Omnichannel, Multichannel, or Integrated Marketing? What on earth does it all mean?!


Over the years, marketers have developed a bad habit of creating their own language which requires non-marketers to need a translator to know what on earth any of us are talking about.

The result of this has been that many business owners and CEOs have become disengaged from marketing leaders as they fail to talk in terms that they can understand. So, in this blog, we’re going to help break down one of the more recent “phenomenons” in marketing – Omnichannel Marketing.

So what is “omnichannel” and how is it different from“multi-channel” marketing?

Coming from the Latin word Omnis, meaning “all”, in its purest translation, omnichannel means “all-channels”. However, when used by marketers, omnichannel marketing is the focus on a user-first, channel second approach to marketing campaigns. In this, the marketing message is cohesive across all channels, resulting in a user experiencing consistency across every channel they use to engage with a brand. This is often also referred to as an “integrated marketing campaign” as the marketing message is integrated across all channels.

On the other hand, while a multichannel approach might utilise the same marketing channels or platforms, each channel is managed individually and has its own campaigns. While there may be some crossover, they are not necessarily working together and don’t have the same cohesive messaging campaigns.

Omnichannel:a seamless user experience across any device, channel or communication, with consistent messaging.

Multichannel:a channel-first approach with non-connected marketing messaging disseminated across different marketing channels.

Why should I use an omnichannel strategy?

There are a number of benefits to adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy, including increased performance, improved brand awareness, and most importantly, exceeding your customer’s expectations.

1. Customer Expectations

Over recent months everyone has adapted to digitally-enabled ways of living, from video calls with loved ones, to purchasing our pet supplies online. As a result, businesses have been catapulted into a more agile state with a need to respond to the changing demands of the consumers.

However, with the move to a digitally-enabled engagement, customers continue to expect the same experience regardless of whether they are online or offline. By adopting an omnichannel approach to your marketing, you are able to ensure you’re consistently communicating with your customers about what they care about and with reason.

2. Improved performance
Typically an omnichannel strategy will deliver more than the sum of its parts by providing increased customer engagement, heightened brand affinity, and ultimately a greater return on investment.

For example, recently I was working with a client who had launched a new TV ad, which on its own, was performing well and increasing traffic to the site (multi-channel strategy), however by tweaking PPC ads to include the key messages from the advert, we saw the click-through-rate (CTR) increase above the average run-rate.

Second to this, when we incorporated the campaign messaging onto the landing pages, you guessed it, onsite conversion increased. It was that simple. By taking the TV ad messaging and adding it to our other digital channels, we transformed from a multichannel campaign delivering 2+2=4, to an omnichannel marketing campaign delivering 2+2=10. 

3. Increased Brand Recall
By presenting your brand messaging consistently across various touchpoints you will increase brand recall and ensure you are top-of-mind for your customers.

Why is this important? Ensuring your brand is front of mind for customers is the first step to ensuring your business succeeds. In today’s COVID-19 world, consumers are turning to the brands they know and want to support, therefore by ensuring your brand is at the front of your customer’s minds, you can increase the likelihood that they will continue to support you.

So you’re thinking this whole “omnichannel” thing sounds great, but how on can I implement it for my business?! Well if you’re already doing some marketing, you’re already partway there!

How to implement an omnichannel marketing strategy:

  1. Know your customer
    The first key thing for an omnichannel strategy is to connect with your customer by talking to them, not at them. The key to this is taking the time to get to know your customer personas (max 3-4) – who are they, what are their likes/dislikes etc. Once you know your customer, what value does your brand serve to them? Not all customers are interested in every benefit your product has to offer, so talk to them in a way that they will connect by identifying a positioning statement and key USP specific for each persona.

  2. Sing from the same hymn sheet
    Once you have your target personas, the next key step is to ensure your whole business knows and understands them, from your sales and customer service teams right through to your product development and business support teams. This ensures your customers receive a consistent and valuable experience throughout their journey with you, improving their opinions of your brand. Whatsmore, it’s often common to find that knowing your customer better helps teams to improve their performance and service the business better.

  3. Consistent marketing messages
    Next, it’s important to communicate your persona targeted messaging consistently across all of your marketing channels. This means that if a customer sees an advert online, lands on your website, and sees a social media post they see the same messaging. It’s important to remember that consistently does not mean exactly the same- it’s still important to tailor your creative to the channel.

  4. Great User Experience regardless of device
    The final key factor is to ensure you have a consistent user experience across all devices – for example, is your social media engaging well with your customers, but when they visit the website on a mobile device they are struggling to navigate? Can your users chat with you on your website, but if they message your Facebook page they’re ignored?

Remember, the key to omnichannel marketing is consistency, consistency, consistency!

If you are unsure of how to create a highly-successful marketing strategy for your business, then CULT Marketing can help. Schedule a free, no-obligation chat today.