bottom line of brands.

Stress leading to more stress

The therapeutic and addictive nature of retail therapy is already well documented. The process of filling up a basket (whether physical or digital) provides instant gratification and an escape from the stresses of everyday life, boredom, sadness, and hunger.

However, research by Clicktale has found that instead of alleviating stress, many brands are exacerbating it through a poor digital experience. For example, 12% of consumers say that online shopping actively makes them feel stressed, while 15% have actually lost their temper online. Couple that with slow loading times (which irritate 81% of customers), checkout codes that don’t work (annoying 86% of customers) or checkouts that freeze (stressing out 75% of customers), consumers often find themselves stuck in a cycle of looking for a great digital experience without retailers actually providing them with one.

Which means looking at conversion rates alone is not a great idea. Even if one customer has a great experience and converts, there could be a dozen more who come, get frustrated by a confusing page layout or a complicated search feature and close the browser, never to return.

Breaking the stress cycle

The causes of this stress in the customer journey exist because brands haven’t finessed the digital shopping experience they provide, nor have they effectively used data that is readily available to inform them about what customers really want from a digital experience.

The fact is that data from these customer footprints are there, readily available but often untapped. When consumers go online, they display a ‘digital’ body language in a similar way they portray actual body language when they go into a shop. If retailers can tap into that data, they can start to understand customer behavior better, and uncover what part of their digital experience is stressing customers out.

The digital body language manifests itself in multiple ways, which, when combined, give marketers a more complete picture of consumer behavior and any potential sources of stress. The indicators of digital body language include mouse movements, hovers, app taps, scrolls and more. For example, stressed customers often display a unique digital body language with angry ‘rage’ clicks when links are slow to open, and then aggressive, fast and directionless mouse movements. Marketers can see exactly where these occurrences happen and can iron out the stressful parts of the experience.

The key is to use experience analytics to examine these mouse movements, taps, swipes, and ‘rage clicks’ to build up a picture of the digital body language. Because sometimes even the smallest of stimuli can have a strong impact on customer emotions, especially when it comes to irritatingly slow search speeds or poor page layouts. By resolving pain points along the customer journey, brands can truly provide a great digital experience and achieve better business success as a result.

After all, given that so many consumers are using shopping as a way to alleviate stress, the last thing you’ll want to do is to cause them more stress!

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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Mobile Campaigns

Mobile marketing continues to be a critical strategy as statistics show how much consumers rely on their mobile devices to research, interact, and shop. According to Statista, there are over 3.5 billion unique mobile internet users. And, comScore noted that users spend an average of 69 percent of their media time on smartphones. Lastly, mobile devices will drive 80 percent of global internet usage as reported by Zenith.

With so much opportunity to reach your target audience, mobile marketing tops the marketing strategy list. However, it's not an absolute you will achieve success with your mobile marketing strategy. Many brands have made mobile marketing mistakes like these seven misses:

Mistake #1: Optimizing Landing Pages But Not Mobile Ads

The first mobile marketing mistake is to not apply an optimization strategy to everything you do. While your website, social media content, and landing pages are optimized, there may be an area you forgot. And, that area is where you actually may be investing more money. That is, mobile ads. With the amount of money that goes into purchasing mobile ads, you want to make sure you optimize the content for maximum reach.

For mobile PPC ads, don't forget to optimize your ad copy, including using search ad device targeting. By providing mobile searchers with notification that your mobile site is optimized for iOS or Android, they will happily choose you to shorten their search.

Mistake #2: Mobile Campaign Links to Nowhere

While it seems obvious that you should check every link you use in your mobile campaign, brands often skip this task in the rush to launch. However, by not checking links, you defeat the purpose of your campaign. When users click on the links in your mobile campaign and they get an error message, you've just hurt your conversion rate and tarnished your reputation. Plus, if your competition has done their due diligence on mobile campaign links, then you may have just lost those conversions forever.

Always test your mobile campaigns links for dead pages and correct them before launching your mobile campaign.

Mistake #3: Not Emphasizing Your Mobile App

Often, companies don't promote their mobile app as they could be. Instead, they think that the app's appearance in major app stores is enough. However, these companies are missing out on the opportunity to have more app users by not pitching their apps on mobile web pages, reminding users of the benefits of this app.

In reality, there are already thousands of similar apps in the app stores. No user wants to sift through all of them to find an app. They want the app to come to them and make it easy to download and use.

By adding the app to your mobile landing pages and then having it link directly to where users can download it, you'll be able to get more traction from your app investment while adding more brand value for the customer.

Mistake #4: Making it Complicated to Opt-In

Everything about what you do on mobile has to be as easy as possible for the audience, but many companies still complicate things such as the opt-in process. At one point, the answer seemed to be to offer QR codes. However, that seems to be a mistake because it's still too complicated. Plus, this strategy assumes that consumers have a QR scanner on their phone or are willing to locate, download, and learn how to use one. Yet, it doesn't mean you have to forego the QR opt-in method.

Instead, keep the opt-in process simple for users. Offer an SMS opt-in as well as the QR one so that consumers have a choice for what they would like to use.

Mistake #5: Not Providing Enough Information

There is a false assumption among some companies that mobile marketing means limited content. Therefore, these companies tend to leave out critical information that customers are looking for when interacting with mobile platforms. This missing information includes specific direction on how to participate in a program or campaign event.

Don't forget to give the customer every incentive to participate. Give them social media buttons, links to landing pages, and even in-store signage with offline options to join in on what you want them to do. Additionally, make sure that the call to action clearly explains the value to the customer. That way, they understand the incentive for acting on what you are telling them to do.

Mistake #6: Not Creating an Omnichannel Experience

Many companies are still putting their mobile marketing efforts in a silo. By doing so, they are losing opportunities to deepen the interaction and connection with customers and prospects. This can also mean lost conversions for those customers that may choose to take a unique journey to reach their purchase decision. When you put mobile marketing all by itself, there may be customers that don't want to close the deal on that channel. Instead, they may want to continue the journey on another channel.

Keep the conversation going by creating an omnichannel experience rather than just a mobile experience. Learn how to move traffic between your various touch points, including knowing what to say to influence their continued journey with your brand. Personalized messaging and easy access to the touch points can enhance this omnichannel experience.

Mistake #7: Ignoring Privacy and Data Regulations

Most of the mistakes related to compliance with privacy and data are by accident rather than disregard. This is because the laws are continually changing in terms of data, privacy, and security. Companies do not regularly review current laws related to mobile marketing tactics, such as email, unsolicited texts, and data storage. You don't want to incur fines and penalties. Also, it would be challenging to face a tarnished brand. It will take a long time for a company to recover from their lack of knowledge and respect for the mobile regulatory environment.

Instead, take the time to continually review the current regulations related to the information you can collect. This will effectively shape how you can interact with customers and prospects on this channel. This builds trust with your target audience, which is so important to today's omnichannel presence.

5 Key Skills Your Team Needs to Nail Cross-Channel Marketing

The cross-channel marketing model has been in effect for many years, but it continues to evolve as an art and science. That evolution requires an ever-expanding skill set for the talent you add to the team. To identify talent or determine what type of skills development to invest in, here are some of the key skills for succeeding at cross-channel marketing:

Video Production

It's important to develop skills in video production. It has become such a popular form of content across channels. For example, audiences like to watch videos on social media, websites, and even through emails. Sure, you could outsource this task or hire a production company. However, it's better to add this to the internal team's skill set as a competitive advantage. Also, it provides a way to add videos at any point that an opportunity arises. This includes participation in conferences, community events, or special campaigns.

Acquiring skill means developing an understanding of video software, social media video tools such as Facebook Live, and other technical capabilities associated with video production including editing and sound. A good place to start is online technical training courses offered through organizations like Udemy.

Paid Search and Social Media

There are opportunities across search and social media to reach a targeted audience. Yet, there's a lack of understanding of how to do it to achieve the maximum ROI.

Therefore, it helps to add this skill to your marketing team's toolbox. This means learning how to leverage Google AdWords and Bing for paid search opportunities. The results of this know-how can drive more traffic to your website. It can also provide insights on how to improve SEO and your overall content strategy.

The same goes for sponsored content and social media ads on Facebook and Instagram. Include a team member who has experience beyond organic social media, someone who can use these social media advertising tools effectively in conjunction with your other channel tactics.

Content Strategy and Development

While you can hire freelance writers to produce content, they may not have the acumen to truly understand how to craft content or develop the topics that work effectively for your audience. That's why it helps to have team members who are highly skilled in content development. They know how to conduct the research. Then, these content experts can apply existing insights to create a content calendar that delivers the most relevant and engaging content.

Plus, they understand how to leverage different tools to enhance the content development process. This includes content management systems (CMS) and tools such as BuzzSumo that reveal trending topics. This skill should include knowledge of how to take content and repurpose it into specific content vehicles. These vehicles include infographics, infomercials, podcasts, social media posts, and video scripts. Additionally, knowing where to distribute the content, including the appropriate syndication outlets, adds value.

Analytics

One of the biggest challenges is measuring results in cross-marketing channel campaigns. This is because using a combination of channels means that each channel has some impact on the results. But, in what measure? And, how do you know which channel to emphasize and when to get the greatest results?

Therefore, having a team that can leverage analytics tools and understands the insights they deliver is one of the greatest assets. This skill determines the combination, frequency, and timing for all marketing tactics across channels. From there, the team can refine content messaging. This skill requires learning how to use Google Analytics and similar programs. Also, it includes the ability to create various reports from the available data. Finally, a team member skilled in analytics can explain how to apply the findings to specific strategic goals and tactics.

Programming

Although not as critical, being well versed in coding can propel a marketing team member's value far above everyone else. This is because it's a skill that can address the marketing department's need to personalize and customize its tactics for a diverse audience.

For example, someone who knows how to program can localize a landing page based on the incoming IP address of a website visitor. This means the landing page could have content that reflects a particular city where that visitor is from as well as offer specific promotions to them versus someone visiting from another city where you do business. Additionally, programming skills may be valuable for APIs that further customize marketing efforts as well as for adding chatbots or apps.

The Consumer in Context: Understanding Mindsets in Any Setting

In the age of smartphones and tablets, home is where your device is. The average consumer spends upwards of three hours a day on their smartphone,so browsing, shopping and satisfying retail needs from wherever they may be is the new norm. Consumers are scrolling and tapping while they’re out, from the comfort of their sofas and even in bath tubs.

When it comes to differing shopping habits, if we were to compare the browsing experience of someone relaxing at home in front of the TV, to someone sneakily shopping during an office meeting, the two would be very different. These changes in consumer contexts make customer moods a lot harder to map and predict, ultimately making it harder to ensure customers are walking away with a positive experience. It’s vital that brands understand how different settings impact purchase decisions, and how the freedom to browse anywhere, at any time, can alter consumers’ behavior.

Working alongside Oracle Marketing Cloud, Clicktale developed a report titled ‘The consumer in context’ which outlines how changes to the setting impact consumer behavior as they browse and shop. For instance, it explores how quickly they want to get to the checkout, how much they put in their basket or what they’re willing to spend depending on their shopping context and device. 

The report found that boredom encourages 59% of people to shop and 27%  of consumers find shopping online just as stressful as going in store. Additionally, 47% of consumers were found to shop to distract them from the fact that they’re hungry.

Brands must look beyond the numbers and start to think of customers as individuals with a wide variety of buying mindsets and moods. By measuring increasingly subtle behaviors such as clicks, hovers and scrolls, they can develop a more nuanced view of their customers.

Oracle Marketing Cloud and Clicktale’s report examines how brands can address the changes in consumer shopping habits, and turn these into actionable insights. Find out: 

  • Why an omnichannel approach is crucial to provide a seamless experience
  • How shopping on smartphones fundamentally alters purchasing decisions
  • What impact emotions and environment have on consumer decisions 

Download ‘The consumer in contextreport and start providing a first-class experience to engage customers across all your digital platforms.

The consumer in context: Understanding mindsets in any setting

In the age of smartphones and tablets, home is where your device is. The average consumer spends upwards of three hours a day on their smartphone,so browsing, shopping and satisfying retail needs from wherever they may be is the new norm. Consumers are scrolling and tapping while they’re out, from the comfort of their sofas and even in bath tubs.

When it comes to differing shopping habits, if we were to compare the browsing experience of someone relaxing at home in front of the TV, to someone sneakily shopping during an office meeting, the two would be very different. These changes in consumer contexts make customer moods a lot harder to map and predict, ultimately making it harder to ensure customers are walking away with a positive experience. It’s vital that brands understand how different settings impact purchase decisions, and how the freedom to browse anywhere, at any time, can alter consumers’ behavior.

Working alongside Oracle Marketing Cloud, Clicktale developed a report titled ‘The consumer in context’ which outlines how changes to the setting impact consumer behavior as they browse and shop. For instance, it explores how quickly they want to get to the checkout, how much they put in their basket or what they’re willing to spend depending on their shopping context and device. 

The report found that boredom encourages 59% of people to shop and 27%  of consumers find shopping online just as stressful as going in store. Additionally, 47% of consumers were found to shop to distract them from the fact that they’re hungry.

Brands must look beyond the numbers and start to think of customers as individuals with a wide variety of buying mindsets and moods. By measuring increasingly subtle behaviors such as clicks, hovers and scrolls, they can develop a more nuanced view of their customers.

Oracle Marketing Cloud and Clicktale’s report examines how brands can address the changes in consumer shopping habits, and turn these into actionable insights. Find out: 

  • Why an omnichannel approach is crucial to provide a seamless experience
  • How shopping on smartphones fundamentally alters purchasing decisions
  • What impact emotions and environment have on consumer decisions 

Download ‘The consumer in contextreport and start providing a first-class experience to engage customers across all your digital platforms.

What Key Metrics Should Inform Your Cross-Channel Marketing?

 

 

Knowing what to track in your marketing can help shape your future tactics. Today's marketing success comes from the ability to make the right improvements at the right time. This sounds fairly straightforward. However, with the increased number of metrics available, it can be difficult to know which to incorporate in your cross-channel marketing strategy. Plus, not every metric is meaningful to what you’re trying to achieve for your business or audience.Not every metric is meaningful to what you’re trying to achieve for your business. How do you choose what to focus on?

Therefore, consider key metrics that include channel approaches and an integrated framework. Here is one way to approach analytics for each channel in your marketing strategy:

Website Channel Metrics

Your website has the power to inform, engage, and, most importantly, influence purchase decisions. With your other channels, you’re trying to direct prospects to your website. Hence, it's important that they stay after all the effort you put in on the other channels to get them there.

Site speed significantly impacts the user experience. It determines if customers decide to stay or turn to your competition. Also, review each visitor's session duration. This indicates their level of engagement. Heat maps assess where each visitor spends the most time, what pages they like best, and what page they were on before they bought something or left your website. When and where they leave can indicate where you need to improve content or website navigation.

Social Media Channel Metrics

Whether you’re participating in social media ads or just generating your own social media content, this channel needs to be assessed for engagement and influence. Your posts influence if followers take the next step to buy from you. To get more companies to advertise and spend their marketing dollars on social media, the major social platforms offer all type of analytics.

These tools track these metrics without having to learn or pay for additional tools. This adds to the value of investing in the promotional features on these social media sites.

Email Marketing Channel Metrics

Since email continues to be a results-driven marketing channel, it's important to measure certain metrics for email campaigns. Look at how many subscribers are added as a result of each campaign. This tells you if the content was compelling enough to peak their interest on future content you may share.

Additionally, you can find out how many recipients opened the email and followed through based on the call to action. Of course, knowing how many unsubscribe is also good. It's a sign you’re not connecting with certain people. Understanding why can direct how you alter future email campaigns.

Integrated Channel Metrics

While these metrics are all a key part of your overall cross-channel marketing effort, the reality is that today's audiences are influenced by numerous channels and don’t necessarily have a pattern or habit for which channel they prefer or feel influences them the most. After all, this is why you’re crossing channels in your marketing efforts to reach more people. Therefore, your analytics have to do the same in terms of following an integrated customer journey that determines how different channels work together to convince their target audience.

Examining metrics in an integrated way identifies cross-channel synergies that increase influence and, in return, ROI. Therefore, integrated analytics can reveal how much each tactic and channel contribute to conversions. This also points to what combination wields the greatest influence over purchases. There are powerful analytics platforms available that incorporate forecasting algorithms for digital and traditional channels.

Also, machine learning capabilities can identify changing customer behavior that separate metric analysis cannot deliver. Incorporating artificial intelligence will then provide a way to predict traffic and pinpoint the exact time to post content on a particular channel and in what sequence across channels.

Therefore, cross-channel marketing will need to go beyond looking at key metrics and evolve into a model that takes an integrative approach through applying statistics, modeling, machine learning, a range of algorithms, and predictive analytics. Cross-channel marketing becomes more of a whole-business approach when it comes to analysis, bringing together online and offline data from across the organization and the external environment. By doing so, your company can more effectively track and respond to customer behaviors with real-time changes to campaigns across all channels.

Want to read more? Check out our Cross-Channel Fundamentals Guide and Streamline CX Guide here.

 

A Journey From the Centre of the Inbox; Marketers Must Begin Crossing the Channels

Email is facing some challenges. Not only have subscriber bases taken a knock with the arrival of GDPR, cutting up to 50% of the contact list for some brands, but the annual volume of email is expected to rise from 269 billion to 333 billion by 2022.

Put simply, those that remain on the subscriber list will be inundated with brand content. Currently 49% of the emails that reach the inbox of the consumer are already being deleted before being opened. And now that will only increase.

Fortunately, email isn’t always the answer. Take the in-store scenario. A shopper using a click-and-collect service more than likely hasn’t printed – or remembered to bring with them – the printed copy of the order receipt. In this situation they might look for it in their inbox, but the reception in a shopping centre leaves much to be desired. In this situation, they remember an SMS they were sent alongside the order confirmation. 

In its simplest form, this is cross-channel marketing. The customer has been engaged post-purchase through both email and SMS. Of course, in today’s digital age, this represents just a drop in the ocean of ways to engage and guide consumers on their journey. 

Successfully orchestrating the cross-channel customer journey formed the centre of conversation at the latest Oracle Responsys User Forum, held in the illustrious Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge. Here, we cover some of the most important takeaways from a morning of insight and shared experiences.

Creating a full marketing journey

The main challenge when approaching cross-channel marketing is there are an infinite number of ways the consumer can interact with your brand before they purchase - and then again even post-purchase. As marketers we’re trying to join the points together to create a seamless experience. 

When brands work in silos, they cut the connectors which results in a poor customer experience. As Simon Johnston, Strategic Consultant, EMEA, surmised, “It’s like you’re fielding a football team but none of them talk to each other. Rather than one cohesive group working together, you end up with 11 players who all want to score goals. They don’t want to pass the ball; they don’t want to share.”

This carries significant consequences for the end user experience. Say the consumer sees an ad for a local gym, they visit the physical location and signup while there. On their return home, they open up Facebook and see an ad offering a discount off the joining fee. The online cookie is still working but the customer converted offline. The channels aren’t talking to one another.

Getting your marketing channels talking to one another in a coordinated way hinges on vital ingredients;

  • A customer journey canvas that’s going to explain how each of the channels will function
  • Permissions to enable effective data collection and storage
  • A plan for connecting customer IDs in anonymous channels such as cookies to known channels like SMS
  • The budget to invest adequately into the new channels
  • A structure free of silos to ensure everyone on board is working as one effective team 
  • Finally, reporting and attribution, it’s no good doing all this is we can’t prove the impact

Customer journey mapping

For most, elements of the above ingredient list will resonate with how they are set up currently or how they are looking to build. However, the very first ingredient requires time and thought marketers rarely enjoy. 

Knowing where to start your customer journey canvas was the focus for KimBarlow, Director of Strategic & Analytical Services EMEA, who started by breaking this down into five distinct areas;

  1. Creating an initial plan - building out customer personas and understanding what they visit
  2. Evaluate - the attitudes and sense check them. Do you want to change any attitudes?
  3. Explore - examining the capabilities of the organisation to interact
  4. Brainstorm - what’s the journey that we want to take them on? All the different teams that work with you are involved
  5. Designing the new experience – build a CX hypothesis with these new, different channels

Putting this into practice, Kim drew on an example from GE. Doug Dietz, an industrial designer working for GE healthcare had one particular problem – children who have to have an MRI scan found the process scary. From the doctor’s appointment, to arrival at the hospital and waiting rooms, by the time they reached the MRI room, they were so anxious they often burst into tears and in struggling to stay still, made the process of taking the scans much longer than necessary. 

Not only are the costs of hiring extra staff to support the process a huge driver of change, but also the side effects of often resorting to using drugs to calm the children and allow the machine to take accurate images.

Kim explained, “It’s about finding the moment that matters. For Sophia, this is the moment that she sees the MRI ‘monster’. Solving any kind of problem when customer journey mapping relies on asking “What gets the target audience excited?’ If you’re asking questions like this, you’re focusing on the needs which are always the key to changing their behaviours.”

In Doug’s case, the team realised kids care about exploration, adventure and being outdoors – this sparked an entire rejuvenation of the customer journey centred around the concept of going camping. The new roadmap was centred on maintaining this concept at every point in the child’s journey from doctor’s appointment, through to the MRI room itself, fully decked out as a campsite.

Kim concluded, “Data can give you lots of indicators, but it’s about understanding the attitudes that you want to influence. Consumers are humans at the end of the day. Once you’ve thought about the emotional journey, then you can start testing. Start small and build around the experiences that work.”

Make sure to also check out our Cross-Channel Fundamentals Guide and Streamline CX Guide here.

8 Ways CMOs Should Engage Millennials on Social Media

As a marketer, you’ve likely noticed the shift across the industry when it comes to targeted audiences. Millennials are now the primary group that everybody talks about and extensively analyzes on social media.

The reason for this is simple. Within the last few years, there has been a massive wealth transfer between baby boomers and their Gen X and millennial offspring. Now millennials wield a larger spending power than any other generation.

Here are 8 ways you can better reach millennials with social media:

1. Prioritize Visual Content

Millennials are visual learners. They grew up interacting with screen-based technology like television sets, video game consoles, and computers. As a result, they tend to respond best to content that stimulates their eyes. Marketers who want to attract their attention will need to do so with a strong aesthetic design.

Make sure that the images you post are always of the highest quality possible. Reach out to talented photographers and artists for potential collaborations. Also, don’t skimp on videos. It’s predicted that by 2019 about 80 percent of all internet content will be video.

2. Stay Relevant

On average, millennials spend a little over six hours each week on social media. They often use this time to catch up on the latest news, trends, and discussions. “Given the speed that the internet moves and evolves, content that seems old or outdated has a greater chance of being ignored,” says Jonathan Foley, the founder of the popular Instagram pages @Positivity, @Deep, and @Societyfeelings.

“You should constantly monitor social media to keep an eye on what’s trending. If you see a great opportunity to jump into the public conversation – for instance, if there’s a hashtag that meshes well with your brand – then go ahead.”

Exercise a little caution, and do some research first, though. It’s best to avoid highly controversial and divisive topics, or else you might risk alienating your audience.

3. Invite Participation

Millennials are active internet users. Sitting back and passively consuming content gets boring for many of them. They would rather interact with others and contribute their own thoughts and creations.

There are many ways to tap into this inclination. You could ask your viewers questions, or tell them to tag their friends in the comments. Furthermore, you could encourage them to make user-generated content and then feature it on your page. Another good way to invite participation is by announcing a new product without many details. An example is the announcement of Microsoft Office 2019. Many users on Twitter, specifically millennials, made memes of what this product could look like driving product awareness.

4. Don’t Waste Time

There are numerous claims about millennials’ short attention span. Most of them are drawn from dubious research or based on overly negative, unfounded biases. The truth is that millennials are no worse than any other generation in this area. Instead, the real problem is that a large chunk of social media marketing is poorly suited for the medium.

Social media is used more in short bursts than extended periods. This means that users judge content based on quick initial impressions. People will watch a longer video, for example, if the introduction is compelling enough; however, they’ll quickly tune it out if it spins its wheels for too long.

So, in other words, make an effort to get to the point faster.

5. Change Your Influencer Approach

For a while, it seemed as if influencers held the ultimate key to marketing to millennials. Now, perceptions are shifting. Millennials are starting to trust influencers less these days, and the reason is due to a lack of transparency.

Too many brands and influencers are failing to disclose their partnerships. As a consequence, it has shaken their followers’ confidence in their honesty and integrity. While many still might hesitate in sharing this information, being upfront is significantly less damaging than getting caught and called out.

6. Humanize Your Brand

A lot of marketers lose sight of the “social” part of social networks. The main reason so many millennials flock to these platforms is that they wish to talk to other real people. They don’t want their experience interrupted by obvious marketing from faceless businesses.

This is why some brands have found success in adopting more organic, genuine personalities online. Just take a look at the MoonPie account on Twitter. Its unique mixture of self-deprecation and weird humor has won it many followers on Twitter.

7. Support a Good Cause

Generations are reflections of the cultural environments in which they grew up. It’s for this reason that millennials are more socially conscious than their predecessors. Not only do they expect individuals to contribute to society, but brands are expected to as well.

About 75 percent of millennials say they want businesses to give back to their communities and demonstrate social responsibility. That involves working with charities, organizing awareness events, speaking out about important issues, fighting inequality, and helping the disadvantaged.

8. Treat Them Like Adults

Despite how some use the word, millennial is not a catch-all for young people. It specifically refers to adults currently between the ages of 22 and 37. Anybody who still thinks of them as teenagers really needs to update their mental picture.

Address them like you would any adult. Don’t speak in a condescending tone or treat them like they’re still children. Give them the respect that they deserve.

Make sure to also read: 3 Tips To Reach More Millennials With Your Social Media Marketing

4 Little Known Ways to Implement Cross-Channel Marketing

It's a great time to be in marketing because there are so many more channels and outlets to reach customers and prospects. Each channel has different expectations and opportunities to connect with your audience.  You need to know which channels mean the most to your specific audience. Plus, it's important to determine how to leverage them effectively and how to use them together to increase return. It's a cross-channel marketing strategy that brings all those components together.

One way of creating and implementing your cross-channel marketing strategy for business success is to use tactics like these:

1. Have One Script, Many Writers

In a choir, everyone sings from the same sheet of music. Yet, it doesn't mean they all contribute the same thing to the overall sound. Use the same approach in your cross-channel marketing. Be consistent in your messaging and theme across channels. However, don't just copy and paste what you had in your blog onto your social media pages and then make it an email, too. This bores your audience. Eventually, they will stop following you on certain channels and you'll lose that engagement.

Instead, a choir features a soprano, alto, and other distinct pitches. This adds depth to the sound while creating harmony. Likewise, your cross-channel marketing effort can use many writers on the team. They can generate multiple dimensions and narratives for your brand message, resonating with different audience members on various channels. This same harmonious result can be achieved where there are not conflicting messages or redundant content.

Use a content calendar to create your overall themes and messaging. Then, assign various team members or freelancer channels so their voice and unique style put a different spin on your storytelling efforts. Consider rotating these writers across channels so that they work on blogs one month and perhaps email marketing the next.

2. Localize Your Efforts

With cross-channel marketing, it's easy to just focus on the broader set of channels that reach across your entire target audience. To change your approach, consider looking at how to localize one or two of those channels. Select those channels where you know your audience might be inclined to use in conjunction with their local errands and needs, such as social media, SMS, and search. Then, you can adapt your content periodically to address local promotions at certain locations while still maintaining an overall promotion strategy.

Likewise, you can consider this strategy if you plan on expanding into international territories and need to address the subtle differences, cultural attributes, and varied languages of these markets. When implementing this type of cross-channel approach, you'll also need to think about how to adapt taglines, product names, slogans, and other types of content for other languages and cultures. Get local talent to help you achieve this to ensure you are not sending a confusing message to this new international audience segment.

3. Integrate Your Data Across Channels

Cross-channel analytics is an integral part of your strategy that’s often not implemented to the depth it should be to create the valuable insights for greater success. Instead, companies tend to leave their analytics in silos related to each channel. Then, they view the data separately for each channel. The better implementation strategy is to synchronize data across all channels. This uncovers how your audience interacts with more than one channel – and sometimes does so simultaneously.

The results from doing so will provide a way to make sure all the customer experiences and interactions you are creating across all the channels – email, social, mobile, web, and more – are relevant and timely for your audience. Also, it's a way to understand the impact and location of referrals. Additionally, analytics can uncover which channel combinations deliver the greatest conversion rates. That will help you optimize your spend on channel strategies such as paid social media, Google ads, and other tactics that may consume more of your budget.

4. Return to Traditional Channels

What has also happened recently is an obsessive focus on digital transformations, which means that traditional marketing channels are now being neglected. In reality, a large part of the millennial demographic prefers these old school marketing methods, especially tactics like direct mail. Determine how your audience might respond to print ads, billboards, television ads, and direct mail.

For example, a direct mail piece to a targeted local area can drive prospects and customers to your physical location. However, if you add a QRC code, they can also use that through their smartphone. This can connect them with your business through a website or social media page. In this way, your call to action is drawing customers to your online or offline presence and influencing their purchase decision. Also, you can use the traditional channel as the introduction to the new campaign. Then, follow that up with a digital rollout on email or social media a few days later. This reinforces the message and catches your audience on different channels at an optimum time.