January 12, 2022

Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing: What’s Right for Your Brand?

Difference between omnichannel and multichannel

What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing? Or is omnichannel the same as multichannel?

These are important questions to ask for digital marketers looking to explore and invest in new strategies that will drive the best results for their brands.

What is the Difference Between Omnichannel and Multichannel marketing? 

Let’s get right to it. Multichannel marketing is the process of engaging with prospects and customers using a blend of indirect and direct communication channels. These channels include websites, search engines, social media, email, mobile, promotional events, and direct mail, among others.

For example, you might promote a newly launched product or service on a blog post, on your Facebook business Page and Instagram profile, and in an email newsletter sent out to your subscribers, with the intention of boosting sales for the new product or service.

Find out your brand's online reputation score

Take the guesswork out of your strategy. Instantly generate your brand's online Reputation Scorecard, complete with review highlights, ratings, keyword trends and more.

Downloaded the report? How to Interpret Your Reputation Score

Multichannel Marketing Features Consistent Messaging and Calls to Action

This is something that a company like Apple does very well. Check out this example of the way Apple marketed the launch of iPhone 13 Pro across email, its mobile retail app, and website.

What is the difference between omnichannel and multichannel marketing

Note the characteristics of this multichannel marketing campaign:

  • The messaging around the product is consistent across all the channels.
  • The visual style of the campaign is also consistent and perfectly aligned with Apple’s brand image. 
  • The actions that Apple wants consumers to take (regardless of the device they’re using) are simplified: either “Learn More” about the new iPhone or “Buy” directly from the retail website.

Omnichannel Marketing Provides a Personalized, Integrated Experience

Omnichannel marketing works similarly. It also involves customer interaction across a variety of marketing channels. However, unlike multichannel marketing, omnichannel efforts are focused on delivering a more personalized and seamless experience for prospects and customers across multiple channels and devices.

This means that your content or marketing message may vary depending on the channel or device the customer is using. For example, you might publish a blog post announcing the launch of your new product or service, while offering a promo code on Facebook. Meanwhile, on Instagram, you might share a video testimonial from a customer using the new product or service.

The guiding principle of omnichannel marketing is to put the target audience at the center of your strategy and to provide a personalized and integrated experience based on their behavior. This allows them to jump between channels and devices to continue their journey with your brand. 

Omnichannel Marketing Aims to Drive Constant Engagement

One company that does omnichannel marketing well is Netflix. Not only does the subscription streaming service offer personalized content recommendations based on the viewing behavior of its users; Netflix also personalizes its marketing messages across multiple channels, touchpoints, and devices.

Here are a few notes we can take from Netflix’s example:

  • The company uses email as well as messaging apps like WhatsApp to promote new shows and movies, as well as send reminders and personalized recommendations. (For example: users might receive a WhatsApp message for newly added shows on their list.)
  • Instagram and Facebook, meanwhile, are social media channels that the company uses to post types of content that are less product-focused but potentially more viral and shareable.
  • On YouTube, Netflix publishes trailers of its movies and shows. The company also uploads videos to encourage product adoption and advertise new service features and announcements, such as the “Play Something” feature. 

This approach allows Netflix to drive constant engagement with customers, no matter where or how they are interacting with the brand. 

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing: What’s Right for Your Brand?

Most companies are naturally doing multichannel marketing. It’s the more straightforward and cost-efficient approach. Having a website, social media pages, local listings, and profiles on multiple business review sites means you’re already investing in some type of multichannel marketing strategy. 

This type of multichannel approach has several key benefits: 

  • The marketing assets you have to develop can be a lot simpler, often requiring only a few main messages and calls to action.
  • If you’re marketing a product or service that does not vary too wildly in terms of pricing and promotions, multichannel marketing is a great way to achieve top-of-mind brand awareness and consistency across multiple channels.
  • This approach also makes it easier to compare the results of your campaigns and efforts across channels, helping you identify which platforms deliver the best value for your brand. For example, you may have posted similar welcome offers or deals on sites like Facebook, Tripadvisor, and Google. If the offer performs well only on Facebook, you’ll know not to invest your resources in other sites or online listings.

Omnichannel marketing, on the other hand, represents a newer approach that demands you to explore a wider variety of content strategies, methods of personalization, and advertising models. These can bring a number of benefits:

  • A more diverse and personalized set of marketing messages can deliver greater impact, keeping your audiences engaged at various touchpoints along the customer journey.  
  • By taking the omnichannel approach, you are putting your target audience at the center of your strategy, allowing for different types of campaigns, personalized offers, and options for users to engage with your brand and convert as customers. 
  • According to research, consumers that use multiple channels to make a purchase decision often deliver a higher lifetime value than those that use just one. By taking an omnichannel approach and ensuring a seamless experience for your audience, you can put yourself in a great position to attract these valuable multichannel leads. 

Final Thoughts: Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing

The choice between omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing depends on your company’s industry, size, and audience. 

The latter works best if you prefer your marketing channels to operate independently of each other; the approach is also most suitable for companies that don’t necessarily have the time and resources to invest in omnichannel marketing, and which will benefit from having a consistent message and call to action across channels. Having an understanding of the omnichannel approach, meanwhile, helps you connect various touchpoints and deliver a seamless, integrated experience for your customers.

Remember that the key lies in your ability to truly understand your customers. Develop your marketing strategy based on what speaks to them and how you can meet and exceed their expectations. 

 

Sign up for our newsletter

Get tips, tricks, and insights from the ReviewTrackers blog delivered to your inbox every week.

Subscribe

Leverage data and insights to attract and retain loyal customers and grow your business.

Request a demo