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A Brief Look At Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Marketing

Susan Smith | May 17, 2017 785 views No Comments

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A lot of people get confused between Multichannel and Omnichannel marketing. There is clearly a lack of understanding regarding what both these terminologies represent. The purpose of this article is to differentiate between the two concepts so that marketers can adopt marketing strategies that are suited to help them drive their business forward.

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel marketing

Image Credit – LAURAMACEIRO


First, let’s understand that both terminologies have a common trait – both of them reach out to customers via multiple channels. The definitions below will provide a clearer picture.

Multichannel Marketing

In this form of marketing, marketers directly invest in multiple channels to reach their target audience. The channels may include social media, email marketing, a store (physical and/or online), and other online marketing strategies. The goal of this form of marketing is to have a strong and unique strategy for each channel. This way, the marketer will be able to target customers with varied buying preferences.

Omnichannel Marketing

This form of marketing is an advanced version of multichannel marketing. Omnichannel takes a balanced approach. It involves viewing the whole business experience from the customer’s perspective. A positive customer experience is orchestrated across multiple channels in a seamless and integrated manner. Omni channel marketing keeps the customer at the center of its business model, building vast multi-channel experiences based on his/her preferences.

Listed below are two major differences between the terminologies.

1. Maximum Outreach vs. Customer Experience

The multichannel approach focuses on spreading the brand’s message as quickly as possible via multiple channels. For example, customers will be approached through emailers or social media posts to ensure that the message spreads far and wide!

The omnichannel approach is a holistic one. Every channel is inter-linked to ensure customers are having a satisfying overall brand experience. The goal here is to provide customers with what they need in the channel of their choice.

Companies that have implemented omnichannel marketing strategies boast of huge customer retention figures!

2. Individual Channel Focus vs. Consistency

The multichannel approach focuses on having a separate strategy for each channel. The marketing message may not be consistent across all these channels.

The Omnichannel approach, on the other hand, strives for consistency. A customer will be greeted with the same marketing message on different channels, whether it’s social media or emails. This approach boosts the customer’s sense of familiarity with the brand. It also ensures that a particular strategy receives full support in ensuring success.

Conclusion

A majority of businesses rely on multichannel marketing to drive sales forward. They have separate social marketing and email marketing teams working towards individual goals. A shift to omnichannel marketing will ensure a more unified and balanced approach is taken while trying to meet their goals.

The first step is to understand what kind of marketing approach your business uses. If it is multichannel, we recommend you perform research and make a shift towards omnichannel to ensure long-term business success.

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