Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing - What's the difference?

There are many forms of marketing in today’s world.

Just when we’re getting used to email marketing, digital marketing, and affiliate marketing – new strategies pop up and force you to reconsider what you’re doing.

Every business needs a concrete digital marketing plan. That plan should consider who your target audience is and how you’re approaching them.

Are you feeling a bit lost? Don’t worry. We’ll explain the difference between these two marketing strategies.

What Is Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is an integrated shopping experience that allows a customer to seamlessly purchase from multiple platforms, including desktop, mobile, and in-store.

An Omnichannel Marketing strategy ensures that, no matter how the customer decides to purchase, the process and message will be flawless.

Best Buy pioneered omnichannel marketing in 2003 in an attempt to battle rival Walmart. It has grown a lot since then and has expanded from retail to finance, healthcare, eCommerce, and more.

What Is Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing lets companies talk with customers (and potential customers) on various platforms. A website, through a promotional event, printed advertisements, or an actual location. This form of marketing allows the consumer to decide on how they would like to contact a company.

This means there are several touchpoints on the business side, not just one. A customer interested in purchasing from a company may test the product in person, but eventually order it through Amazon. This is a form of multichannel marketing.

What Are the Major Differences Between the Two?

These two strategies are distinctive, and they both have their pros and cons.

  1. Omnichannel puts the customer in the centre and gives them the freedom to choose what format works best for them. Multichannel is a series of separate communication lines that lead in different directions. This isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t ensure a flawless experience across all channels.
  2. Multichannel’s main purpose is to spread a company’s marketing message as far and wide as it can. There are several platforms at play here, but they all have the same objective: engagement. Omnichannel is less like sending a mass email and more like sending a direct text. It’s more about ensuring positive individual experiences.
  3. Omnichannel prioritizes consistency above all else. This strategy focuses on seamless integration and the customer experience. In contrast, multichannel strategies may share some messaging and visuals, but individual marketing goals may differ depending on the platform.
  4. Omnichannel is easy and (when done correctly) should run on its own. Push GO and watch. With Multichannel, there are more touchpoints that need tending to, and more attention is needed to make sure things run smoothly.
  5. Multichannel marketing can provide your business with more exposure. It shouldn’t surprise you that increasing the visibility of your products will showcase your brand and what you have to offer.

Don’t Fear Multichannel Marketing

Multichannel marketing may require more time and resources, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

While multichannel is more hands-on and can be a little sporadic, it’s an effective marketing strategy that has proven success over many years for many companies.

Remember – the final goal in marketing is to create an efficient system that helps you achieve your marketing goals.

Right now, we see more multichannel marketing than omnichannel. That’s because multichannel has been around longer and it takes more integrated technology for a company to get set up on omnichannel. In the next number of years, many businesses will invest in an omnichannel strategy that could drastically change the way their business approaches marketing.

Omnichannel Is The New Winner

In an era where easier is better, and where it’s more important than ever to connect with your customers (no matter where you are on the globe), omnichannel marketing is the new way to do business online flawlessly.

Not only does it make it easier for you and your customers, but it provides detailed data by combining all of your marketing channels. Your customer will know what is going on, and so will you. And that’s how marketing should be done.

Do you have questions about how your business can use these strategies to grow bigger than ever? Globalgraphics is here to help. Contact us today at (416) 256-7800 to learn more.

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