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Omni? Multi? Cross? Integrated? What’s the Difference?

When it comes to using multiple channels to communicate with your customers, there are many terms thrown around. Is there a meaningful difference between them? If so, what is it? Let’s take a look.

Multichannel: Multichannel marketing is just as it sounds: using more than one channel to talk to your customers, whether the channels are integrated or not. If you send out two engagement emails and one direct sales mail piece per month, plus run Google Ads to draw in web traffic, for example, you are doing multichannel marketing.

Omnichannel: This term describes the comprehensive approach in which the customer’s experience is consistent across channels. Customers receive emails, text alerts, and customized website experiences based on their purchase and browsing behavior. In omnichannel marketing, you know who your customers are, what they buy, and how they engage with you. Then you communicate based on their behavior whether they make a purchase or not. (Think abandoned shopping cart emails.) Data is captured and shared across channels to achieve a seamless experience.

Cross-channel: This means that the customer is moving from one channel to the other. Usually, the channels are integrated in some way. Scanning a QR Code to download a coupon is cross-channel marketing. So is clicking through an email to access a product page on the marketer’s website.

Integrated: This describes traditional and digital channels working together based on timing or reinforcement of the message. For example, a consumer calls to receive an information kit, which is mailed out the next day. If the customer places an order, you automatically send a “thank you” email. If they do not place an order, you send a follow-up email one week later, offering them an incentive to come back and buy. These programs may sound complicated, but we have the right software to make it easy. Want to execute a cross-channel, multichannel, or integrated marketing campaign for your customers? Let’s chat!