Definitions: Cross-Media Marketing And Multi-Channel Marketing

Over the past few months here at the Easypurl Insider we’ve been exploring the world of cross-media, mostly discussing specific technologies and how they can be applied to make your marketing initiatives more effective… things like QR codes, Postal Tracking with IMBs, PixelPURL, etc. All of these cool and interesting technologies fall under the general umbrella of Cross-Media Marketing tools.

This begs the question, however, “What is Cross-Media?” For many marketers, Cross-Media has become synonymous with the collection of technologies and tools found in the Platform, such as Personalized URLs, Landing Pages, QR Codes, Email, and so on.  This is correct. But you’ve probably also heard the  term Cross-Channel, and Multi-Channel. So what’s the difference? Is there one?

Here are some answers:


A cross-media campaign (or a cross-channel campaign – they mean the same thing) is one that connects one medium to another. For example, slap a Personalized URL on a direct mail piece to connect the print medium to the online medium, namely the Internet – and voilà, you’ve got a Cross-Media campaign.

Here are some basic attributes shared by all Cross-Media Campaigns:

  • Recipients are communicated to using one channel (usually a traditional channel, such as direct mail, a space ad, a billboard, etc.), and are given a response option that uses another channel (the Internet).
  • Various Cross-Media technologies – such as PURLs, GURLs, QR Codes and IMBs – are integrated into the marketing message to enable personalization, sophisticated tracking and data capture.
  • Response data are c0llected in real-time and displayed 24/7 using a Web-based Reporting Dashboard, providing measurability and quantifiable ROI.

A multi-channel campaign is quite literally the act of marketing simultaneously across different channels.  That is, a marketing campaign launched across two or more of the media – print, Web, television, radio – at the same time.

  • In such a campaign, the concurrent communications reinforce each other, as consumers are bombarded by messages across various channels.
  • For a multi-channel campaign to succeed in today’s multi-channel environment, it must however include a Cross-Media solution. Cross-Media tools are what allow audiences to respond to a marketing message, bridging the chasm between two distinct channels. Without them, a multi-channel campaign is dead in the water,  because there is no way for audiences to interact and act in response to the campaign, and campaign data and reporting are severely hampered.

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