When people were working at the office, it was easier to get hold of a prospect since they were located at their desk, which meant single-channel prospecting still worked for some – although not the most effective. But, since the pandemic and the normalisation of remote working, salespeople must now reach out to their prospects through multiple communication channels. Thus, giving rise to a need for multichannel and omnichannel outreach.
On the face of it, both multichannel and omnichannel outreach may seem quite alike but there are sizable differences between them. Let us analyse these differences in detail.
Multichannel outreach is the process of using different channels to reach, connect and engage prospects. The different channels exist independently of each other and the lack of integration between each channel can often make it difficult for salespeople to track progress on each channel.
Omnichannel outreach focuses on delivering a consistent and often personalised experience across all communication channels used. The guiding principle of omnichannel outreach is the integration between channels on one dashboard, making it possible to drive the conversation forward based on the prospect’s behaviour. Such behaviours to see a prospect’s preferred channel include multiple emails opens, the number of times a link was clicked, or an accepted connection request.
Let us hone in on two key aspects to better explain the differences between multichannel and omnichannel marketing strategies.
- Channel-focused vs. prospect-focused
The multichannel approach targets prospects via as many channels as possible. This means casting the widest net to get the most engagements on various channels such as social media and email.
Conversely, the omnichannel approach connects those channels in one place to ensure a more meaningful engagement is made with prospects at every touchpoint. It may be possible that your prospect is more active on a particular channel or prefers one platform over another. With omnichannel, you can make outreach a unified and intuitive process to engage with prospects on whichever channel they are present on.
- Inconsistent outreach vs. consistent engagement
As multichannel operates each channel separately, the lack of integration between each touchpoint can result in an impersonal experience for the prospect. Multichannel can also often amount to style inconsistencies across the different channels used.
Omnichannel is focused on ensuring the same experience and continuous messaging exists across every channel. Omnichannel outreach aims to provide a streamlined and consistent experience to prospects as the salesperson reaches out to them via different channels. A consistent brand image and message ensure a heightened sense of familiarity and relationship with the brand.
In short, multichannel outreach doesn’t cut it anymore
Multichannel outreach uses a variety of communication options that are not synchronised or connected, which can be burdensome for the salesperson to keep track of and ensure timely follow-ups. However, omnichannel outreach allows salespeople to move between the channels seamlessly as they are inter-linked. This is one of the main reasons why omnichannel outreach trumps multichannel outreach.