Omnichannel Marketing vs Multichannel Marketing: Is One Better?

Although doing business has never been easy, consumer trends have shifted significantly in the past few years, making it even harder. The channels of consumer communication are also more segmented than they’ve ever been. 

You have likely heard about omnichannel marketing, but what is it? Omnichannel marketing vs multichannel marketing: Which one is better for your business? Both approaches have advantages, so the answer lies in how scalable, effective, and attainable each is for your business. 

The Core Difference Between Multichannel Marketing Vs Omnichannel Marketing 

Marketing channels refer to those mediums through which businesses promote their products and services and grow awareness. For instance, a retail outlet, website, billboard, or product packaging can all be referred to as marketing channels. 

While the term “multi” means “many” and “Omni” means “all,” the key difference doesn’t exist only in whether users interact in a few touchpoints or all touchpoints during their purchase journey. Instead, the primary difference lies in strategic approach – whether we consider the user experience leading towards a specific objective, or we back away and allow the consumers to define their own journey.

Multichannel marketing embodies the concept of getting a user from point X to point Y by providing a single message across several channels. For instance, you might advertise your company’s product on your social media handle, Google Ads, a blog post, or an email newsletter. The message on all of these channels is similar or identical, and the goal of the campaign is to generate leads by gathering email addresses. So you have a click-through link on every page offering a free PDF with more information.

Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, is when a brand provides varying content through connected channels with the goal of engaging the user, creating an experience that is centered around them instead of your single message. For instance, a user might receive an email about a product announcement. That email might contain a link to an Instagram post and a Facebook video. On Instagram, they see a promotional code of the same product, and on Facebook, they view a story of a customer using the same item.

So as customers jump from one channel to another — which they undoubtedly do — they get a consistent and streamlined experience, with varied content at every turn that builds off the other pieces. This customer-centric approach aims to provide greater convenience and a better overall user experience. Perhaps this explains why businesses with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain 89% of customers on average.

Overall, both approaches aim to provide information to customers across multiple channels. However, multichannel marketing silos each channel into a contained experience, rather than unifying the user experience across every channel.

With omnichannel marketing, brands can offer a tailored, channel-hopping experience to their customers by curating campaigns that synergize across multiple platforms. Omnichannel marketing keeps the customer at the center of a marketing campaign and prioritizes their needs by offering greater personalization and more varied opportunities for engagement.

Offering a seamless experience improves your brand image and increases customer loyalty. Customers prefer a consistent, unified, omnichannel experience because it lets them know they are valued.

What You Gain From Taking a Multichannel Marketing Approach 

It’s possible to improve returns simply by increasing the number of channels on which your messaging is presented. Suppose you aim to sell a straightforward service or product for a price that doesn’t differ much in terms of deals and incentives. In that case, a simple multichannel marketing approach offers an easy, fast way to deliver a consistent message across all of your channels. Here’s how it can benefit your business.

Increase In Brand Engagement and Stronger Relationships With Customers 

A multichannel strategy allows you to connect with customers through their favorite platforms. With a multichannel approach, you have a chance to serve your customers where they are already present. 

Reaching out to your customers through multiple channels significantly increases engagement. For instance, if you send a piece of information with your social media handles in direct mail, consumers will most likely follow you on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or wherever you tend to be. 

This helps you stay connected with them and strengthen bonds over time. 

Expanded Reach of Your Marketing Message

Do you plan to launch a new product or drive traffic to an event you’re hosting? Whatever your goal, utilizing multiple channels opens a gateway to expand your marketing reach. 

The Keys to Developing a Winning Multichannel Approach

Developing a winning multichannel approach does take some creativity, but it’s by no means impossible. Below, we’ll discuss a few tips to create an efficient multichannel approach. 

Develop an In-Depth Understanding of Your Buyer Persona 

A whopping 90% of companies utilizing buyer persona claim they understand their target audience better after beginning the practice. Buyer personas are fictional people your business creates to understand real customers better. 

Try to imagine your customers’ wants, needs, interests, and demographics. Then wrap all of those characteristics into a model customer, and imagine the best marketing plan to reach that person.

Determine Your Preferred Channels to Produce Content For

Where exactly do you plan to strengthen bonds with existing customers and attract prospects? While you might have worked your fingers to the bone to design that perfect product packaging and offer top-notch services, you need solid platforms to engage with your customers continuously. 

Here is a quick look at some popular social media channels you can create content for, as well as their user counts:

You can consider statistics and customer preferences to decide where to upload marketing content. In truth, producing content for all channels doesn’t hurt. Yes, it would be challenging, but it’s often worth it.

Provide Consistent Messaging Across Channels 

The key to multichannel marketing isn’t just choosing the right message and a suitable platform; you need to stay consistent in your messages across all channels. 

In this strategy, the theory is that customers rely on their favorite channel in order to keep up with you. Keeping your messaging consistent across all channels facilitates a consistent experience for all single-channel customers.

Ensure Your Content Strategy Is Channel Specific 

One size doesn’t fit all, and the same goes for channel content strategy. You’re required to play by the rules of each channel. Yes, your message might be consistent, but you have to be strategic about what works on which channel.

For instance, Instagram is more about visuals, and lengthy written messages would not work. An infographic or a captivating image might drive traffic, however. Likewise, your written content on Linkedin — a more editorial platform—- might attract an audience. 

So keep your messages similar, but tailor your content to each of your channels.

Tweak and Adjust Your Approach According to Analytics

What was the reason your last post didn’t drive traffic? Did you fail to sell a particular product?

Analytics will help answer these questions, and you’ll discover your strengths and weaknesses. Make the most out of the data and tweak your strategies accordingly. 

Advantages of a Consumer-Centered Omnichannel Approach to Marketing 

Omnichannel marketing is in many ways the next step, an evolution of multichannel marketing with a refined strategy; many of the same principles still apply, and are built upon in the strategic approach. This centers around consideration of all the devices and platforms your customer will use to interact with your company. It creates an equally seamless and efficient customer experience across multiple platforms.

We’ll uncover the biggest pros of the consumer-centered omnichannel approach — a strategy that focuses on your customers and their experience, not the channel alone. 

Seamless Customer Experience That Results In Customer Retention 

Omnichannel marketing offers different incentives, content, and options for your customers to engage with and convert. When consumers know they have several ways to reach out to your sales teams and customer service, it makes them happier. 

The result? Your customer churn could reduce by up to 67% by serving them via their preferred channel.

Valuable Insights Regarding Customer Behavior and Data 

Omnichannel marketing helps you gather valuable data from customers. As such, you get to learn more about them, their preferences, and their pain points. 

This helps you put more effort into delivering the desired customer experience by aligning your marketing, sales, and relevant consumer support strategies.  

Increased Ability to Reach New Audiences or Segments

Because the omnichannel approach isn’t restricted to one or another platform, you have a chance to reach and target new audiences no matter the channel they access your services from. 

When your team meets the customers where they are with the right message and at the right time, you can reach many more people than when simply plugging the same message into every channel.

One study revealed that omnichannel campaigns experienced an 18.96% engagement rate, compared to single-channel’s 5.4% engagement rate. More engagement builds the brand image, which creates new customers for you. 

What You’ll Need to Create an Effective Omnichannel Strategy

Creating an effective omnichannel strategy may seem a bit overwhelming, but you can make it simpler with the right approach. Check out a few steps below to take your omnichannel marketing to the next level. 

Segment Your Customers 

To segment your customers, you must first understand them. Who are your customers, and how do they buy from you? You can conduct online surveys to ask people about their shopping preferences and concerns. 

This will help you segment your customers accordingly. Since omnichannel is more about personalization, perhaps you need to find out about your ideal customers before personalizing the buying experiences for them. 

Identify the Customer Journey 

By taking a deeper dive into your customer journey, you can know about their wants and needs and tweak your marketing practices for the best possible outcome. Here are a few tips to follow: 

  • Begin by developing your buyer personas. This will help you know what your customer hopes to achieve throughout their buying journey. 
  • Once you understand your customer goals, it is crucial to map out their touchpoints. This includes any time your customer contacts your company – before, during, or after their purchase. It helps you recognize where you fell short and what you can do to improve the customer experience. 
  • Know what’s frustrating your customers and why they abandon purchases, prioritize their needs, and fix the roadblocks to improve their buying journey.

Create Personalized Experiences 

Personalization is the key to any business. Data reveals that 71% of consumers feel frustrated when their buying journey is impersonal, and 74% of customers feel annoyed when a brand doesn’t personalize website content. 

Note that not all buyers are the same. Your customers expect you to understand their unique tastes and preferences and engage with them as individuals, not a group. 

Create Channel Specific Content

As stated earlier, different channels demand different content to be more effective. While a short joke on Twitter might gain recognition to the point for it to go viral, the same joke might be of no value in a 1000 word blog post.

As we discussed in the multichannel approach, your write-up might go unnoticed on Instagram but can grab attention on a more editorial platform like Linkedin. 

Update Strategy According to Provided Customer Data

There’s no use in having all the customer data at hand if you do not update and improve your marketing strategy accordingly. 

What can you do to reduce cart abandonment, and understand why your customer was frustrated when they interacted with your sales team the last time? Addressing such questions and solving customer problems would unquestionably take your company to new heights. 

Omnichannel Vs Multichannel: Which Strategy Works Best For Your Business?

The customer experience is a product in itself, and must receive the same level of care and attention as your actual product. The somewhat disjointed experience created by some multichannel approaches can lead to miscommunication and annoy potential customers. Instead of using many channels to simply speak at your consumer, we believe it’s best to let them work together and build off of one another to center the user’s needs.

Consumers have come to expect this streamlined and unified experience. Through omnichannel marketing, each touchpoint offers a unique experience, and these unique experiences interweave to foster higher engagement.

If you’d like to learn more about increasing customer engagement to meet your unique business goals and increasing your reach across media channels, please feel free to reach out to AUDIENCEX, the integrated platform created for omnichannel performance. Our tech and talent can streamline and simplify complex digital advertising, enabling and empowering brands regardless of their business size or budget.