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Cross-Media 101

Cross-Media Communications 101

Cross-media is the all-encompassing term for broadcasting one marketing campaign across a spectrum of media formats. It literally means to cross media by taking one campaign and distributing it to multiple channels. Cross-media refers to the integrated experiences across multiple media channels, including print, online, social, mobile, and broadcast to deliver more targeted campaigns with measurable results.

The new aspect of the “cross-media experience” typically involves a high level of audience interactivity. The cross-media campaign is designed to engage consumers and get them more actively involved. Marketers are rewarded with more brand awareness and consumer ownership of the brand.

Key Components

A well-integrated cross-media campaign must have several key components:

  • It needs to be centered upon one clear, focused idea for the brand 
  • It has to have a single communication voice
  • It must have a consistent look and feel among all components
  • Media types need to work naturally together to create a "whole is greater than the sum of the parts" effect
  • Media types must have a clear and distinct role in the overall communication that leverages the particular strength of that medium

Required Skills

There are two components essential to making cross-media work—the marketing expertise to develop a campaign and the production capabilities required to execute it. The typical services that companies most commonly offer beyond variable data printing include the combination of pURLs and landing pages, along with e-mail and SMS/mobile messaging.

Cross-media services also mean a new kind of staffing and new skill levels. Successful providers are adding database and predictive modeling specialists, agency-class creative talent, a campaign architect, and programmers. Part of the role of the architect is to ensure that the key metrics sought by the client are defined up-front and tracked for each campaign. Firms that are not in a position to offer these services can create a partner network to build out capabilities and fully participate in the marketing value chain.

The Bottom Line

Cross-media campaigns deliver relevant, effective, and measurable marketing campaigns that have been proven to improve customer response time, generate qualified leads, and increase return on investment. Today’s marketing service providers must help their customers develop a strategy to effectively utilize all channels and integration of the marketing mix. When graphic communications service providers focus on delivering solutions that demonstrate a measurable marketing ROI in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty, they move away from the commodity sale to a highly valued business partner. They will be able to engage marketing executives in new and unique ways, build greater loyalty, and achieve ROI for their businesses and those of their customers.

The preceding is an excerpt from InfoTrends' report Customized Communications: Cross-Media is Taking Hold.


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