What’s Difference Omnichannel & Multichannel Marketing?
Omnichannel & Multichannel Marketing channels through which brands can communicate with their customers is constantly increasing. From social selling to digital marketplaces, e-commerce, and in-store shopping, companies now have countless ways to deliver their message while delivering a high quality customer experience.
Marketers use 2 common approaches when delivering their strategies which are multichannel and omnichannel marketing.. But what exactly are these different technologies, and how do they work?
In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know to get started with multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing. read either
1 What is Multichannel Marketing?
Before the internet, traditional “old media” marketing campaigns relied on a few tried and tested channels (or ways to communicate with consumers).
These was: print advertising, direct mail, telemarketing and broadcast media. Today, however, the number of marketing channels has increased dramatically. E-commerce, social media, YouTube, product review sites, and many other media have emerged with the advent of the Internet.
To take advantage of the opportunities offered by these modern channels, the idea of multi-channel marketing was born.
Targeting customers through messaging across multiple channels, omnichannel marketing includes both online media (such as email, social media, search marketing) and offline media (such as direct mail and other offline approaches) .
It is important to note that the channels in an omnichannel strategy are usually unrelated to each other and each channel is used to achieve a single marketing goal.
For example, a company might launch a social media campaign to build brand awareness on Facebook, and also launch a separate campaign to promote a new product on TikTok. Even if these campaigns target a group of identical consumers, their messages will not be the same.
As such, omnichannel marketing is a brand-centric approach that prioritizes key messages over a single consumer experience.
Although this method may not seem ideal, it is much easier to implement. Separate campaigns on offline channels minimize integration efforts. This approach also offers other benefits – for example, if a campaign goes bad, it won’t affect other channels.
On the other hand, with an omnichannel campaign, customers don’t get a particularly consistent brand experience. In the short term, many brands see this as an acceptable compromise, seeing omnichannel marketing as a solid foundation to build on, which will eventually lead to a full omnichannel strategy.
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2 What is Omnichannel Marketing?
Where omnichannel describes a disjointed, brand-centric approach to marketing, omnichannel offers a highly connected, fully integrated, and superior customer experience.
Omnichannel ensures consistent messaging, tone of voice, fully harmonized visuals, and most importantly, understanding of the customer’s needs and desires.
A good omnichannel strategy captures customer data every step of the way, from past interactions to previous purchases, social media posts, likes, and more.All of this data is used to deliver a fully customized customer experience that is delivered when needed.
At this point, you may be wondering why would anyone prefer omnichannel marketing over omnichannel marketing? The answer is largely practical. The multi-channel approach is exponentially more difficult to implement.
This is due to the fact that all the various channels – both online and offline – must be 100% connected, and this is not easy to achieve.
While many software solutions claim to offer a fully integrated omnichannel experience, they only address the online aspects of omnichannel marketing.
While important, a truly omnichannel experience also means focus groups (to identify customer needs), customer service training (to make sure the sales force is qualified), and uninterrupted supply chains.
For well-established companies, this can mean a complete restructuring that goes beyond just marketing.While software plays a role in this, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for a fully integrated multi-channel experience
3 What are some examples of omnichannel marketing vs multichannel?
Now we know what multi-channel and omni-channel marketing are, how do they look in practice? Let’s look at some hypothetical examples.
Example of multichannel marketing?
Meet Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a fashionista who loves jewelry. One day, she sees a paid ad from her favorite Instagram blogger for a set of Emeraldique earrings. Seeing this, Elizabeth remembered that Emeraldique had recently emailed her a discount code.
Excited, she heads to their website to find the earrings. She has to do some searching, looking through some items that she doesn’t really care about, but she eventually finds the earrings and decides to buy them.
However, at the checkout, the discount code for Elizabeth will not work. Checking the fine print, she sees that it’s really only for brooches that don’t interest her. Luckily, there is an Emeraldique store in town, so Elizabeth decides to go down and check the merchandise for herself.
When she gets to the store, she spends a little time explaining the situation to the clerk, who eventually informs her that the earrings are out of stock. Instead, the salesperson helps her find earrings in the Emeraldique mail order catalog.
While it’s not perfect, Elizabeth really wants the earrings, so she orders them anyway—no discount—and they’re delivered to her door a couple of days later.
This emphasizes a simple multi-channel marketing strategy. Elisabeth used a variety of channels: social media, the Emeraldique website, their catalogue, email and shop.
While she bought the product she wanted, in the end the experience was badly connected. Every time she switched channels, she had to start the client journey all over again.
Example of omnichannel marketing?
This time, let’s imagine that Emeraldique has a multi-channel strategy. Once again, Elizabeth buys earrings from the shop. However, this time the company kept a record of its transaction.
When she arrives home, Elizabeth sees that she has received another email from Emeraldique offering an additional 20% discount on selected necklaces, but only if she downloads their app. However, she knows a lot when she spots one of them, so Elizabeth immediately downloads the app.
She is greeted by a dashboard advertising a beautiful necklace that matches perfectly with the earrings she just bought. Elizabeth decides to go ahead and buy it, but halfway through the transaction, the doorbell rings and she closes the app.
Later, at work, Elizabeth checks the necklace again, this time in her work browser. Although she has used the app before, when she logs in, the control panel on her computer still remembers the necklace and the discount code, showing her the discounted price.
Elizabeth then sees a try-before-you-buy option she didn’t see before. She requests that her local store, Emeraldique, stock the necklace so she can try it on
During her lunch break, Elizabeth heads to Emeraldique by scanning the QR code on the door with her app. Moments later, she is warmly greeted by a friendly salesperson with a clipboard and led straight to the counter to try on the necklace.w
This time around, Elisabeth’s experience was intimately connected, interactive, and tailored to her exact needs. Every time she could give up, the brand remembered her past purchases so she didn’t have to start the journey all over again.
In this scenario, she has not only bought more from the brand than she originally planned, but is now on her way to becoming a repeat customer.
As our examples show, Omnichannel Marketing and Omnichannel Marketing have many similarities. However, they remain different and you can use the following checklist to make it easier to tell them apart in the real world:
- Multichannel marketing uses multiple channels (online and offline) that are disconnected.
- Omnichannel marketing uses all channels (again online and offline), and these channels are highly connected.
- Multichannel uses multiple channels (online and offline) that are disconnected.
- Omnichannel uses all channels (again online and offline), and these channels are highly connected.
- Multichannel employs a brand-centric strategy, focusing on calls to action through individual campaigns.
- Omnichannel employs a customer-centric strategy, taking into account a customer’s opinions, expectations, past interactions, and future intentions.
- Multichannel can be scaled up or down based on a team’s budget and available resources.
- Omnichannel marketing requires a significant initial and ongoing investment in technology, software, and algorithms to create a consistent, seamless experience.
- Multichannel is ideal for brands that want a more flexible approach or are just starting to develop a marketing strategy.
- Omnichannel is often the end point or “holy grail” for many brands. They will often work towards it for a longer time.
- Multi-channel can be executed purely within a company’s marketing function.
- Omnichannel goes beyond marketing aloneDone right, it should include all aspects of a company’s operations, from product design to customer service, IT, supply chain management, and more.
Ultimately, the key difference between multi-channel and Omnichannel marketing is convenience. As customers become more savvy, they expect higher levels of service and greater ease of navigation when interacting with brands.
Delivering all of this to customers can be a major challenge. But when done right, this is exactly what the omnichannel approach offers.
5 Wrap up Read more
As we’ve seen in this post, it’s helpful to think of multi-channel and multi-channel marketing as different destinations on the same journey.
By starting with a simpler omnichannel approach, brands can focus on specific campaigns, explore different methods, and hone their messaging.