Omni? Multi? Cross? Integrated? What’s the Difference?

When it comes to using multiple channels to communicate with your customers, there are many terms which can be very confusing. What do they all mean? Is there a meaningful difference between them? If so, what is it? Let’s take a look.


Multichannel – using multiple channels

Multichannel marketing is just as it sounds: using more than one channel to talk to your customers. Whether the channels are integrated or not, using multiple channels is important. Send out two engagement emails, one direct sales mail piece per month, plus run Google Ads to draw in web traffic, and you are doing multichannel marketing.

Omnichannel – comprehensive based on data capture

Omnichannel describes the comprehensive approach in which the customer’s experience is consistent across channels. Customers receive emails, text alerts, and customized website experiences based on their purchase and browsing behavior. In this style of marketing, you know who your customers are, what they buy, and how they engage with you. Then, you communicate based on their behavior whether they make a purchase or not. (Think abandoned shopping cart emails.) Data is captured and shared across channels to achieve a seamless experience.

Cross-channel – mixing different types of marketing, leading from one step to the next

This means that the customer is moving from one channel to the other. Usually, the channels are integrated in some way. Scanning a QR Code to download a coupon is cross-channel marketing. So is clicking through an email to access a product page on the marketer’s website.

Integrated – traditional & digital working together

This describes traditional and digital channels working together based on timing or reinforcement of the message. For example, a consumer calls to receive an information kit, which is mailed out the next day. If the customer places an order, you automatically send a “thank you” email. If they do not place an order, you send a follow-up email one week later, offering them an incentive to come back and buy.


All of these methods are important for the future of your organization. They may sound complicated, but we can make it easy. Want to execute a cross-channel, multichannel, or integrated marketing campaign for your customers? Let’s discuss what works best for your individual situation.

Call or email me!

Dana Wolfe, Print Specialist and Professional Problem Solver


Posted Apr 22, 2019