Multichannel vs. Omnichannel Marketing: What is the Difference

The digital marketing world is evolving at an unimaginably fast pace. Every day there are new concepts that marketers implement to entice customers & improve ROI. 

In the past few decades, the digital world has taken a drastic turn with people switching between multiple devices to get their tasks done — mobile to their computers & more. And, this is why the evolution of new interconnected network concepts whereby marketers could sell & communicate to their customers using multiple channels becomes evident.

In the present time, as much as 98% of the American population, switch between their devices throughout the day. All of this has led to a marketing evolution that enables marketers to communicate to their customers in the most efficient manner — omnichannel marketing & multichannel marketing being the results of this evolution. 

It has been long enough that the word “omnichannel” has been around but we still confuse it with “multichannel” marketing. While the two terms sound similar and many marketers are using them interchangeably, they are two different concepts.

This blog post has been created to help you understand how the two concepts are distinct and which strategy will benefit your company the most in an era where consumers are constantly switching between multiple devices & touchpoints. To get you a clear picture of how the two strategies are different, we’ll first separately define them.

What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is about giving an ever-connected seamless & integrated experience to the user. It involves creating a scenario wherein all the communication channels are integrated for better connectedness. 

The omnichannel strategy aims to provide an integrated & holistic customer experience. An omnichannel marketing strategy has been designed considering in advance that the consumer will switch between different devices before making the final purchase decision. Omnichannel marketing helps companies provide a unified experience to their customers as they hop from one channel to another. 

What is Multichannel Marketing?

Multichannel marketing enables businesses to interact with their potential customers through a variety of channels — websites, mobile, emails, social media, print ads, and landing pages. In this form of marketing, each of the channels involved will operate independently and each of them will have its own outlined strategy of operation. Multichannel marketing enables organizations to interact with their customers using a multitude of channels. 

Per a study, as much as 73% of the customers use several different channels to interact with their favorite brands. Therefore, the approach not only makes it possible for companies to engage with their customers on different channels but also helps companies in meeting consumer expectations. 

Difference between multichannel marketing & omnichannel marketing:

While the difference between multichannel marketing & omnichannel marketing might look pretty subtle — they are two distinct approaches with distinct goals. 

Multichannel marketing aims to make use of multiple channels to reach out to a wide range of audiences. It creates a broader reach of the campaign by disseminating the information through different channels — social media, email, website & more. The multichannel marketing strategy is so designed to reach out to potential customers no matter where they are engaging with the brand. 

While all omnichannel campaigns are multichannel but not all multichannel campaigns are omnichannel. You can provide a platform to your user to communicate through – a stunning website, blog posts, and social media campaigns — but if they are all not working together, it’s not omnichannel. 

Unlike multichannel marketing, with omnichannel marketing — messaging & campaigns are integrated to get the user a consistent experience. In that way, the consumer will be nudged in the same direction with every touchpoint. Omnichannel marketing makes sure that through every other channel the customer gets the same experience, fortifying their trust in the product. 

And, it also works for sales, customer support, PR & product. Omnichannel marketing strategy enables businesses to retain as much as 89% of their customers. Let’s talk about the three major differences between multichannel marketing & omnichannel marketing:

  1. Channel vs. Customer

Multichannel marketing is about casting the widest net to get the most customers in the net & educate them about your brand. In multichannel marketing, companies make use of two or more channels at the same time to interact with their customers. In this form of strategy, the goal is to spread your brands’ message through different channels — the most popular being social media & email marketing. The multichannel approach focuses on communication channels!

On the other hand, the omnichannel marketing approach focuses on customers rather than on the number of channels. The idea is to create a seamless integrated approach wherein all the communication channels could be connected. It gives a personalized customer experience across different channels! Per a study, on average the customer retention rate increases by 91% every year with well-defined omnichannel strategies in place. 

To know more about how Customer Retention works for Your Business’s Success, click the link. 

  1. Consistency vs. Engagement

Omnichannel marketing focuses more on customer experience. On the other hand, the multichannel approach aims to enhance engagement using a variety of channels. This is the second vital difference between multichannel marketing & omnichannel marketing. By applying the omnichannel marketing approach brands ensure that the user has a consistently personalized experience & message across all possible communication channels. 

On the other hand, in the multichannel approach, each & every channel of communication operates separately which creates a lack of integration & consistency. This in turn creates an impersonalized experience, leaving the user in a state of confusion. This inconsistent brand image via different channels discourages familiarity & relationship with the brand.

  1. Effort vs. Effortless

The omnichannel approach understands and works on how to reduce extra efforts that the user has to put in to reach your brand. It uses data to analyze where the customer has to put in extra effort to know about your brand — the omnichannel strategy with this knowledge eliminates the extra efforts the user is putting in. 

Benefits of Omnichannel Marketing

We have already familiarized you with multichannel marketing & omnichannel marketing. While there isn’t anything bad about multichannel or the omnichannel approach — but omnichannel is the GOAT as it connects channels making it a seamlessly integrated experience for the user. So, with successful omnichannel marketing in place — your brand will enjoy some extra perks. Let’s talks about the benefits of Omnichannel Marketing:

  1. Revenue generation betters

As the omnichannel fosters a sense of trust in your customer for your brand, it encourages them to repeat purchases. It further helps in customer retention and helps in acquiring new customers with the help of word-of-mouth marketing and content personalization. As customer acquisition & customer retention increases — the business gets a boost & hence revenue generation gets better. 

  1. Customer Loyalty Improves

With the help of omnichannel marketing efforts, your business provides a personalized & consistent experience to users which further encourages customers to purchase from you. Customer gradually becomes loyal towards your brand as he gets a consistent message as every single channel and thus an improved customer experience thus making them loyal towards your brand. 

  1. Improves Brand Recall

When the user has a consistent experience every time he comes looking for something at your website and ends up with a happy purchasing experience every time —  it will improve the brand recall. And, when there is a firm sense of brand recall, it is more likely that the customer becomes loyal towards your brand and purchases from you. 

Create a strong omnichannel strategy for your brand!

With a huge number of marketing channels available today — it’s confusing & complex for the customers’ journey. At AdMedia, create a strong successful omnichannel marketing strategy to feed your customer with consistent & personalized information at every stage of his journey. 

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