The leaders of integrated marketing all have one thing in common. They have transitioned from a multi-channel strategy to an omni-channel strategy. But what’s the difference between the two? What are the implications of utilizing this newly conceived strategy? And why are so many of our top companies making the jump to omni-channel?
Let’s begin by defining both multi-channel marketing and omni-channel marketing.
Multi-channel Marketing: Exactly what it sounds like. A company markets their product or service through multiple different channels (retail, social media, apps, television, etc.). Each channel is thought of as its own entity. This approach is typically thought of as an inside-out strategy, because rather than focusing on customer behavior across different platforms multi-channel aims to maximize performance of each individual medium.
Omni-channel Marketing: Companies using omni-channel work to create seamless integration between the various channels they employ. They recognize that consumers communicate with a brand across various platforms, sometimes all at once, and realize that every interaction contributes to the customer experience. This approach is thought of as an outside-in approach because the focus is entirely on the customer and their interaction with the brand across various platforms.
With the exponential rise of new technology it has never been more important to discover new ways to capture the attention of your audience across multiple platforms and to fully understand the customer experience. Consumers expect a convenient and smooth experience whether they’re shopping online, in a store, on an application or even through social media. Even one small disruption in the shopping process can cause a customer to tune out.
Will utilizing an omni-channel strategy require added investment? Yes. Will it bring about new challenges to overcome? Absolutely. But the companies that are willing to accept these new costs and challenges will be positioning themselves for success in today’s ever-changing business world.
One of the best ways to gain insight into the ways customers engage with your brand is to utilize a customer journey map. Our next blog will dive deeper into how creating one of these maps could forever change your relationship with your customers.