Integrated, omnichannel, multi-channel and cross-channel marketing are terms that are often used interchangeably with digital marketing. In reality, while there are many similarities between these approaches, they each have unique focus areas that make them quite different in how they help you get ahead.
In this mini guide, we take a look at two of these strategies to see how they compare with. Keep reading to find out what makes integrated and cross-channel marketing strategies unique, so that you have a better idea of which to focus on for long-term growth.
Integrated Marketing or Cross-Channel Marketing – Which is Best?
How does integrated marketing differ to cross-channel marketing? Which one should you be focusing on for your campaigns? Is there any overlap? Let’s take a look.
- Integrated marketing can apply to both multi-channel and omnichannel marketing. Essentially, integrated campaigns are designed to deliver a seamless customer experience, whichever channels are used. This could apply to integrated social media strategies, which incorporate all major channels in a way that ensures a unified experience for audiences, or integrated digital marketing campaigns, which incorporate all relevant digital mediums for a holistic strategy. Although both multi and omnichannel strategies cannot survive without integration, the main difference is that integrated strategies focus on separate areas within the broader strategy rather than one single strategy.
- Cross-channel marketing, on the other hand, is a form of integrated marketing that not only incorporates multiple marketing focus areas but also does so in a way that is personalised according to your audience. This strategy puts the focus on the consumer, by targeting them across relevant channels, meeting their needs and targeting them on the deepest possible level. This type of marketing goes one step beyond both multi and omnichannel strategy, driving engagement, awareness, and conversion. Used smartly, this strategy can be a powerful way to connect with your ideal customer. When this strategy is also integrated, it becomes even more of a valuable tool to grow your results.
It goes without saying that a messy, non-cohesive strategy does very little to help your brand succeed online. Treating each channel as a separate entity is the quickest way to kill your results. The first step is to bring everything together in a way that integrates key channels. The next step is to ensure that you have a strategy in place that activates each integrated channel effectively. This is where your cross-channel strategy comes into play.
Ideally, you want to strive for a strategy that delivers the best chance of reaching and connecting with your audience. To achieve this goal, a cross-channel marketing strategy will almost always be the best way forward, ensuring the ability to deliver highly targeted, conversion-driven campaigns.