Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing: What’s the Difference?

 

Omnichannel vs multichannel marketing approaches

Image: Novy Studios

Omnichannel and multichannel marketing have become buzz words in recent years. But do you know what each term actually means? More importantly, do you know what the difference between the two terms is? You will after reading this blog post.

In this article, we’ll tackle the topic of omnichannel vs multichannel marketing, define each term for you, and enlighten you as to why these two marketing approaches are different. Then we’ll list out a four-step process for ensuring your organization’s omnichannel marketing game is on point.

Sound good? Then let’s get started!

Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing

While the meanings of these two terms may seem similar, if not identical, on the surface, they are, in fact, very different. Let’s define them and make sure we’re on the same page.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is an approach that allows a company to provide a consistent and seamless customer experience across multiple channels.

Today’s consumers have amazing access to brands. They can reach them via a brick and mortar store, a website, a social media channel (like Instagram, for example), an app, a print catalog — the list goes on and on. And here’s the thing: customers expect to receive a consistent experience on each channel.

Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing, on the other hand, simply refers to the practice of reaching customers via a multitude of channels. For example, customers can be reached via social media, email, print ads, physical stores, and through a host of other avenues. A multichannel marketing approach allows a company to be wherever its customers are.

What’s the Difference?

Still confused about omnichannel vs multichannel marketing? Don’t be! The differences are subtle but very important. Think of it this way: multichannel marketing is the act of reaching customers in a variety of different ways.

Omnichannel marketing ensures that the experience each customer receives — regardless of the channel they are currently on — accurately reflects the brand and remains consistent. Does that make sense?

Crafting a Strong Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Implementing a multichannel marketing approach is rather easy. Simply explore more avenues between your business and its target market. That means investing in blogging, YouTube videos, paying for CPC ads, opening physical locations — whatever works for your company.

Crafting a strong omnichannel marketing strategy requires a bit more work, though. Fortunately, we have a four-step process for you to follow to get it right.

1. Know Your Target Market

It doesn’t matter what marketing approach you’re trying to implement, this is always the first step. It’s impossible to market effectively without a deep understanding of the target audience you’re hoping to reach.

So who does your company serve? If you haven’t yet, we recommend creating buyer personas to make answering this question as easy as possible. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a buyer persona is a fictional character that represents a specific subset of your audience.

You can build your own buyer personas by studying your customers. You’ll want to find out demographic details like their age, gender, occupation, and income level. You’ll also want to collect psychographic information such as their hopes, fears, and daily challenges.

2. Prioritize Teamwork

Step two is all about teamwork. Don’t forget, omnichannel marketing is the practice of crafting consistent customer experiences across different channels. To do this, then, you must have buy-in from multiple stakeholders such as your company’s marketing and sales directors and the head of customer support.

To successfully implement an omnichannel marketing approach, you’ll need to make sure that every department is onboard and willing to work together. Unfortunately, many organizations find this difficult. But it’s not impossible! Do what you can to tear down department silos.

3. Use the Right Technology

Technology plays a crucial role in whether or not your omnichannel marketing efforts succeed. Here are a few different tools you’ll want to consider investing in.

  • CRM Software: A quality CRM will allow you to organize your customers and prospects and give you insight into where they are in the buyer journey. A few popular options include Salesforce, HubSpot, Insightly, and Nutshell.

 

  • Communication Software: There are A LOT of ways to communicate with your audience. A few of the most common include email marketing, video conferencing, social media, and customer service tools. A quick Google search on each of these terms will display a host of viable options in each category.

 

  • Analytics Software: Analytics apps such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, and others will give you valuable information on your customers. You can then use this information to make better omnichannel marketing decisions.

 

  • DAM Software: A digital asset management (DAM) service will allow you to neatly organize all of your brand’s digital assets and relocate them whenever you need to. Because so many omnichannel marketing strategies revolve around quality imagery, a DAM provider is a must. CleanPix offers an intuitive, time-saving solution.

Invest in the right tools and crafting a strong omnichannel marketing strategy will be much, much easier!

4. Don’t Hesitate!

Finally, don’t wait to start (or improve) your omnichannel marketing strategy. Begin today! It’s what your customers expect and the longer your company takes to give it to them, the more likely it is that they’ll buy from the competition.

While crafting an omnichannel approach may seem like a herculean undertaking, small, daily steps towards your goals will get you on the right path. Just analyze your business and look for any areas of inconsistency. Then fix them.

Omnichannel vs Multichannel: Two Important Terms

Both omnichannel and multichannel marketing approaches are important. And while the definitions of each may seem similar at a quick glance, they are, in fact, very different.

Just remember that multichannel marketing refers to the number of channels your business uses to reach its customers. And omnichannel marketing is an approach that ensures every interaction your customers have with your brand, no matter what channel they are on, is consistent.

Having trouble implementing an omnichannel approach for your company? Follow our four-step system and you’ll be just fine. First, know your target market. Then prioritize teamwork, use the right technology, and don’t hesitate. Good luck!

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