Understanding the Key Differences Between Multi, Cross, and Omni-Channel Marketing

Multi-channel, cross-channel and omni-channel marketing tactics are key to creating the ultimate buyer experience, but many do not know the differences between the three terms. They all contain a common thread, utilizing all media channels for an in-depth experience, yet have slight deviations that make them unique. Each separate term has its own identity that isolates it from the others. Deciphering these differences is imperative to ensuring your marketing efforts reach all possible consumers, wherever they may be.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multi-Channel is a term that marketing professionals know well. As the rise of online and mobile device use continues, companies must provide the option for a consumer to take action across all channels. Multi-Channel marketing means reaching your audience where they are; whether that is online, print or in-store. Utilizing multi-channel marketing gives your consumer a choice to use what they prefer. Learning about your buyer persona’s preferences across all outlets will guide your marketing efforts to the appropriate channel. Using a print ad for a product that is targeted towards a young audience would not see the same success as an ad displayed on social networks. Collecting data about where your audience frequents the most will ensure the most successful multi-channel campaign.

Cross-Channel Marketing

Cross-Channel marketing is successful when a campaign remains cohesive across all platforms. Putting out a centrally focused statement on every device ensures that your audience will experience the same message, no matter the medium. Your campaign should be aesthetically integrated and connect seamlessly across all touch points. Users are often on multiple media devices at one time and integrating your message between them will benefit your cross-marketing efforts.

Placing a hashtag inside of an email adds an element of interaction between your marketing campaigns and acts as a point of action for the user.

Omni-Channel Marketing

Omni-Channel marketing contains aspects of both multi-channel and cross-channel tactics, and it concerns the buyer’s experience from start to finish across platforms. With today’s digitally focused consumer, the buyer experience does not always occur in one place. Buyers are looking for the most efficient route to a purchase and using an online or mobile resource gives them that fast paced experience.

Businesses must provide the outlets — online, on mobile and in store — for a customer to purchase what they are looking for. They expect an uninterrupted transition from that online research to the in-store experience and obtaining the buyer’s preferences can be vital to keep them coming back. Maintaining consumer preferences is an important step in solidifying a strong database that will lead to an effective omni-channel experience. It is not only necessary to obtain data but to use that data to target the optimal audience for your campaign.

Give the buyer the option to find a physical store online, that houses the product they are searching for, then offer them a printable coupon for that said product.

Staying on Top of Today’s Marketing Trends

Staying ahead of the curve is challenging when technologies and innovations are popping up almost constantly. Utilizing all resources and educating yourself on the terminology that arises will help you remain relevant in the highly competitive business world.

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Maggie Haverty

Author Maggie Haverty

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