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Your Customer Engagement Questions, Answered: Cross-Channel vs. Omnichannel Marketing

Welcome back to our new series, “Your Customer Engagement Questions, Answered.” Remember, you can send us your questions for future installments at natalie@maropost.com.

In our last post, we covered the marketing channels available to you. Following up, we want to touch on the strategies marketers can take to use these channels in a way that allows for meaningful customer interactions and a seamless experience.

You’ve probably heard of both cross-channel and omnichannel marketing, which are often used interchangeably. However, they are not one in the same. Which brings us to our question…

Q: What is the difference between cross-channel and omnichannel marketing?

A: Cross-channel marketing is similar to multi-channel marketing, which involves using multiple channels to reach and engage their audience and customers. Cross-channel takes it a step further, connecting each channel so they can exchange information and making the experience easy for customers as they move from one channel to the next across the customer journey. For example, after receiving a promo code in the mail, a site visitor adds items to their online shopping cart. A marketer using a cross-channel strategy then sends an email reminder that the items are there, and after purchase, another email thanking the customer and offering a coupon for in-store or online shopping.

Omnichannel marketing is the more mature version of cross channel. Again, the channels are connected, but they also interact with each other and constantly exchange data for personalized customer experiences. A simple instance is recommending specific products on a brand’s website based on browsing behavior and past purchases; a more complex instance is store employees knowing that same information when a customer comes into a store location. The omnichannel approach truly creates a seamless brand experience for every single customer.

So, now that you understand the distinctions between the two, kick-start your own omnichannel strategy! These tips will help you get up and running.