What’s in a name? Multichannel vs Omnichannel Marketing

March 13, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

Marketing is an industry full of buzzwords, and at first glance the terms multichannel and omnichannel marketing seem to be describing the same thing. Both involve reaching out to customers in a variety of ways, and both involve keeping those touchpoints consistently awesome. While there are similarities there are also significant differences. Marketers need to know what those differences are so that they decide which goal to shoot for.

So what is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing involves communicating with customers across multiple platforms and channels. It increases brand presence and gives customers the ability to choose their own favored method of interaction and engagement. Which is good, because 98% of Americans switch between devices multiple times in a day. A consistent multichannel experience makes it easier for customers to reach out to the brand when they’re ready to buy.

Omnichannel marketing is multichannel marketing evolved into its purest and most ideal form: a consistent and cohesive customer experience across all channels and types of engagement. It covers every possible interaction with the customer across all channels, from pre-sales to post-sales and everything in between. Every single touch point with the customer has to be seamless and generate warm and fuzzy feelings of satisfaction.

Is omnichannel marketing worth it?

If omnichannel marketing sounds like it’s a lot of work, that’s because it is. Maintaining that level of consistency across multiple channels, platforms and teams is extremely difficult. 61% of customers can’t easily switch from one channel to another when dealing with customer service. Most companies simply don’t have the infrastructure or process required to make omnichannel work.

But the payoffs are enormous when it does work. Businesses that successfully adopt omnichannel marketing strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year retention rates over those that don’t.

So how can you get your business to that level?

One step at a time.

Take your first step towards omnichannel marketing

We recommend focusing on one area first, then move on to others once you’ve established a standard of quality. This “pioneering area” so to speak has to have the greatest impact for the investment. For most businesses this usually means customer service.

Customer service is the thorniest part of the omnichannel marketing experience because it has the most impact on a customer’s happiness, and yet is the most difficult to get consistent. Disconnected systems and uncoordinated databases break up the flow of a support call and force customers to repeat the same information—especially if calls transfer from one agent to another.

A proper call management and tracking system helps solve these problems by:

  • Coordinating omnichannel information between marketing, sales and customer support
  • Alerting call center agents as to the nature of the call prior to actually starting the conversation
  • Scalable personalization of the call experience
  • Tracking call metrics for better marketing insights

Retreaver’s call tracking platform layers onto existing phone systems to do just this. Get started on your omnichannel marketing strategy by improving your contact center performance and provide valuable metrics to marketing, sales and customer success. Visit try.retreaver.com to learn more!