Blog Post

What Success Means in an Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing Context

11/18/2021 - Sierra Ducey

While omnichannel vs. multi-channel marketing employs different tactics to move consumers along the customer journey, both approaches measure success in similar ways — but with one critical difference: omnichannel success requires tying all the touchpoints together. It looks at the overall journey and how each channel functions together, online and off, and works to drive conversions based on that. Successful multi-channel marketing looks at each channel independently.

While running an omnichannel marketing campaign, you monitor which channels are successfully moving customers further down the sales funnel. At the same time, you also track which channel generates the most brand awareness, which retargeting tactics drive the highest click-through rates, and which ad formats ultimately brought consumers to the store to make a purchase. It’s rooted in the interconnectedness of the customer journey.

With a multichannel marketing campaign, the ways to measure marketing success are specific channel-driven and action-oriented. You look at how many clicks, subscriptions, followers, leads, and engagement can be attributed to each channel. The drawback comes from the lack of connectedness and the inability to see a holistic picture, sometimes leading to more short-sighted decision-making.

As an example, if consumers are converting through programmatic native advertisements, as an example, and you are taking a multi-channel approach, you might decide to invest more money into this tactic — and take the budget from another one. What you may not realize is that consumers who previously saw those ads while streaming over-the-top (OTT) content are the most likely to click on the native ad because of that. If you take the budget away from OTT to invest more in programmatic native, the conversion rate on that ad likely goes down and you’re left without the insights to understand why.

Choosing the Best Approach for You

The decision between omnichannel vs. multichannel marketing depends largely on your available time and resources. Omnichannel marketing teams can’t work independently from one another, whereas multichannel marketing employs channel experts that focus on building and optimizing their respective channels. Ultimately, omnichannel marketing requires a bit more legwork and coordination to launch and maintain. If your team doesn’t have the bandwidth for that, you’re probably better off focusing on each channel individually.

That said, it’s still important to try out and test both approaches to see what works best for your target customers, as people respond differently to different buying experiences. It’s also important to consider your brand goals and whether one approach will better help you achieve success.

Consider the following when making a decision:

1. Do you want to improve customer experience or engagement?

Multichannel marketing can help you create the best excellent customer experiences within each individual channel. Let’s say you’re using email marketing. With this approach, customers receive email notifications about new product updates, discounts, sales, and special offers encouraging them to engage with your brand.

Omnichannel marketing ties all channels together to create a more seamless experience. If customers interact with an online ad, omnichannel would later prompt them to stay engaged with a related social ad. Seeing those unique but connected ads provides an additional point of contact. Similarly, if they were to visit your site and add an item to their cart but abandon it before purchasing, they’d then receive an email reminder about those specific items in their cart. While each action looks to drive engagement, single engagements aren’t the focus.

2. Do you need to take a company-centric or customer-centric approach?

Successful multi-channel marketing aims to grow, establish, and perfect as many channels as necessary to grow your business. Choose this approach when interested in increasing your number of followers on social media, increasing your leads to nurture email marketing, and so on.

If you are looking to nurture and grow relationships with current and future customers across every channel along the customer journey, however, omnichannel marketing is the right approach for you.

3. Is quantity or quality more important to you?

Multi-channel marketing ensures your brand has a robust presence on every channel a customer interacts with when considering your brand. Omnichannel, on the other hand, ensures a positive holistic experience for every customer by customizing and connecting touchpoints and interactions on each.

The decision between omnichannel vs. multi-channel marketing is ultimately up to you. You best know the needs of your target audience and your goals. With that as the basis of your decision-making, you’ll be set up for success.

To find out more about whether omnichannel or multi-channel marketing is the best way to engage your target audience, click here.

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