This is a weekly Friday installment from Stuzo documenting consumer engagement tips and tricks, both for day-to-day community management and for large-scale custom engagements. Hopefully this post will spark an idea for your brand or client, and if it does, be sure to let us know in the comments.
I have come across a lot of discussion recently about cross channel marketing versus multichannel marketing and which strategy is best for marketers. Well wonder no more because I am here to set the record straight! Cross channel marketing is the coordinated delivery of a marketing campaign through a consistent message across all channels. Like the name suggests, you literally cross channels by integrating them and using them to support each other in order to drive a targeted and direct message to consumers. Multichannel marketing, on the other hand, is simply marketing using different channels that function independently of each other. This method is unorganized and does not take full advantage of each channel’s ability to engage a consumer.
Today, these channels can include everything from traditional advertising on television and billboards to utilizing new technologies like social media and mobile apps. With brands recognizing the value of and embracing these technologies, cross channel marketing has become the weapon of choice for marketers to engage consumers. By leveraging the capabilities of these technologies, brands can market more effectively and efficiently, ultimately leading to increased ROI.
For example, a retail brand has weekly deals for its brick-and-mortar store that it sends to customers via three channels: a mobile app, a Facebook Page, and Twitter. The mobile app displays the deals and has links to Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. The Facebook Page posts the weekly deals, displays a store locator, integrates the Twitter feed, and shows a link to download the app. The Twitter account tweets about the deals, tells followers to check out their Facebook Page, and posts a link to download the app. By doing this, the brand not only exposes its deals to a much wider audience than it would have if it used only one channel, but it also uses the three channels to drive traffic to each other. There are so many different ways to do cross channel marketing, you just have to figure out which channels work best for your brand’s marketing campaign and how you can connect them.
The beauty of cross channel marketing is that you are reaching customers on their terms and aligning to their communication preferences. Not every customer who Likes you on Facebook will want to follow you on Twitter and vice versa. Even if a customer is following you on all channels, they may be more apt to checking their mobile apps one day or checking their Twitter feed another day. Either way, the more options you give customers to connect with you, the more likely they are to opt-in and receive your brand’s message.
Recently, I came across the Puma Social campaign, which launched Fall 2010. This campaign is a good example of how to utilize cross channel marketing in order to drive brand awareness, build a community, and increase sales. While I think there is room for improvement, the campaign is definitely worth dissecting and analyzing. As I take you through each channel, think about how you could use your brand’s channels to execute a cross channel marketing campaign.
Puma Social is aimed at the “after hours athlete” who thrives in the nightlife and prefers playing darts, pool, and foosball with friends at the bar than working out at the gym. I absolutely love this idea. Unlike the typical athlete that most sports lifestyle brands target, this athlete enjoys the thrill of competition in a fun and social environment. This social competitive theme is reflected throughout every channel Puma uses for this campaign including it’s website, microsite, mobile app, and Facebook Page.
The Puma website is the main hub for this campaign. Puma Social is not a separate website or microsite, but part of the overall Puma site with it’s own pages and unique look. Heavily integrated with social tools, Puma Social is the ultimate social hangout for the after hours athlete. While I could write an entire blog post on the social aspects of it, for the purposes of this post I will only focus on its cross-channel integration. I highly encourage you to explore the Puma Social pages and draw inspiration from its innovative use of social technologies for your own brand.
Upon entering the mainpage, you are greeted by neon lights, scoreboards, news, events, and my favorite, Social Highlights which shows recent Puma-related Tweets, Facebook posts, and Foursquare check-ins. Directly below this social smorgasbord are, conveniently, links to all four of Puma’s social channels: Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. Putting these links directly below the Social Highlights where users are already socially engaging is a great way to drive traffic to these channels. Interestingly though, the Facebook Page is the only one of these channels that is integrated heavily into the campaign. I would love to see Puma step up Puma Social through it’s Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr accounts.
The Puma Facebook Page is also featured on the Events page, which shows recent and upcoming events from international Puma Social Clubs. Users can follow these events via links to either the Facebook Page or an RSS feed. Featuring the Puma Facebook Page on several web pages is a great way to funnel users to it. Beyond social media, Puma Social also incorporates a vital aspect of the main Puma site, the online shop.
At first glance, the Puma Social Products page looks like any other product page until you are ready to make a purchase. Puma cleverly redirects users to the Puma online shop when they click the “buy online” button. This was a smart move, taking the user out of the Puma Social experience and into the entire Puma store where product suggestions entice customers to buy more Puma apparel. Now that you are socially connected and all decked out in cool Puma gear, let’s talk competition.
Microsite and Mobile App
Puma Social has managed to fulfill every competitive desire with it’s microsite and mobile app, the Life Scoreboard. Sticking with the social competition theme, this app enables you to make a competition out of anything and keep a running score. According to Puma, “It could be against your brother in ping pong, against your roommate in cheese eating or even between socialites and their jail time. Life Scoreboard allows you to score anything and everything, because life’s more fun when you’re keeping score.”
In terms of cross promotion for each channel, there is room for improvement. A link on the Puma Social main page is prominently displayed for the microsite, but the microsite does not even mention Puma Social. Puma is missing this opportunity to redirect Life Scoreboard players back to the campaign. Also, the instructions for Life Scoreboard mention and show pictures for the microsite and mobile app, but there are no direct links to either. Beside these minor improvements, Puma did a great job of utilizing technology to spread the message behind the Puma Social campaign. Score +1 for cross channel marketing!
Though Puma Social is a custom app within the Puma Facebook Page, Puma makes sure to put this campaign at the forefront by using a Puma Social ad as it’s profile picture. The application itself is a static page featuring links to it’s three other social channels, the Puma Social web pages, and the online shop. While it makes my marketing heart happy to see all of these links, I wish this application was more interactive like the Puma Social web pages.
Puma could really build out this application to make into an dynamic experience for their fans. It is very important for brands to stop viewing their Facebook Pages as just another informational hub and start thinking about them as a unique place for capturing and rewarding the attention of a global fan base.
So, now that we have thoroughly examined the Puma Social campaign, how can you use some of these tactics to implement your brand’s cross channel marketing campaign?
1. Identify which channels would work best for your campaign and your brand. This may mean utilizing new channels or revamping existing ones.
2. Build content that can be easily implemented across channels. Cross channel marketing is all about consistency, so make sure your content has the same look, feel, and message across channels.
3. Cross promote channels as much as you can. Think from a customer perspective. If they are on your Facebook Page, how can you get them to go to your website? If they are receiving an email newsletter from you, how can you prompt them to follow you on Twitter?
4. Stay organized. Without organization, the other steps do not matter. Your brand needs to be internally organized in order to properly develop and execute this type of campaign. You also need to make sure your channels are properly aligned, so that your message can easily be communicated through them.