Cross-Media Marketing: Examples & Definition

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Have you ever noticed how one brand seems to be everywhere you look? In this lesson, we'll talk about cross-media marketing, the art of integrating messaging across many mediums, and look at a few examples.

Crossing Over

When Disney started marketing its summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it wasn't enough for them to just show commercials for the new flick on television. They launched an all-out marketing assault across the board. Did you see tidbits about the movie in any of these places?

  • In the toy aisle on brands like Hasbro and LEGO
  • On food products like bags of Doritos
  • At the fast-food restaurant Dairy Queen
  • On a Ford EcoSport television commercial
  • On the cover and inside of magazines like Entertainment and Men's Fitness
  • On themed social media pages and accounts

To date, the movie has generated more than $350 million at the box office, and a host of other brands and products have benefited in the process. What Disney got right was a concept in the marketing world known as cross-media marketing.

What is Cross-Media Marketing?

Cross-media marketing is exactly what it sounds like: taking your marketing messaging and implementing it in a variety of mediums. After all, the more places that people see your message, the more it will stick with them and increase the likelihood they will engage with your brand, whether that's seeing a movie or making a purchase.

For marketers in this digital age, the number of cross-media marketing options has greatly increased. No longer are they limited by the traditional big three of radio, television and print, but now they can be incorporated through social media, websites, email, videos, mobile phone applications, paid search, digital ads on websites and more.

Building a Cross-Media Campaign

Building a cross-media campaign isn't as daunting as it may first appear. Here are some basic steps to guide you:

1. First, determine your message. Regardless of the channels you use, you want the message to be consistent across all of them. Your viewers should be able to easily identify your brand, product or service from one medium to the next.

2. Second, figure out where your target audience is. If you're marketing a new product to seniors, then the newest social media app may not be the best choice. Conversely, if you're trying to reach a teenage audience, an ad in the local newspaper might not be the way to go.

3. Third, plot your desired outcome. What is the goal of your cross-media campaign? Your call-to-action, whether it's to visit your website or buy your new book, should be crystal clear in every medium you use.

4. Lastly, go for it! Integrate your campaign in your chosen platforms and wait for the good results to roll in.

Here's Where You've Seen It

Major brands all over the world use cross-media advertising to reach consumers as many times as possible with their message. Here are a few campaigns you've probably seen (in more than one place):

1. Pepsi: Pepsi uses a myriad of marketing options, ranging from sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show to billboards, television ads, celebrity endorsements and social media accounts. Their newest product, Pepsi Fire, is being featured on Slurpee machines at 7-Eleven, on its website, in videos, and on social media such as in a partnership with the social media channel Snapchat.

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