The proliferation and growth of various advertising platforms and customer touchpoints over the last several years can often leave marketers scratching their heads when attempting to determine which ones to use. Whether they need to focus solely on one above the rest or spread their investment is a pressing question. In addition, integration of platform campaigns can become inhibited by confusion over what works and doesn’t, meaning teams can become quite siloed, compounding difficulties. But a little while ago, the Advertising Research Foundation put together an excellent study on the matter and it’s one we think you’ll find useful. We’ve summarised a few key points below.
Why cross-platform at all?
Research suggests that integrating across several platforms and media can prove very worthwhile for brands. According to the study, when advertisers move from using one platform for campaigns to two, an incremental increase of 19% in ROI is achieved. And the more platforms that are added, the better the results, with the use of 5 platforms generating an uplift of 35%. A big reward for smart integration across a variety of potential touchpoints and experiences for the customer.
Multiple creatives needed? No!
Part of the problem when marketing teams begin to consider their adoption of a cross-platform advertising strategy is that they may not be sure whether splitting creative approaches across various media is the right way to go, or if they should adopt similar creatives throughout. The answer, according to the study, is the latter. A unified approach, message and ‘feel’ results in better campaign performance and a 57% uptick in brand-equity metrics. This makes sense as multiple creatives, all different, across several channels may only end up confusing the customer. Where creative is concerned, consistency is vital.
Most effective type of cross-platform?
The study also looked at which platform combinations could prove most effective at providing increased ROI for marketers. On the whole, fusing traditional media and digital was found to be most potent. While partnering radio & TV together provided an uplift, with the same for print & TV, it was the combination of TV & online campaigns that came out on top – with a lift in ROI of +60% on TV alone (what the ARF referred to as the ‘Kicker Effect’). When consideration is made, this makes real sense. TV can be seen as the perfect medium for ‘priming’ customers emotionally, making them ready to take action. And online campaigns are made for conversion. It’s a match made in heaven.
In summary then – yes, of course cross-platform should be the cornerstone of your advertising strategy. Customers engage across a variety of media, channels and platforms. Integrating these in a cohesive manner when brand-building has proven the best way to reach out. And while this means a lot of tools at a marketer’s disposal, there’s no need to be confused about it. The right creative or message across several combinations of platforms is likely to work to your advantage and, while digital continues to grow in importance, traditional media (in particular the old favorite that is TV) backs it up beautifully.