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Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing

Technology is constantly evolving. Therefore our marketing practices and techniques must evolve with it. Enter omnichannel marketing. Omnichannel refers to the focus on customer relationships and cultivating those relationships through multiple channels. Conversely, multichannel marketing is simply using as many channels as possible to gain awareness. The latter requires an exceptional amount of effort compared to omnichannel marketing. Let’s explore both forms of marketing. 


Omnichannel Marketing: What is it?

In short, omnichannel marketing is the philosophy of having an all-knowing or omnipresent strategy in place that is not limited to the marketing department. Having all departments within a company embrace this philosophy ensures that the messaging is consistent and memorable across all channels. It provides a more seamless experience for customers, and isn’t that the main goal of marketing? These seamless experiences equate to higher customer retention in the long term. 


The consistency of the messaging is only one part of the reason why this marketing strategy works so well. The other part of why this strategy is so effective is that it is effortless. It aims to reach prospective customers by focusing solely on the channels that have been quantifiably proven to achieve results. These results have been analyzed through enhanced data collection and analysis methodologies which stem from using an omnichannel strategy. 


Multichannel Marketing: What is it?

With omnichannel marketing the goal is to reach customers through the channel(s) that are most effective, multichannel marketing seeks to reach customers through whichever channel best suits their needs. Even if that means sending messages through all different channels to only receive returns on just one. The whole process is focused on customer engagement. As many as possible. 


This might be an effective strategy if the purpose of one’s marketing campaign was brand awareness in the early stages of existence. However, the only really upside to using this strategy full-time is the fact that there are less data touch points which can be directly linked to new clientele. The reason being is that there is usually the same return on engagement across every channel. Therefore, there will only be one, maybe two, channels that will be able to provide enough data to analyze. This makes data analysis rather simple, but also incomplete due to the low return across the other channels. How will you ever know if Facebook really works if you invest the same amount of money and time as you would on running newspaper ads? 



Here we have two very different marketing strategies. Although they share a similar name, they couldn’t be any further from each other. Omnichannel marketing means to customize the customer experience so that they are receiving the most benefit from working with your brand and at the same time exerting the least amount of energy to do so. Whereas multichannel marketing seeks to gain awareness across as many channels as possible. The focus is not on the customer, but on themselves, making the customer work that much harder, which is never a good thing. 

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