The surge of e-commerce business since 2019 has changed the way relationships form between businesses and shoppers, as brands have more opportunities than ever to interact with their customers. E-commerce customers are willing to take the extra time or resources to find a brand they feel they can trust. Customers are realizing they can explore new options for their purchase interest instead of relying on traditional big-name brands. For businesses of all sizes, this growth has presented a wealth of new opportunities to achieve meaningful connections.
With such a wide range of options for amplifying brand presence, many businesses are discovering the value of expanding their sales channels and reaching new audiences on new platforms. Marketers are scrambling to explore the value of apps like TikTok or Snapchat. Others are learning the opportunities of popular marketing channels such as podcasts or video. In the end, it doesn’t matter where your marketing efforts take you—what matters is your strategy for getting there.
Your marketing channel strategy has significant implications for your customer relationships, brand growth, and ultimately return on ad spend (ROAS). Fortunately, you have options—each with unique benefits and cautions. All you have to do is pick the strategy that best fits your conversion goals as they stand currently, and this blog is here to help. First, let’s define the two leading strategies you have to choose from: multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing.
What are omnichannel marketing and multichannel marketing?
There are two headlining strategies to look at when you’re running marketing across a range of channels and platforms.
- Multichannel applies marketing efforts across a range of channels without any dependencies or alignment between each channel.
- Omnichannel considers how each channel works in conjunction with each other.
Multichannel marketing focuses on one primary message and call to action across all channels. It doesn’t consider experiences from other channels or align the strategies of multiple channels. Essentially, it removes market funnel stages from the equation, treating every shopper as if they’re at the same stage in the funnel. That could mean assuming every customer who comes across your social ad is at the top of the funnel, even if that’s not true.
Here are the core focuses of multichannel marketing:
- Brand-centered approach
- Independent strategies for each channel
- Top-of-funnel focus
The customer experience
Multichannel strategies don’t rely on synchronizing the customer’s journey across different channels to push messaging. Each channel works as a jumping-off point for a conversion journey, generally using the same message throughout. Consider this example:
- A customer subscribed to a multichannel brand’s email program. They receive an email about a current promotional offer. The email includes information on the discount, the promo code, and how to claim it.
- That same customer visits the brand’s social media page that day, to again come across the promotion. There’s no new information; merely the code and how to claim the discount. The customer would have a consistent experience throughout all the brand’s different channels until the promotion is over.
- After using the code and making a purchase, the customer might come across some display ads for the brand while browsing the internet. The ads would continue pushing the same discount, reminding the customer that the promotion is still happening but not taking into account they’ve already used the code.
Omnichannel marketing goes by a couple of names: omnichannel retail or even omnipresent marketing. No matter what you call it, they all focus on the same goals. An omnichannel strategy is customer-centric, built around a holistic customer experience rather than optimizing for the channel itself. The goal is to cater to customer engagement and ease of experience, so that no matter where they engage with the funnel, they will continue on the momentum they’ve built. The conversion journey should be a seamless experience that doesn’t require buyers to hop around to different channels to find their purchase interest, knowing that anywhere they visit will align to their unique journey.
The core focuses of omnichannel marketing include:
- Customer-centered approach
- Cohesive brand experiences
- Personalized strategies that account for funnel location
The customer experience
Omnichannel marketing is the use of various platforms and sales channels to engage customers with a cohesive and consistent brand experience. When done effectively, this is how that experience will look from the perspective of a customer:
- The customer first comes across the brand’s Facebook page. On the page, they notice a recent post centered around a specific value proposition or content focus. This particular post is informing viewers of an upcoming webinar. Feeling interested, the customer decides to explore another brand channel by signing up for their newsletter.
- The customer is delighted to later receive an email building on the same content they discovered on Facebook. The email presents them with relevant information on all the engaging speakers attending the webinar and their background to continue pushing interest in attendance.
- From there, the customer could even receive an invitation to a landing page filled with everything else they need to know about the webinar—getting more info such as cost for a ticket, past webinars they can purchase, or blogs or ebooks with the same content focus as the upcoming webinar.
A difference in experience
When evaluating which of these strategies works better for your marketing funnel, you need to take the customer journey into account.
In the multichannel strategy, consistent exposure helps generate the purchase interest in purchase. Consider the above example. While the strategy may not account for whether the customer has already participated in the promotion, it successfully keeps interest alive if the customer wants to continue taking advantage of the discount. Ultimately, this strategy did nothing to build on any interest that may have stagnated. It essentially provided only one opportunity to resonate with the customer, even if they viewed multiple channels. If this sort of promotion offered a one-time code, the ads the customer discovered after the purchase would essentially result in a meaningless impression, or worse, a wasted click.
Conversely, in our omnichannel experience, the customer’s entire interaction with the brand aligned to the same focus. Each interaction built on the other and surrounded the customer with relevant information pertaining to their particular interest in the brand. At no point did the customer have to navigate links or return back to another channel to learn more about what piqued their interest.
The benefits to funnel goals
Deciding between the two strategy types essentially comes down to where your conversion strategies currently stand.
Omnichannel marketing hinges on your ability to optimize the customer journey at scale.
- While beneficial to the customer journey, it can take time to be ready for a truly efficient omnipresent strategy. You can’t align that many different channels and departments all at once, so you’ll need a plan before achieving a fully omnipresent brand.
- Landing page creation at scale becomes a must. Omnichannel marketing can create a range of pathways to conversions. If all those avenues land at the same destination, you’ll find yourself with a less-than-satisfactory ROAS.
- If your customer funnels are ready to focus on conversions from every channel, investing in omnichannel marketing can be a considerable benefit to your brand growth and ROAS goals.
Multichannel marketing is more flexible. It’s excellent for building up awareness, brand, and generating insights into your audiences.
- It’s less daunting to optimize your post-click experience when all your channels create a similar experience.
- With similar messaging across the board, there are no other factors in channel performance.You can easily shift your approach as you learn what your customers prefer. If you’re getting new channels up and running, it’s easier to measure which provide the most value. For smaller businesses that have to be careful about how they expand their strategies, this may be a leading benefit to short-term goals.
- If your conversion funnels are short and you’re focused on top-of-the-funnel initiatives, multichannel has additional upsides. You can build up a customer base and begin to gather insights to create a solid brand foundation before investing in deeper funnel content.
Assessing your needs
It’s crucial to be aware of the tools you have to accomplish your goals, whether they’re a better fit for omnichannel focuses or multichannel. You have to first pinpoint the gaps in your conversion strategies and see what tools will help you elevate results. Your success will hinge on how capable you are with optimization, personalization, and your ability to scale.
We engineered our Advertising Conversion Cloud based on the insights gained over a decade of ad clicks and conversion-driving landing pages. No matter what conversion journey your customers are on, our platform can propel results across the board. From advanced segmentation to ad-mapping and landing page automation, we’ve developed proven strategies and the technology guaranteed to earn you higher conversions.
Get a complimentary conversion analysis started today and let our experienced consultants identify the most effective opportunities in your marketing channel strategy to increase your ROAS. Request a free conversion analysis here.