What is multi-channel?

“Multi-channel” is an approach to marketing that engages customers across multiple channels, such as in-store, website, social media, and mobile app. It’s focused on providing the same experience across different channels while still treating them as separate from one another.

Multi-channel vs cross-channel and omnichannel — what’s the difference?

Multi-channel: Brands focused on multi-channel will create content across several key customer touchpoints, giving customers the choice of how, when, and where to engage. However, these channels aren’t integrated with each other, which can lead to a disconnected, unfulfilling experience for customers.

Cross-channel: Cross-channel marketing aims to create a unified customer journey by connecting experiences across different channels. It has a more strategic approach than multi-channel and focuses on integrating data from each of these channels to create better customer experiences.

Omnichannel: Omnichannel takes things one step beyond cross-channel. It aims for a unified, connected user experience across all online and offline touchpoints, meaning that regardless of which channel the customer uses, they will receive a real-time, consistent, and hyper-personalized experience.

Pros of multi-channel marketing

The advantages of multi-channel marketing include:

  1. Greater reach:

    By being present on multiple channels, you can access more potential customers, thus maximizing your market presence and overall engagement.
  2. Heightened customer engagement:

    Customers have the freedom to pick their preferred channel when interacting with a brand. Having multiple points of contact helps ensure that customers are getting the best possible experience.
  3. Improved customer loyalty:

    With a consistent experience across different channels, customers will be more likely to stick with a brand and come back for repeat purchases.
  4. Higher ROI:

    By targeting your content to reach specific audiences on each channel, you can maximize your return on investment by reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.

Cons of multi-channel marketing

The disadvantages of multi-channel marketing include:

  1. Increased complexity:

    With multiple channels comes more complexity in terms of managing and tracking campaigns, customer data, and other analytics.
  2. Higher costs:

    Managing multiple channels requires increased spending on staff, technology, and other resources.
  3. Difficulty measuring ROI:

    Without the right technology, it can be difficult to track the performance of each channel and accurately measure return on investment (ROI).
  4. Disconnected experiences:

    Different content or messaging across different channels can lead to customer confusion or frustration, if not managed properly.
  5. Reduced efficiency:

    Running campaigns across multiple channels can often require extra time and effort to ensure consistency and accuracy.

What is an example of multi-channel marketing?

An example of multi-channel marketing is a business that has an in-store presence, along with a website, support portal, social media account, and mobile app.

Customers can interact with the brand through any of these channels and get the same message and experience. However, the content they receive through one channel won’t change based on their engagements on another.

For example, a customer might receive a sales email promoting a discount on-site. They add the item to their cart, apply the discount and don’t complete their purchase.

Because the brand’s web channel isn’t connected to their email channel, the customer doesn’t get an abandoned cart email prompting them to complete their purchase.

Powering multichannel marketing with Emarsys

Emarsys helps leading brands like PUMA, Pizza Hut, and Nike to harness the full power of omnichannel marketing, delivering 1:1 personalized experiences at scale that engage customers, drive sales, and foster long-lasting loyalty.

Deliver the predictable, profitable outcomes that your business demands.

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