Over the course of my marketing career, I have seen a lot of trends come and go—and I have to say, the age of digital marketing is by far the most fascinating. The way marketers can deliver a message to their key audience through a multitude of channel options is fantastic. When done correctly, the combination of traditional and digital channels provides a robust way to confidently deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in their preferred channels. However, now more than ever, it’s important to make sure your marketing is focused on the recipient, not the channel.
Omnichannel Marketing vs. Multichannel Marketing—The Difference Between Engaging with Audiences and Just Putting Your Ads in Front of Them
We first heard the term “multichannel marketing” in the retail world, as they were among the first to use many platforms (such as web, phone, mail, etc.) to reach their audience. In multichannel marketing, the experience or message is created based on the channel instead of the information itself. In other words, content will differ depending on what best fits each channel’s separate goals or functionality. So instead of a coordinated marketing campaign with similar messaging, calls to action, and design, the content of the pieces used for each channel doesn’t necessarily form one cohesive messaging platform. Because of that, a consumer can see misaligned information across channels.
Omnichannel marketing is different because it creates customer engagement with a brand or product across many channels. Instead of the channel dictating the design and messaging, the campaign dictates what channels work best and how to use them effectively to support the overall campaign goals. Because the messaging drives the content in each channel, the customer has similar experiences viewing multiple channels and receives the same information across each platform. Omnichannel uses multichannel marketing to build the product or brand’s presence while reinforcing the key messaging in a way multichannel can’t.
Multichannel campaigns deliver a plethora of information, but do not provide the flexibility or customized experience the same way as an omnichannel experience. Omnichannel marketing can truly deliver an experience that is all about the customer. If a customer or prospect is seeing the same information across multiple channels, they can interact simultaneously with the various platforms, confident that the information they’re receiving is accurate.
Since the information is the same across all channels in an omnichannel marketing campaign, the customer or prospect has freedom in choosing which channel best suits their lifestyle and preference. There’s value in delivering messaging that allows the recipient to interact with a brand or product in a way that is convenient for them, and allows them the flexibility to choose when, how, and why they interact.
Don’t Let the Popularity of New Channels Override the Importance of Unifying and Reinforcing Your Brand Message
Digital and social marketing are on fire. Everyone is using devices and social media more than ever—and in a matter of seconds we have the ability to make an impact on a customer or prospect by reinforcing messages seen in more traditional channels. Developing an omnichannel experience that allows someone to see an ad or a statement in one channel while seeing either the same information or another customized message for the same product or service in another is extremely captivating.
Today the hype is all about everything digital, social media, and platform related. But you can move beyond the hype of using these channels for the sake of their popularity and use them to improve your marketing by creating a seamless experience across multiple platforms. Using these new, super-popular digital channels effectively is key to growing your customer base—and just as important—retaining your current customers—but having an experienced team is crucial to your success.
Need help separating the hype of digital marketing from the harmony of omnichannel? Contact me here to learn how to create a successful omnichannel marketing campaign.
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