Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing Differences

Omnichannel vs multichannel marketing is a question you may be thinking about when deciding on your marketing strategy going forward. Omnichannel and multichannel marketing are both creative approaches to marketing that bring together many different aspects of consumer behaviour and current trends with the objective of getting the best possible return on investment for your business.

Businesses that use omni or multichannel marketing often experiment with different strategies to reach different audiences, using customer data however they can to get more views, interaction and ultimately more sales. Choosing the right strategy is key for both new and established businesses because the strategy you choose will influence your sales as well as the future loyalty of your customer base.

What Is the Difference Between Multi and Omnichannel Marketing?

Omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing both use multiple sales channels to encourage customer engagement. However, whereas omnichannel marketing uses different strategies for different channels, multichannel marketing broadcasts the same message across all of the channels used. When creating a marketing game plan, it’s important to understand the customer journey and to identify how your customers use different channels to interact with or purchase from your brand.

Multichannel Strategy: Sending a Common Message Through Different Channels

A brand may choose to use various marketing channels to reach as broad an audience as possible. Blogs, social media platforms and email marketing campaigns are just some examples of channels that businesses can use to reach potential customers.

A multichannel strategy involves sending the same message through more than one channel. For example, a promo code or link to a limited-edition product may be included in a blog post, a social handle and an email newsletter. In this case, the link and the message would be the same even though the message is sent through different media.

If you have customers who follow your business on different channels—for example, they’ve subscribed to receive emails and also follow your business on Twitter or Instagram—these customers would receive the same content on more than one channel. This may help to reinforce your message and emphasise the call of action you want them to take. On the other hand, some consumers may find the content repetitive.

Omnichannel Marketing: Using Different Types of Content to Encourage Engagement

An omnichannel strategy requires the creation of a greater range of marketing material because user engagement is encouraged through the use of different content on connected channels. Though the brand’s objective remains the same in all the posts they publish—engagement with the brand or the purchase of their product or service—the way that the brand engages the public is different depending on the medium they use.

For example, imagine a clothing brand launches a new line of sweatshirts that they want to promote. Subscribers may receive an email announcing the launch of the new product, while on Facebook or Twitter, a promo code for items in the same range is offered. The same brand’s Instagram account may include a Story about the product, or a user review.

The goal in both of these marketing strategies is the same: for the customer to complete the call to action provided. However, depending on the strategy used, the customer’s experience and journey are different. Your business should take into account the nature of its product when deciding on the marketing approach; a business that sells digital products online may require a very different strategy from a traditional shop with a physical store.

With Either Strategy, Your Business Needs Full Control Over Your Accounts

Digital marketing through social media opens up your business to customers from across the globe. This opens up a world of possibilities for your business but also makes managing your accounts a more complicated process.

A business with national and international customers must be able to receive payments in different currencies and be able to manage purchases from different channels and through a range of payment methods in one centralised account. Cloud-based payment processing can help with this.

How Can a Cloud-Based Payment Processor Help My Business?

A cloud-based payment processor with a global payment gateway offers many advantages for businesses with multiple channels. By partnering with a payment service provider, your business can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Receive payments in different currencies and through different payment methods in one centralised account.
  • Receive reports on the performance of different channels, enabling you to analyse how well different channels are doing.
  • Set up a customer database and enable recurring billing for repeat or subscription customers.
  • Enjoy round-the-clock protection with industry-leading security and anti-fraud measures.

Which Marketing Strategy Is Better For Your Business?

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital advertising is the single largest advertising medium in Europe, representing 37.2% of all advertising revenue. This underlines the importance of choosing a good strategy; but which is best?

The answer to this question depends on many factors such as the nature of your brand, your digital marketing budget, your target audience and how much time and money you are prepared to put in to maximise your marketing efforts.

The nature of your business also makes a difference when choosing a marketing strategy; an exclusively online business may choose a different approach to a brand with a physical store, and a brand with a younger or older customer base should also adjust its strategy to fit its customers’ expectations.

Multichannel Strategies Are the More Common Approach

Though some brands have mastered the digital marketing world, many businesses are still coming to grips with the opportunities that a successful digital marketing strategy can offer. For many smaller or new businesses that have limited marketing budgets, a multichannel marketing strategy is the most obvious strategy to use because it’s the easiest and most cost-effective.

Multichannel marketing only requires one post that can be repeated on different channels, whereas an omnichannel marketing strategy requires different content for different platforms. This requires dedicating more resources to content creation and digital marketing, as well as a heavier investment in paid advertising such as Google Ads.

Who Does Omnichannel Marketing Work Best For?

An omnichannel marketing platform works well for brands that are competing with many other similar brands in a saturated market. Standing out in these conditions can be challenging, so personalising the message can encourage social media users to engage with your content, and subsequently maximise your return on investment.

Omnichannel marketing may also work for businesses with a tech-savvy following, or for businesses that like to experiment with more modern marketing strategies. Be aware that creating content across visual, audio, text and visual platforms will involve some initial investment as well as the vision to create compelling content.

FAQs about Omnichannel Marketing vs Multichannel Marketing

Is Multichannel Marketing Worth It?

A multichannel retail strategy is definitely worth it for businesses that lack the resources to develop a wide-reaching digital marketing strategy. Additionally, not all audiences react in the same way to such a diverse set of messages or buying options; if your audience reacts well to marketing that doesn’t change a lot in terms of incentives, deals and delivery, then multichannel marketing is the way forward. Multichannel marketing provides a consistent narrative that many different demographics can understand and buy into.

From a customer data collection point of view, multichannel marketing is also an interesting approach as ROI can be compared across different platforms, allowing you to focus your marketing efforts, and budget, on the platforms that perform best.

Is Omnichannel Marketing a More Modern Approach?

Omnichannel retail is arguably a more customer-forward and modern approach that puts the user at the centre of the engagement process. Social media users who are comfortable with engaging on different social media channels may be more receptive to a personalised omnichannel approach.

How to Choose Between Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing

When deciding on a marketing strategy for your business, take the following into account:

  1. A sound digital marketing strategy is essential for any modern business that wants to reach new customers and build brand awareness.
  2. There is room for different approaches when it comes to choosing your marketing strategy. The nature of your business and, crucially, the profile of your customers, should influence how you choose to engage with them.
  3. Businesses should invest resources into creating a profile of their current and potential customers. This will help you base your marketing strategy on what will speak best to your target audience. With this information, you can decide whether a multichannel approach is the best option for your business, or if a more elaborate and personalised strategy is needed to optimise customer engagement.

When deciding which approach to take, businesses must remember to choose the strategy that best suits their business. Though an omnichannel marketing strategy may seem the more effective approach, this may not be true for all businesses. A good understanding of your customer base and how they engage with your business should be the basis for choosing a digital marketing strategy.

Omnichannel and Multichannel Marketing Open Up New Sales Opportunities That Can Be Managed from One Centralised Account

Choosing a digital marketing strategy for your business is a key decision that can influence how your business presents itself to customers and the potential it has to reach new customers. Though both multi and omnichannel marketing strategies open up many different opportunities for your business, keeping track of different accounts and payment methods can be a challenge for businesses with many sales channels.

Using a cloud-based payment processor can help your business deal with a wide range of payment methods across all of your sales channels, ensuring that you can make the most of every sale. The ability to create reports that clearly break down your return on investment will also help your business identify how your channels are performing, which ones need development and how you can optimise your digital marketing strategy going forward.