Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing: How To Pick Your Best Strategy?

Have you been struggling with choosing between omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing?

Do you think they are merely marketing trends that do no real good?

Break your myths. Right here!

In this article, we shall answer the most important curiosities going in your head when it comes to choosing between the two strategies. Like?

Omnichannel marketing vs. multichannel marketing: Why should you care?

Let us elaborate these now.

1. Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing: Why Should You Care?

  • 50% of marketers with multichannel experience say they “usually” or “always” hit their financial targets.
  • Around 87% of retailers consider the omnichannel experience to be an essential factor in their Omni channel success.
  • Companies that possess robust omnichannel customer engagement witness a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue.
  • Companies engaged in Omni commerce and having an effective omnichannel marketing strategy can retain 89% of customers. (source: ecommerce germany)

Now, the statistics loudly say the importance of multi-channel marketing and omnichannel marketing, so let’s discuss what is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing, which strategy should you go for and what is the future of the two?

First things first, what is Omnichannel and multichannel marketing. Here you go!

2. What is Omnichannel Marketing?

Put simply, Omni refers to all. So, omnichannel marketing provides your customers with using multiple marketing channels but in an interconnected and interactive manner.

That is to say, that it allows for maximum engagement with the customer and an integrated shopping experience. As a result, customers can derive a seamless customer experience.

Omni- retail aims to “break the barrier” between the online and offline worlds. It is the most advanced type of marketing. It uses multiple channels communicating back and forth with each other.

In addition, these marketing channels work seamlessly together and often at the same time. Consequently, it provides customers with comprehensive experience across all channels.

3. What is Multichannel Marketing?

Multichannel marketing enables users to use different channels like television, website, Email, mobile phone, social media, direct mail, outdoor ads, etc.to communicate, and purchase from a company.

These channels work independently from one another. Hence the marketing channels are entirely separate and disconnected.

Also, in a multichannel network, the customers choose which channel they would like to work with, among the many marketing channels.

For instance, choosing between a print ad, social media, direct mail or else. So, the marketing channels in multichannel marketing compete with each other.

Omnichannel marketing and multiple channel marketing are two very distinct marketing strategies, although both focus on using multiple channels to reach audience and potentials.

Both these concepts hold significant value in marketing strategies, but the difference between them makes the entire marketing worthwhile.

4. Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing: What’s the Difference?

The difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing is what holds major significance in your marketing strategy.

They can be differentiated on such blurred lines, and the debate of omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing is so top-notched that we felt, let us help you distinguish between the two.

(i) Omni channel vs Multi channel Definition

A basic point of multichannel and omnichannel difference lies in the fact that Omnichannel refers to all channels. It provides your customers with an integrated shopping experience, online shopping via phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store, unified customer view and deriving a seamless experience.

Moreover, multichannel marketing refers to many channels. It helps you to interact with your potential customers on various platforms like website, print ad, a retail location, a product’s package, a promotional event, or word-of-mouth.

(ii) Customer-centric vs. Channel-centric

Multi channel and omni channel differentiates itself on the basis of centricity.

Omnichannel marketing puts customers at the core to enable an entirely consistent, unified experience of people-based marketing at every touchpoint. The primary focus is on building a stronger relationship between the brand and the consumers.

Multichannel marketing aims to get the word out using the maximum possible number of channels. It is about throwing the widest net to get the maximum number of fishes i.e., maximum customer engagements, because the more, the merrier.

(iii) Multiple Interconnected Channels vs. Multiple Disconnected Channels

Omnichannel marketing is the most sophisticated among all marketing types. It includes multiple marketing channels, just like multichannel and cross channel marketing campaigns, but in a much better way. The channels are interconnected and interactive, allowing for maximum engagement with the customer.

The channels in a multichannel marketing approach work independently and disconnected from each other without any communication between them. Moving from one channel to another would mean that the customer restarts the journey at each new touchpoint. This point of omni channel and multi channel difference is a striking feature between them.

(iv) Difference between Cross Channel and Omni Channel: Consistency vs. Engagement

Omnichannel marketing focuses on the customer’s experience using audience insights and audience targeting specifications. Omnichannel businesses are attentive in ensuring that their customers keep receiving the same messaging and consistent experience throughout the channels.

Whereas, multichannel marketing ensures a widened customer engagement across all possible marketing channels. They focus on being everywhere the customer possibly is!

(v) Omnichannel and Multichannel Difference: Effortless vs. Effort

Omnichannel marketing tends to understand concepts to eliminate effort from customer data management and customer experience. So, omnichannel uses data to visualize where efforts exist in the customer experience and what can be done to remove the unnecessary efforts.

The multichannel marketing approach explains efforts to consider many channels that are available to connect with consumers today as simply more options to be used.

(vi) Cost and Complexity vs. Affordability and Ease

Cost plays a crucial role in setting the difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing. If you plan to implement omnichannel across your business, it shall require significant investment in technology to integrate across the business systems to be successful.

Multi channels use multiple marketing channels that are disconnected in themselves. So it often works with ease, which further is not much of a cost burden and is privacy safe.

(vii) Low Availability vs. Desirable Availability of Suitable Technology 

Another difference between omni and multi channel emerges in the form of technology available. There are very few technology solutions that cover multiple significant areas of omnichannel commerce. There is still a long way to go.

On the other hand, multichannel marketing uses multiple marketing channels, which is desirably available to businesses implementing them. This difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing leads to multichannel marketing somehow.

5. Now, Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing: The Better Strategy?

You caught hold of the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing. There has been a paradigm shift from multichannel to omnichannel, although multichannel still sticks around. That is to say, cross channel multi channel omni channel are the options that businesses hit.

Wondering Which Way to Go, Multichannel vs. Mmnichannel Marketing?  Let’s Help You Decide.

  • Firstly, omnichannel seems like a logical choice as it offers a smoother customer experience, but it’s not so clear-cut though. Things will be different if you are starting your businesses as a physical retail store vs. a digitally-native brand. Deciding between the multichannel omnichannel game is a process.
  • Secondly, although most businesses tend to just evolve into multichannel omnichannel marketing without any detailed research into alternatives.

What More Decides the Strategy for You?

  • You need to devise an apparent strategic decision before going down one route or the other. You have the spectrum in front of you- single channel multi channel cross channel omni channel. Choose wisely!
  • Moreover, the omnichannel multichannel difference rules the approach you take. If you choose a multichannel approach, your strategies are going to be more traditional. Every marketing channel will have its consumer data that shall be unshared across channels.
  • In additon, your organization needs to compile information from multiple channels that you use to identify how well each channel is performing. As this approach is disconnected and not well integrated, it is difficult for you to identify your customers shopping at multiple channels.
  • Moreover, understanding the difference between multi and omni channel w.r.t. number of marketing channels is vital in picking one from single multi omni channel. Also, controlling and measuring multi touch attributions help you in understanding the need.
  • Omni channel marketing vs. multi channel? What else is your deciding factor? ROI! Omnichannel is perfect for you if you have multiple channels wishing to continue improving upon the omni channel consumer experience and ROI.
  • Finally, while devising your plan between multi and omni channels, you need to note that with this, it will take time, investment, and clever mindsets to keep track.

However, it takes more preparation to devise an omnichannel strategy but is worth it all in the long run.

6. Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing: What is the Future Ahead?

Further, omni vs. multi channel! What lies ahead? The future promises new channels and horizons to both the marketing channels.

Irrespective of whether you invest in multi or omnichannel, you need to develop the flexibility to adapt and integrate new channels to ace future goals.

  • Firstly, implementing an omnichannel requires significant resources and technology. And you cannot stop halfway there. So, while omnichannel is ideal, some businesses plan to better start with a multichannel experience before tying them all together.
  • Secondly, omnichannel experience requires the right infrastructure and tech stack, huge IT investment and prowess, and proper vision necessary to integrate and execute. If you cannot go ahead on similar lines, omnichannel is not your choice over multichannel retail.
  • After that, in-house resistance is a significant concern in omnichannel retail, which is not the case in multichannel business. Also, a shared vision and embracing of culture are vital to understanding your strategy choice and journey ahead.
  • In addition, omnichannel marketing is the final goal of many enterprises, but its adoption lags far behind. You need to make adjustments in every step, so most companies tend to try multichannel and cross-channel techniques first.
  • Finally, multichannel marketing is rapidly becoming obsolete for many businesses, as multiple marketing channels are making their way into our everyday lives in a very interconnected manner, which gradually brings us to omnichannel marketing.

And It’s a Wrap!

Finally, the extract of everything on omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing is the fact that the disconnect between the two will still exist, making it difficult to decide as to which is superior and why.

To conclude, omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing,  the discussion of it is a never-ending debate. However, the better fact remains that it is recommended to mix and fix your marketing channels and let your marketing strategies talk together.

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About Sonali Gupta

Sonali is a technical content writer who loves to blend her creativity with rational ideas of business and technology. She intends to keep it up with the digital trends and accommodate within herself the upcoming trades. She writes expert resource materials related to the Martech and adtech world. Previously worked as a banker, she has been a student of Economics and Human Resources. An ardent believer of Universe and optimism, she writes poetry and quotes to satiate her soul. Always keen about nature, travelling, music and photography.

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