Multichannel and omnichannel marketing are essentially two sides of the same marketing coin. The channels employed to deliver omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing strategies are the same.
However, the focus and how they are executed are fundamentally different.
Multichannel marketing leverages communication channels to promote or talk about a product or service.
Omnichannel marketing uses those same channels to create a seamless experience centred around your customers.
Different focuses require different strategic and tactical elements to succeed as well as different marcomms tools.
Fortunately, because the focuses of the approaches are different, there’s nothing stopping you from running both concurrently. You just need to know what both campaigns need to achieve, what technology you have available and build a strategy around both.
A successful multichannel marketing strategy starts with objectives. What are your defined parameters for success. This largely depends on the industry you’re in and what your sales process is like.
For eCommerce, success is usually an order placed equal to or above the average order value. For a service based company it’s a submitted contact form or demo request.
Whatever the outcome, you need to define it and be able to clearly map out the sales process that leads to that point.
Understanding the steps your customers take before they complete a purchase or submit a contact form means you can create touch points to drive desired behaviour.
Ideally, with multichannel marketing you want to establish value and build trust fast, shortening the sales cycle.
Shorter sales cycles boost profits. It also tends to weed out customers who aren’t a great fit for your business. The wrong kind of customer will cost you money in the long run because they won’t see the value you represent.
A multichannel strategy that leverages channels to communicate who you are as well as what you sell will qualify these time wasters out.
Leverage your data to identify your traffic sources and where users are most likely to interact with your brand.
This will inform where you need to put your energies. Whether that’s blog content, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or somewhere else.
Use split testing to determine which marketing messages resonate with your audience and then push those that convert the best.
Monitor your performance data and what your customers are telling you based on transactions. If your posts/ads are driving traffic but they’re not converting on the specific product or offering then there’s a good chance you’re missing out on sales.
The more you analyse and iterate the greater the uplift you’ll see.
Omnichannel marketing is designed for engaging with your customers in ways that matter most to them. It’s as customer-centric as your marketing can get.
That’s not to say you can’t sell to them, rather it’s about selling to them in a way that is of greatest relevance. While you can iterate multichannel campaigns to increase conversions, you’re using data to push your product or service.
Omnichannel marketing presents customers with products and services that have been identified to be of greatest relevance. More than that, it’s about communicating your value as a business. It’s rare to be the only show in town so differentiating yourself from your competitors is essential in a crowded marketplace.
It’s hard to compete on price, free shipping and free returns when everyone’s doing it. So you need to demonstrate value in other ways.
Using an omnichannel marketing strategy you can put content of greatest relevance in front of your target audience. The more your audience feels like you understand them or that they identify with your brand, the more likely they are to spend with you. And to come back.
Similarly, the more relevant the offer the more likely they are to convert. But more than this, omnichannel marketing is an opportunity to create a seamless, joined up, experience for each of your customers. Each one tailored to their preferences.
Using hyper-personalised emails, well-timed SMS or even customer centric homepages, you have the ability to create an experience unique to each of your customers.
The best part is you don’t need a vast tech stack to do it. Just robust customer data and a means to put it to work.
Differences in Data
Because you’re talking about different things to essentially the same audience, you need to leverage data in different ways.
In the case of a multichannel marketing strategy, the objective is putting the right product, in front of the right customer, at the right time.
That means focussing primarily on both your customers’ order history and search history.
If you know what they’ve bought and what they’ve shown an interest in, then it’s far easier to market to them. As opposed to creating marketing emails with a mish mash of products in the hope that one or two might be of interest.
Utilising the customer data you have sat in your database is both good business and makes for a more enjoyable customer experience. Mainly because they will see the value of receiving relevant communications from your business.
If you’re taking an omnichannel approach then you have the option of leveraging far more data segments. And, in fact, you’re own assets.
If you know customers have shown interest in particular products then as part of an omnichannel strategy you can send them relevant content to help them make a buying decision.
Because the emphasis is on delivering relevance, adding value and building trust then you have considerable freedom in terms of how you capitalise on that.
Consolidating your customer data to create a Single Customer View gives you a complete picture of each of your customers. More specifically, where their interests lie.
It’s this granularity and the subsequent segmentation that allows you to create the kind of omnichannel experience customers expect.
Providing you have the right technology supporting you, you can use AI to iterate each of your customer campaigns so the messages are adjusted for maximum conversion.
The outcome is an audience that feels understood by you, as opposed to a business who just wants their money.
Although you most certainly do want their money, omnichannel marketing allows you to build a relationship beyond the transactional. As a result they are more likely to shop with you again and earn their loyalty.
Loyal customers spend up to 70% more than new or repeat customers, and they spend more often. This will also have a positive impact on both customer lifetime value and profitability.
If cost of acquisition is lower and your engaged customers are spending more and more often then that’s very good for business.
Until you do the work, this is all theory. Executing a multichannel or omnichannel marketing strategy takes careful planning and reliable data.
The one thing you absolutely need is the ability to ingest, analyse and segment your data in real-time. Otherwise you can’t expect to be able to execute the kind of responsive campaigns that’ll blow your customers away.
Whether it’s an abandoned basket email, a push notification when someone enters a stadium or a web push letting a customer know a blog they may be interested in is live, it needs to happen fast.
Exporting and analysing data and building campaigns is a slow and costly process that will prevent you from delivering any kind of value. Or from turning your marketing into a revenue generator.
Moreover, your ability to analyse results in real time, supported by AI, allows you to iterate your campaigns to maximise both engagement and conversions. Again, this can’t be a manual process. By the time you’ve learned anything it’ll be too late to make an impact.
Or worse, it’ll be too late to win that customer’s business and you’ve lost them to a competitor who did a better job.
Your ability to be timely, relevant and responsive is critical for your omnichannel marketing to be a success.
To learn more about how an omnichannel customer engagement platform, built on a CDP can drive your marketing, get in touch to request a demo.