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A complete guide on cross-channel, omnichannel, and multi-channel marketing

Puzzled by these marketing terms? Let's talk about cross-channel, omnichannel, and multichannel marketing. Learn what they mean and how they can boost your customer experience.

The world of marketing is always evolving, adapting to changes in technology and consumer behavior. With these changes come new terminology to describe the strategies and methods used for customer communication. It’s important to understand these terms to informed decisions about how to engage with your customers.

One area of confusion is the difference between ‘cross-channel‘, ‘omnichannel’, and ‘multichannel’ marketing strategies. By exploring these terms and their benefits, we can clear up any confusion and help you make the best decision for your business. So let’s investigate what these terms mean and how they can benefit you.

What is cross-channel marketing?

Cross-channel marketing is all about connecting with your customers across multiple channels. We’re not just talking about sending out a bunch of emails or posting on social media. It’s about creating a seamless experience for your customers, no matter where they are. 

Think about it, your customers are constantly switching between different devices and platforms throughout their day. They might be reading their inbox on their phone, browsing search engines on their laptop, or scrolling through social media on their tablet. By utilizing cross-channel marketing, you can reach them at each of these touchpoints and make sure they get a consistent message from your brand. 

Figuring out which channels your audience prefers and personalizing each channel is an important aspect of cross-channel marketing. Are your customers more active on social media? Do they prefer email? Once you have that figured out, it’s all about creating a consistent and tailored message that works across those channels.

Some key aspects of cross-channel marketing are:

Coordinated cross-channel strategy

Cross-channel marketing amps up your reach by strategically coordinating your campaigns across multiple channels. This creates a seamless, consistent message for your audience no matter which platform they use. 

Increase cross-channel reach

By using cross-channel marketing, you have the power to reach a larger audience thanks to the variety of platforms available. Each channel offers the opportunity to connect with different segments of your target market, amplifying your brand’s visibility and presence.

Personalized touchpoints across channels

Cross-channel marketing enables businesses to create personalized touchpoints with customers based on their behavior and preferences. By tailoring your message and content to suit the individual, you can effectively address their needs, desires, and pain points at various stages in the customer journey.

What is omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing is similar to cross-channel as it allows you to deliver a seamless and integrated customer journey across marketplaces, devices, channels, and platforms. 

When comparing omnichannel and cross-channel marketing, the main difference is that omnichannel integrates marketing efforts, data, and strategy under one umbrella while cross-channel does not.

With omnichannel, data is organized centrally and becomes more reliable. This creates more chances for personalization as customer data is synchronized, making it easier to deliver personalized content and messages. This approach enables retailers to offer shoppers the products they need, when and where they need them.

So how does it work? Let’s say someone finds your company through a Facebook ad and decides to view your website. With omnichannel marketing, you want to make sure that the messaging and branding on your website match what they saw in the ad. And if they decide to make a purchase, you want to make sure that their shopping cart is saved across devices, so they can seamlessly continue the checkout process on their phone or tablet.

Some key aspects of omnichannel marketing are:

Customer-centric focus

The primary goal of omnichannel marketing is to ensure customers have a convenient and engaging experience, regardless of the channel they use. By prioritizing the needs and preferences of your customers, you can create a unified experience that encourages brand loyalty and satisfaction.

Connected interactions

In an omnichannel strategy, all customer interactions are interconnected, allowing for a smooth transition between various touchpoints. For example, a customer browsing your website on their phone can continue shopping on your desktop site or in-store, experiencing the same level of personalization and tailored recommendations.

Data integration

Omnichannel marketing relies on integrated customer data that provides a holistic view of each individual’s preferences and behaviors. This information enables businesses to offer relevant content, promotions, and offers across all channels, enhancing the overall customer experience.

What is multichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing is using different marketing channels to reach your audience. Instead of just relying on one method, like email or social media, you’re spreading your message across various platforms to maximize your chances of connecting with potential customers.

Think about it like fishing. If you only cast your line in one spot, you might catch a few fish, but you’re limiting your chances of reeling in a big one. But if you cast your line in several different spots, you’re increasing your odds of catching something awesome, right?

So, multichannel marketing works the same way. You’re casting your marketing net wider, reaching people through different channels. This approach amplifies your brand visibility, as you’re able to reach a larger and more diverse audience who might have different preferences when it comes to how they like to receive information.

Some key aspects of multichannel marketing are: 

Diverse channel selection

Multichannel marketing involves implementing a mix of channels, such as email, social media, content marketing, paid advertising, and traditional avenues like print or TV ads, to reach your audience. By leveraging each channel’s strengths, you can optimize your overall marketing strategy and reach a wider range of customers.

Channel-specific strategies

With multichannel marketing, each channel has its unique strategy, catering to the specific characteristics of that platform. For example, social media campaigns might focus on building brand personality and driving customer engagement, while email marketing is more targeted towards nurturing leads and driving conversions.

Measurement and optimization

If you use multichannel marketing, analyze the performance of each channel to determine which are most effective in achieving your business goals. Through data analysis and performance metrics, you can optimize your marketing strategy by allocating resources to the most successful channels and maximizing the return on investment (ROI).

What approach is best for me?

Choosing the right strategy depends on your business goals, resources, and the preferences of your target audience. To determine the best fit, consider these key factors:

Customer experience

If delivering a completely unified and immersive customer experience (CX) is your priority, cross-channel or omni-channel marketing may be best suited for your business. 


For businesses looking to personalize messaging and engagement at specific milestones in the customer journey, cross-channel marketing offers the flexibility and customization needed to create targeted touchpoints.

Channel diversity

If your focus is on actively engaging with customers via multiple channels, without necessarily linking the messages or strategy between them, multi-channel marketing is the ideal approach.

How Dotdigital helps your cross-channel marketing strategy

Here at Dotdigital, know the importance of implementing comprehensive marketing tools tailored to your business goals and target audience. That’s why we’ve developed an innovative cross-channel platform as an all-in-one solution to help manage your channels.

With the Dotdigital platform, you can:

Connect with your customers on all their favorite channels

In today’s world, reaching savvy customers through multiple marketing channels is essential to stay ahead of the game. With Dotdigital, you can effortlessly connect with your audience across various touchpoints, leading to a more effective and rewarding marketing strategy.

Create seamless customer journeys

Dotdigital’s marketing tools help you send personalized messages to customers through email, text messages, and social media. By enhancing their experience at every stage of their journey, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships and drive engagement.

Supercharge your email marketing

Email is a powerful way to stay in touch with customers who want to hear from your business. Dotdigital’s email builder makes designing eye-catching emails a breeze so that you can grab your customers’ attention and inspire them to take action.

Turn texts into sales

Have you considered using SMS marketing to reach your customers? It’s a quick and effective way to connect with them in real time. With Dotdigital, you can integrate your text messages with other channels like email and social media to increase your chances of making a sale.

Grow, convert, and retain with social media retargeting

Looking to expand your customer base? Dotdigital has got you covered. With Facebook Lead Ads, you can easily acquire new leads and grow your marketing lists. Plus, keep your current customers engaged by showing them targeted ads after they visit your website.

Reduce barriers to purchase with live chat

Forrester says using live chat on your website can increase conversion rates by up to 40%. With Dotdigital’s live chat feature, you can make it easy for customers to get the help they need while also increasing their happiness and likelihood of buying from you. 

Reach customers anywhere with push notifications

Dotdigital helps you stay connected with customers by sending them timely push notifications on their smartphones. These messages remind customers of your business and encourage them to take action, like making a purchase.


So there you have it – the key differences between cross-channel, omnichannel, and multichannel marketing. Now that you’re in the know, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your marketing strategy. The good news? Dotdigital’s cross-channel platform can make the journey smoother and more effective than ever before.

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