Marketing
Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing
January 16, 2018 Marko Mihin

So, what's the difference between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing? Let's start with some common definitions and go from there. 
Multichannel Marketing refers to the ability to interact with potential customers across different platforms and channels, both online and offline. Omnichannel Marketing refers to an integrated customer shopping experience that also incorporates the Multichannel sales approach. 

 

There are similarities, but also important differences in approach and, subsequently, in the final result. 

  • Multichannel is about sending the message across different marketing channels.
  • Omnichannel is more about the clients' experience, about their interaction with the brand.

 

Let's find out more by going through some comparisons.
In Multichannel, each defined marketing channel is treated differently: 

  • Online and offline channels may have different warehouses.
  • Products are marketed differently depending on the channel.
  • The customer experience is channel-dependent.

 

With Omnichannel, these things are more unified:

  • Simplifies marketing efforts.
  • The end user has more options for interacting with the brand.

 

To further compare these we can say that, in general, Multichannel Marketing channels are handled more as standalone channels and in Omnichannel Marketing channels work together. For example, a client can visit your website only to look for information, and then buy the item in a regular store.

 

Multichannel has typically been based on the assumption that customers will choose the most common way to engage with a brand in terms of making a purchase via a physical or an online store. In many situations, each channel was managed in isolation with dedicated teams, budgets, processes, tools, reporting structures and revenue goals.

 

This leads to our next point...
We could view Omnichannel Marketing as a company's natural progression away from Multichannel Marketing. Moving from Multichannel to Omnichannel Marketing requires deep insight into consumers: not just as members of aggregated segments, but who they are as individuals. It requires looking at digital marketing from the user level and delivering personalized experiences across all engagement touchpoints.

 

Let's talk more about the progression from Multichannel to Omnichannel by looking at the historical progression of marketing in general. Initially, the only method of "marketing" was word of mouth. This was okay for a small local business before newsprint. As technology advanced and businesses grew, additional marketing channels became available such as newspapers, television, and radio. Then came the internet, which itself offers a unique set of channels from websites to social networks and paid web marketing. Online channels enabled business owners to reach more people, while at the same time increasing the complexity of marketing and business in general.

 

These are the main challenges progressing from Multichannel to Omnichannel Marketing created:

  • Implementing a successful transition from Multichannel to Omnichannel Marketing.
  • Maintaining a consistent user experience for clients across all the channels.

 

By combining channels into a seamless experience using the Omnichannel approach, this is what our customers can do:

  • View products online just to get more information. 
  • Pay for the product and pick it up at a physical store.
  • Pay for the product and have it delivered.

 

Some additional benefits of Omnichannel Marketing:

  • The customer is provided the same branding experience across all channels, helping him easily identify his favorite brand.
  • There is an option to cross-promote different channels so customers can be better informed about their preferred channel.

 

So, What's the Point?
Even if you don't see Omnichannel Marketing as a natural next step in the progression from Multichannel marketing, there are no advantages to using Multichannel Marketing. 
The only obstacle is knowing how to properly implement Omnichannel. A proper implementation breaks down the barrier of companies believing that implementations are either too complex, too costly, or both. 

Take your first step in implementing Omnichannel Marketing by contacting Coria today!

 

 

 

Marko Mihin
Marketer