How In-Plants Can Use Cross Media: Part I

Cross media is essential these days for anyone trying to reach their target audience in a meaningful way. For in-plants, this may mean attracting the attention of your in-house clients or helping your parent organization push its promotions to multiple channels.

Either way, a discussion of what cross media is, and how to use it effectively, can help you remain successful in today’s competitive environment. Read on to learn how to make cross media work for you:

What is cross media/multi-channel marketing?

gears_marketingFirst, let’s define what we’re talking about. In a nutshell, cross media means spreading your message over several different channels and media types to increase your target audience’s awareness of your brand and products.

Channels are different platforms you can use to communicate with your audience. Traditional channels include television, radio, and print, while traditional media types include flyers, business reply cards/envelopes, postcards, and newspapers. Today, they’ve been joined by a dizzying number of digital channels and media. Channels include social media, mobile apps, photo and video sharing sites (like Instagram and YouTube), and more, and media types consist of websites, landing pages, photos, videos, and the like.

Your direct mail campaigns also count as a channel; in fact, they can help make your cross-channel campaigns more effective (and vice versa).

So how can you use cross media in your in-plant?

How does an in-plant get started with cross media?

Let’s look at an example to illustrate how cross media can help you, and give you some ideas on how to start incorporating it:

Let’s say University A is planning their annual alumni donation drive. They’ve got two main goals this year: increase donations and gather/update alumni email addresses. That second goal is important because the school’s looking to cut postage costs by using more email in their fundraising efforts.

So you, the university’s trusty in-plant manager, come up with a plan. First, you’ll create a personalized postcard that offers a free gift (or makes some other compelling offer) in exchange for visiting the personalized URL printed on the card. You can even include a QR code (a square code that looks like a maze and can be scanned by smartphone apps and cameras) so they can visit their page without typing.

On their personalized page, you ask recipients to update their contact information, including those all-important email addresses (you can make the email mandatory, or send their free gift information to encourage them to include it). Then, send a thank-you email with information on how/when they’ll receive their gift.

You could also incorporate social media in a few different ways. First, you could include social media links on that direct mail piece, so alumni can “follow” the university on its social channels. Or, you could add buttons to the personal page so they can click to tweet or post to Facebook about their donation or your campaign.

This is just one example of how you can incorporate a cross media approach to your services.

So, what channels can you choose from, and how can you incorporate cross media into your marketing plan? Click here to read Part II!