Marketing is an indispensable tool for a business to reach customers and generate awareness about products and services. It helps in engagement, promotion, and demand creation, maintains brand reputation, and also accelerates sales. As a tool to understand and explore customer aspirations, marketing is a key medium to engage and spread brand awareness for meeting both long- and short-term business goals.
How marketing models have evolved
Fundamentally, marketing refers to the right mix of product, price, place, and promotion. However, the environment pertaining to marketing trends is divergent. Industry-specific campaigns have successfully set standards to be followed by other players. Along with looking at marketing from a brand awareness and recognition point of view, the medium or marketing channels have taken a centre stage.
For decades marketing has been limited to traditional offline mediums such as banners, hoardings, TV ads, and radio announcements. The initiatives were more focused on brand recognition and building and less on customer acquisition. Back then, the nuances of marketing remained largely limited to influencing customer choices. More specifically grabbing the eyeballs of people. The traceability of direct user interest remained low.
At present, with the birth of an online ecosystem, the entire scenario has shifted and become more acquisition-centric. The main purpose of marketing is around the idea of driving conversions through SEO, social media, direct email, cold calling, or website building techniques. These conversions have the capability to translate into sales, & directly making a positive impact on revenue goals. Brands and businesses can now make use of more channels to bring in customers, grab eyeballs and drive customer acquisition. It is more focused on guiding the customer down the sales funnel of purchasing.
Differences in multichannel and omnichannel marketing models
Market reach has changed over a time period, shaping approaches for establishing brand recognition for awareness. Today there are multiple points where a customer interacts and hops on the buying journey. At the same time, knowing the pain points of the customer and ways to address them through data has become equally important. Understanding these points and the utilization of channels in this direction has been used to drive market penetration further.
Key marketing approaches like omnichannel and multi-channel have gained ground recently. An active online ecosystem and also an increased base of online buyers have pushed businesses into channelizing its initiatives and look past the traditional mediums. With these two approaches, businesses are now able to tap into customer profiles and gain knowledge of their behaviour across multiple platforms. SMS, email, product platforms and other channels are now being leveraged to guide users into choosing the product or service.
Multi-channel marketing is a form of marketing model wherein customers can be reached by the means of –
- Retails stores
- Online advertising
- Direct mail
- Email marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Direct call
This model of marketing is referred to as multichannel since the customer is approached through a combination of various means of marketing channels. According to a report, multichannel marketing also works well when it is combined with a pair of other channels. For example, some campaigns can be run by combing mobile and radio; online and TV; online, and TV and radio.
Such combinations also are termed as part of the marketing mix in a broader sense, applied to enhance the effectiveness of marketing strategies of products. In multi-channel marketing, a business or a brand can make use of a wide range of marketing channels for purposes such as advertising, promotion, or sales. Here, the value of customer data also plays a key role. It is crucial to have data analysis of customers to gauge how well they are responding to the marketing and sale initiative.
By taking a wholistic model of including direct and indirect marketing strategy, in multichannel marketing customer can be approached basis their usage and preferences.
Marketing tactics vary from one brand to other. In the case of omnichannel marketing, the purpose of reaching out is concentrated on customer experience. Keeping customers in the center stage, this marketing tactic serves the customer with what they have taken action upon. For example, if a customer has opted to buy a product from an online store, then across other channels over online mediums, they will see similar kinds of product ads being promoted.
Under this, a consistent experience is served to customers using ways such as –
- Supply chain
- Distribution network
- Physical selling
This consistency helps in maintaining brand or business recall and also the ability for the customers to get back quickly when support is needed. Customer can select his type of service and also interact to share his response through integrated channels. Ascertaining this kind of uniformity, omnichannel marketing is helpful for gauging customer behaviour and making improvement in existing services. It can be effectively managed and tracked for improving the services and finding optimal solutions to retain customer for long term. In a way, omnichannel is a more customer-oriented approach required for exploring customers interests, specifically in the retail sector for offering services.
Applying multi-channel and omnichannel marketing models
The discourse today on marketing and promotion strategies has become diverse. Businesses want to reach out to customers via different channels while ensuring that brand consistency is maintained. Meanwhile, customers’ data reveals that they are more interested in what the brand offers than the channel by which they are being approached.
Evolving from traditional means of selling, the customer wants more privileges, offers, and discounts. This is also accompanied by the consistency of the message and ease of usage over the channel. As a reason, businesses can take a mid-path by incorporating a mix of both multi-channel and omnichannel into their main marketing strategy, depending on the product or service they sell. A more targeted form of marketing campaign is possible by identifying the right channel to create or find the marketing for the product.
From the point of the customer journey, omnichannel provides customers with a personalized experience and ensures that the brand message is clear. This eventually helps increase brand value and the retention of customers while tapping into a customer journey. While the multi-channel approach is merely a way to reach out to customers in more than one way and customize the offered product or service.
In the past decades, marketing is looked upon as the primary means to create business recognition and develop a customer base, wherein, they can be fully engaged and enabled to respond with their product or service experience.
In terms of engagement, customers are far more responsive owing to new channels of interaction. Marketing thus has transition from traditional to direct and interactive. While, flooded with new ways of acquiring customers and adopting innovative mediums to build users, businesses are also focused on having products and services that are much more dynamic in comparison to what they were earlier.