Cross Channel vs Multichannel Marketing: Which one to Choose?

With the advancement in marketing technologies, we have lots of marketing solutions available such as Google Ads, Linkedin Ads, Facebook ads, Retargeting & Remarketing ads, Programmatic advertising and many more.

Moreover, which solution you adopt for your marketing will completely depend on how and where you want to target your customers.

However, in today’s scenario, where a consumer uses more than one device and actively present in more than one platform, you need solutions beyond single-channel targeting.


Cross channel vs multichannel marketing

Cross channel marketing and multichannel marketing are the new levels of marketing strategies that enable you to target your audiences at multiple touch points in a buyer’s journey.

However, there are some differences between these two concepts, and understanding them in detail can bring improvements in your sales metrics, audience reach, thus reducing your ad spends and marketing cycle.

For this, you need a clear idea about which options best suits for your business.

Let’s know each of them in detail before finding a difference between them.

What is Cross channel Marketing?

Cross channel marketing is all about combining various marketing channels in a way that help you in nurturing your audience and take them to their next level of buyer’s journey easily.

In cross channel marketing, various channels work in collaboration with each other and reach the customer at various stages using different channels as the customer moves from one channel to another channel.

What is Multichannel Marketing?

In multichannel marketing, brands reach their customers through multiple touch points like mobile phone, tablet, emails, social media, chatbots, and apps throughout the buyers’ journey.

In multichannel marketing, customers are targeted through multiple channels, but each work independently.

Difference Between Cross channel & Multichannel Marketing

Cross channel marketing focuses on creating a unique profile for each customer.

When it comes to multichannel marketing, it doesn’t have interlinked information about the customers on different channels.

Cross channel marketing focuses on a single customer view across the channels and their unique behaviours & preferences.

Whereas multichannel marketing keeps on adding channels wherever they find customer presence.

Cross channel marketing goal is to achieve one to one personalization and convert more customers. It focuses on the customer experience offered across all channels.

Here, all the channels are complementary with each other at different stages of the buyer’s journey, and each marketing channel is aligned in link with other channels to provide pleasant customer experience with right contextual messaging.

Thus, Cross channel marketing provides a consistent experience to the customer.

For example

The customer will not get the notification to download the ebook when he already purchased from any other channel (from mail or Facebook post). It enables you to reach your most relevant customers on their preferred channel.

A business using cross channel campaigns can interchange their channels to reach their prospects so that they can obtain a seamless and consistent experience wherever they present. It provides a unified experience to the customer, thus improving customer loyalty. In a way, Cross channel marketing is a subset of multichannel marketing.

On the other side, the multichannel marketing goal is to increase the reach to the customer.

In multichannel marketing, customers have numerous options available to learn about product or services. Customer research and purchase from their preferred channels and each channel focus on customer action independently.

A business using multichannel campaigns have their presence on multiple channels, but the experience with prospects is not always consistent, and it doesn’t provide a unified experience to the customer. However, it helps in improving customer reach.

Understanding the customer most preferred channels and targeting them is the primary function of multichannel marketing.

For example: Consider, if a person always makes use of email for downloading an ebook, you can use particularly a sponsored mail to reach that person every time instead of making use of other marketing channels.

Cross Channel vs Multichannel Marketing: Which one to Choose?

Cross channel and multichannel marketing, both make use of different marketing channels to target customers. However, there is a slight variation in that, as discussed above.

However, Cross channel marketing is preferred by most of the marketers because it works well in cases where the customer uses different devices and platforms for their actions; as it provides a unified experience to the customer.

Moreover, cross channel marketing works well for retargeting ads.

For example

A person is looking for the solution for some issue, and he gets the ad of your blog post, which can provide a solution to his problem.

And when he opened his mail, he gets promotional mail of the case study or testimonial of your customer which shows you’re expert in resolving it. And when he signed in to social media, he gets the post of your product or service which actually does in resolving that issue.

It means these all channels are coordinating with each other in helping customer buying journey.

For instance, a customer who sees a smartphone on mobile, it’s not necessary that customer can purchase in online-only, but he can purchase it on an offline store also. It is the common way of purchasing for most of the customers, and in such cases, cross channel marketing works well.  

These are some of the limitations in multichannel marketing as customers these days are not sticking to a single channel for purchasing a product or service.

However, there are some products/service for which people depend on a single channel; in such cases, multichannel marketing works well.

It has the flexibility to add as many channels whenever a customer shows interest in certain channels.

It also works well for a business who want maximum reach to their audience. According to a study by Lewis, 2015, Overall, 9 out of 10 marketers are interested in investing in multichannel marketing.

In multichannel marketing, buyers are entirely in control of the sales process.

It had more channels, devices and options available for customers when they were trying to purchase something or making a buying decision.

It helps marketers to gain as many leads as possible, which makes marketers allocate resources very attentively.

In a way, there are challenges as well as opportunities for those who adopt it.

Final word

Cross channel marketing uses different channels to complete a buyer’s journey.

Multichannel marketing connects with different marketing channels independently. Each has its separate dashboard to monitor its report.

The main difference between the multichannel and cross channel marketing is the level of interchangeability.

Cross channel marketing preferred when your goal is to gain coordinated experience to customers where they present and for generating more leads.

Whereas, multichannel marketing preferred when you want to reach a maximum number of customers.

We can’t say which one is the best marketing strategy as both are relevant depending on the type of business you hold and the campaign you run, the other marketing strategies you use, time and budget you have.

Hope you got the difference between the two. And you are now capable of choosing the one which suits best for your business goals.

Please comment on your cross channel and multichannel marketing experience with us.

Syeda Khadeer Sultana

Khadeer sultana has been working with challenging clients for more than four years. She holds a master's degree in engineering and technology and has the first-rate conception on digital marketing. Her thirst for knowledge lies in learning something exciting every day. Currently, she is putting her efforts in delivering content on advanced marketing techniques to confer a benefit to entrepreneurs.

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