What’s the Difference Between Multichannel Marketing and Omnichannel Marketing Anyway?

(Guest post by Josie Stein, Marketing and Communications Manager at XMPie. @josiedaisy. This blog originally appeared on XMPie.com.)

Hint: It’s All About the Customer Experience

Here at XMPie, we use a few phrases to explain what you can do with our software. You’ll see the terms Cross Media or Multichannel, and Omnichannel in various articles and resources on our site. These reflect the two common approaches that brands are using to reach their customers and prospects, and our customers are using both.
The terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference that separates omnichannel from the others. If you’re a print shop considering how best to expand your print services or an enterprise considering how to improve the entire customer journey, it’s important that you understand the different options.

Marketing Strategies: Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Marketing

The main difference between the two relates to the ‘Customer Experience’. You’ve probably heard this term a lot lately – it’s a hot marketing trend that is helping brands to re-define their communication approaches. At the highest level, the customer experience is the sum of all interactions that a customer will have with a brand.

Multichannel Marketing

With cross media or multichannel marketing, the focus is more on hitting a variety of channels in the hope that it will spur the most action and highest levels of engagement among customers.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing is a much more strategic and targeted approach, and it aims to build a stronger customer-brand relationship over time. With this tactic, the brand will still use a variety of channels, but will offer an integrated, personalized journey to ensure a single and consistent experience.

For the customer during an omnichannel campaign, each interaction is a seamless extension of their previous interaction, no matter which channel they are on now or which channel they just left. Their context and history will continue to the next channel with them. The channel itself isn’t important anymore. What’s important? Delivering the best customer experience.

Delivering a Customer-First Experience

The customer isn’t interested in channels or devices. They don’t want to jump through hoops. They want an effortless and seamless interaction when they make a connection with a brand, and they want to feel valued.
And even though the omnichannel campaign might be delivered on a massive scale to thousands or even millions of recipients, each customer will still feel that they are the single recipient of the campaign.
In order to create these individual customer journeys effectively – and to scale, you need the right tools to orchestrate and automate your campaigns.
Our software is used by print service providers, marketing service firms, SMBs and enterprises to deliver exceptional customer experiences that put the customer front and center. You can read about some of these companies and projects in our Resource Library.
Recent examples include:

  • PremCom, a UK Service Provider that streamlined and automated a referral and reward program for a leading mortgage company
  • @horton which galvanized Harding University alumni generosity with a multichannel donation campaign (and did it again the year later)
  • Rethink CCM which scored big with retail store promotion and customer loyalty launch
  • Docustore which created a uniquely memorable omnichannel brand experience for the young club card members of the Imaginarium store.

Each XMPie product is powered by a core omnichannel platform, PersonalEffect.  This means that users can choreograph five-star customer experiences across a variety of print and digital touch points.
Each touch point is powered by the common PersonalEffect architecture, which uniquely employs a modular approach whereby the data and business rules are shared across multiple channels. Whether a campaign consists of print alone or a combination of print and digital media – with XMPie, the data is always synchronized across all the channels enabling a truly holistic brand experience.


Either Data, Logic, or Design can be changed or replaced without forcing a change in the other two.  The Data and Logic are shared for all touchpoints. Everything is brought together just in time for output production.


Use the latest technologies and industry-standard design tools to create a best-in-field Design. We work with Adobe InDesign for Print media and any leading solution you prefer to create Digital communication touchpoints.

Design is Media-Specific

Logic and Data are shared across all channels, even without a common Design.

The Shift to Omnichannel

We’ve seen that an omnichannel approach is the best way for brands to improve the customer experience and foster customer loyalty. Rather than focusing on individual touchpoints such as an email, a direct mail piece or a coupon, a winning customer experience is carefully choreographed to be almost effortless for the customer and is critical to the success of a campaign.
It’s a challenge, but the potential results and ROI are huge.
And that’s the reason we’re seeing a massive shift underway, as both print and marketing providers and enterprises are racing to leverage their data and deliver well-executed customer experiences for their customers.

Get in touch if you’d like to see how to manage the omnichannel customer experience with the XMPie platform.

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