B2B marketers may be familiar with the term omni-channel. Not to be confused with multi-channel. While both approaches involve selling in both an online and face-to-face environment, the omni-channel approach combines these interactions. An omni-channel is a high level strategy to ensure an organization’s brand is accessible across any and all channels while multi-channel is a tactic that defines the channels used within a campaign. Not all campaigns can or should be “omni-channel”, but all campaigns should use both inbound and outbound factors to optimize campaign success. But there are key differences between multi-channel and omni-channel.
The difference comes down to a company’s approach to digital channels. Companies that focus on maximizing the performance of each channel have a multi-channel strategy. They more than likely structure their business into “lanes” that focus on each channel that comes with its own reporting and revenue goals. But when a company wants to bring all of this together for a seamless experience for the customer, this is where an omni-channel approach comes in. An omni-channel puts the customer at the center of the strategy. It recognizes that customers engage with companies in many different ways. Sounds simple enough, right?
All companies have an opportunity to consider an omni-channel approach. A company must invest in the technology, infrastructure, organizational, and marketing changes that allow movement between channels. It’s difficult to do, but companies are having major success at tackling specific parts of this. This isn’t an approach you can make right away, it’s something you have to evolve into. It’s a process.
In conclusion, you see that omni-channel is the entire strategy while multi-channel is just a tactic. Multi-channel is a subset of omni-channel. Your focus is the customer, because everything revolves around the customer. If you need help with your omni-channel strategy or multi-channel tactics, please give Gorilla a call, we’re ready to assist you!