With all of today’s new technology options and the many different channels that may be implemented in the current marketing landscape, it can become easy to lose the forest through the trees when it comes to your acquisition and retention strategies. The day-to-day grind can often cause you to hold onto old marketing techniques that may not only be outdated, but out of touch.

So, what is omnichannel marketing?

In our current climate many companies, organizations and marketers are still clinging to multichannel marketing ideas and being left behind by competitors who have moved on from the multichannel approach and now incorporate omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel marketing is a strategy that seamlessly integrates the different communication channels that businesses use to communicate more effectively with customers. This approach places a higher value on the customers’ perspectives and interests to optimize the consistency of the company’s marketing messages. By uniting the strengths of each communication channel, organizations can use omnichannel marketing to deliver a more consistent and effective brand message.

You may be wondering what the differences are between the two most widely used marketing strategies – omnichannel and multichannel.

Omnichannel and multichannel marketing are two very distinct and independent marketing strategies, even though both focus on using multiple channels to reach new and prospective customers. At their foundation, there does not appear to be much of a difference between the two.

Multichannel marketing focuses on the ability to interact with potential customers on various platforms whether it be through social media, print advertisement, website, promotional event, packaging or e-mail. Omnichannel marketing uses the same channels as multichannel marketing but provides the consumer with a more integrated and responsive experience. There is a much higher value placed on a seamless process for the customer through omnichannel platforms.

While it may seem that the goal of each approach is to interact with consumers through an assortment of different channels, the actual interactions resulting from these two strategies will lead you down two completely different paths.

The differences are that omnichannel marketing puts the customer at the center of their focus to ensure a consistent, unified experience at each and every touch point.

Where multichannel marketing wants to get its message out via the maximum possible number of channels, omnichannel marketing wants every channel to connect with the other to better engage with customers. Ensuring a positive overall experience for the consumer with the brand through every channel is the goal.

The main objective is to build a stronger relationship between your customers and the brand.

According to a survey conducted by Aspect Software, companies with omnichannel customer platforms achieve a 91% greater year-over-year increase in customer retention rates on average compared against organizations that do not.

Another one of omnichannel marketing’s key tenets that helps improve the customer’s experience and that can’t be underestimated is consistency. Omnichannel businesses are very thorough in ensuring their customers receive the same experience and messaging through each of their channels.

Consistent branding and messaging ensure a heightened sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand. Organizations implementing an omnichannel strategy must establish within their team that everyone is on board and in lockstep with the messaging. The importance of a consistent message and staying on brand is essential to successful implementation across all channels.

If you are going to place as high of a value on the customer experience as omnichannel marketing does, then finding ways to eliminate effort and making the process intuitive and seamless for the consumer are going to be extremely important.

Omnichannel takes consumer feedback and uses it to improve the interactions and experiences its customers have.

While multichannel marketing wants to give you many options and channels to choose from, that model has become dated and doesn’t take into account key factors that omnichannel addresses. Omnichannel involves using data and analysis to understand where effort exists in the customer experience and how you can remove it to put the customer more at ease.  It wants to deploy an effortless experience for consumers across its connected channels.

Omnichannel marketing works so well because its various channels not only connect with each other, they reflect each other so the consumer knows exactly what to expect and how to digest the information and branding at each touch point.

While there was a day and time for multichannel marketing, there have been too many advances in technology, information and analytics available to not evolve into a more consumer-focused and responsive approach – omnichannel marketing. By focusing on the customer instead of merely the channel and by placing high value on consistent and connected messaging that is effortless for the user, omnichannel marketing has led to higher acquisition, retention and revenue.

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