In the ongoing quest to win and retain business, figuring out the best practices to interact with customers across different touch points is key. With the availability of all the channels we have today--from social media, to email, to blogs like this one--comparing marketing strategies can help show us the best ways to engage with those coveted potential buyers. Multitouch marketing and omnichannel marketing may seem interchangeable, but that’s not the case. But before we dive into their definite differences, let’s start with some clear definitions.
In this strategy companies use various channels like paid, earned, and owned media to engage with prospective buyers and let those prospects choose which channels they’d like to interact through. Traditional marketing used to be a one-and-done deal where companies would make one touch and move on, but the term multitouch marketing makes it clear that this is about getting in front of customers again and again. An example of this kind of marketing would be a combination of call efforts, email, and social to engage a customer. However, these efforts are not necessarily all connected to each other, and this is key. That being said it’s still a proven way to boost sales over using just a single channel.
If multitouch marketing is the reality for businesses today, omnichannel marketing is the ideal. It still includes the use of different channels, but it anticipates that customers will bounce around from channel to channel throughout the buying process and therefore seeks to make the experience across these channels as consistent and seamless as possible. It means making the look, feel, and messaging the same no matter how customers engage. An example of omnichannel marketing might be a potential buyer following your social media accounts, clicking through to your website, and reading an email about a valuable offer that gets them to convert.
So What’s the Difference?
It boils down to multitouch marketing having more of a company focus and omnichannel having more of a customer perspective. Omnichannel’s focus on consistent branding and clear connection between all channels builds upon the multitouch strategy. It doesn’t make multitouch a bad idea by any means, but some data show that omnichannel marketing can reap in even more rewards than using multiple channels alone.
For many companies, implementing true consistency across all channels is incredibly difficult, and a multitouch strategy seems more feasible. But even if you make some basic efforts to deliver a similar experience across channels with visual design that illustrates your branding, copy that reflects your messaging, and offers that draw in customers your business can still enjoy the benefits of omnichannel marketing on top of what you gain from multitouch marketing.
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