Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing: 3 Key Differences

The term “Omnichannell Marketing” seems more prevalent than ever in today’s digital Marketplace. Omni-channel marketing has become key to marketing success as customers engage with companies in many different ways. Such ways could be an App, Online shop, Physical store, catalogs, Social Media and many more.

But what is omnichannel marketing? Some say its just “Cross-Channel Marketing done .. well” others that its “revolutionary and engages the customer more that ever”. So let’s have a brief look at what it is and what are its main differences to Multichannel marketing are.

MULTICHANNEL MARKETING

Let’s take it from the beginning. Multichannel marketing is the discipline that effectively suggests that the more channels of engaging and selling there are out there are the better. Multichannel experiences are what the majority of companies’ employ nowadays in their marketing strategies. A channel might be a print ad, a retail location, a website, a blog, a promotional event, a product’s package, or word-of-mouth or other traditional channels for marketing and sales. These are all used to communicate, educate and market their products and services to their current clients and potential new ones.

This is where the problem however sometimes lies and where our comparison begin. Many argue that multichannel campaigns are somewhat inconsistent and lack the unity a brand should demonstrate.

Here is where omnichannel marketing comes in.  Omnichannel recognizes that today’s consumers have a much wider selection of channels to interact with businesses and brands, often simultaneously nd hence works upon that.

OMNICHANNEL MARKETING

Omni comes from the word Omnis which can mean boundless or universal (see here). This is in comparison to other categories out there, like “multichannel”, from the Latin word Multus, meaning many or multiple and from cross-channel, derived from the Latin word Crux, meaning to go across.

Omnichannel refers to the multi-channel sales approach that provides the customer with an integrated shopping experience. The customer can be shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, via phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store, and the experience will be seamless.

Upon first view, it often seems that the ultimate goal for both of these approaches is to interact with consumers through a variety of different channels. However, the true meanings of both the terms and subsequent marketing strategies follow two very distinct and different paths.

3 Key Differences

There are a number of differences between the 2 strategies but I have chosen to focus on the 3, I personally believe, are more impactful via Omnichannel marketing.

  • Consistency vs Engagement

As we noted earlier, Omnichannel marketing focuses more on the customers’ experience and hence it is crucial to present a unified, consistent message throughout all channels. Making sure ones customer receives the same “experience” across all channels has been difficult to achieve for years now with Brands creating unique strategies per channel. Omnichanneling now provides this opportunity to do this hence providing the customers with a more personalised experience ensuring a heightened sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand.

  • Channels vs Customers

Multichannel focuses more on the diverse -sometimes large- number of channels available to advocate their brand. It is based on the idea that the more opportunities out there to engage, the better. Omnichannel focuses more on merging and interconnecting all these channels with one another with an aim of engaging with customers at a holistic level. This increases the possibility of them having a positive experience with the brand across every channel.  The focus is on strengthening relationships between consumers and the brand.

  • Ease of Use vs Complexity

There is a notion in today’s marketplace that the more channels available to the consumer, the higher the likelihood the consumer will make use of them. This is not necessarily accurate and sometimes ends in a irrational waste of monetary resources simply to fill a channel that potentially may never be exploited. This is more of a multichannel approach and in turn adds more complexity whilst sometimes still not exploiting all opportunities to their maximum capacity and engaging in others it perhaps should not. Omnichannel marketing involves a much more extensive use of analytics and data in order to better comprehend where effort exists in the customer experience  in the first place and how to simplify and eliminate that effort all together for Ease Of Use.

Conclusively, MultiChannel and OmniChannel marketing are two very different marketing strategies. Despite the fact they may both focus on making use of a multiplicity of channels to reach consumers and potential consumer, omnichannel has a more clear focus on the customer and his needs and hence assists in customer retention and consequently a increase in revenue. In today’s ever evolving market, companies need to start considering omnichannel as a key route to understanding and satisfying their customers.

Do you need any help with your company’s marketing strategy? Then feel free to send me a message here to arrange a FREE Consultancy meeting or Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn  and Instagram !

Author

Nicholas is a social entrepreneur, passionate marketeer, career + life coach, consultant, speaker, and community builder. He does this through 1-on-1 coaching, non-profit and businesses consulting, and on a larger scale as Co-founder + Managing Director of CFM Group. He is an internationally recognized strategist, coach, speaker and in the process of writing his 1st book. Possessing over 13 years’ experience in helping clients realise their potential through clarifying their vision, message and market to design the strategies and roadmaps needed to succeed. Utilising this extensive background in strategic planning, pitch and message design, marketing and communications, executive and speaker coaching was his pathway to founding www.CFMGroup.co.uk. His knowlegde was fundamental in building the company with an investment capital of £1 and a large social impact community and professional development hub in Cambridge, UK. Feel free to comment on any of our articles that interests you or message our CEO directly at Nick@CFMGroup.co.uk ! We hope you enjoy our blog ! ———————————— Fellow Member of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Master of Arts in Marketing and Innovation. BA Hons in Business Management BA Hons in Business Economics Cambridge University & Michigan University English Proficiency degree —————- Former Trustee and Marketing Director for Emmaus, a nationwide charity.

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