Cross Channel Marketing is a critical factor to a strong and successful marketing campaign. Not to be confused with multi channel marketing, BusinessDictionary.com defines Cross Channel marketing as the “use of one marketing channel (such as direct mail or internet) to support or promote another channel (such as retailing).” This will help coordinate your marketing goals to the consumers and will ensure the strengthening of your companies brand awareness. This continuous coordinated message directly targeting specific demographics, in a specific location, who speak a specific language will reduce costs and improve overall effectiveness of targeting the right consumer at the right time. Now there is a new vehicle that can bring Cross Channel marketing to new level: the iPAD.
The introduction of the iPAD is so exciting because it opens the door for a new channel that did not truly exist before. This is a media rich mobile device that lets users combine videos, news magazines and publishing all into one device. Digital magazines and digital newspapers will soon become a standard medium over the next few years. A recent article from RetailSystemResearch.com states “One of the fundamental changes going on in mobile computing & communications is the migration from living in a ‘two mobile device environment’ with most people having a notebook (information creation & personal library) and a cell phone (calls & messaging) to a ‘three mobile device environment’ with most people having a notebook to create and manage content, a tablet for eBook reading and rich media playing (videos, TV, movies), and a cell phone for calling and messaging. The iPAD represents the beginning of the convergence of these channels and we should expect retailers and other organizations to begin working on integrating information for the converged three mobile device environment.
Retailers interested in engaging in Cross Channel marketing promotions should consider the iPAD as a new channel. The iPAD is an important development because it allows retailers to create ads that are interactive, user friendly and offer multimedia content. As an example, consider an automotive advertisement, where consumers can view a 3D display of a car, change the color and then send it off to friends and family as they commute to work on the train. iPADs can also be outfitted with location technology. This gives retailers the ability to deliver ads based on the consumer’s proximity to a store or outlet. This is an incredible opportunity to deliver ‘call to action’ advertisements to mobile users.
While some retailers support Cross Channel promotions, many do not have systems in place to automate the promotions process. In order to design an effective promotion that integrates the iPAD, retailers need to ensure that their promotions systems can support this new channel. Those retailers that tend to rely on manual processes will fall further behind their competitors as new devices, such as the iPAD, reach consumers hands.
While it is still early to determine how the iPAD will change the promotions landscape, we expect retailers will require changes to their planning and promotions workflow and therefore to the systems that support their promotions process. With this new opportunity, retailers will have access to just-in-time promotional vehicles. Therefore, retailers should think about how long it takes for them to create an ad campaign. Now is the time for taking action to shorten the ad production cycle with new and improved systems that automates as much of their process as possible.
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