So, cutting straight to the point, what is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel?
Multichannel marketing is using more than one channel, which has often been created gradually, for the same message. These channels have often been developed independently of one another with the expectation that healthcare professionals (HCPs) would use the information themselves. In contrast, omnichannel marketing is the principal of creating an ecosystem of channels which are interconnected and have been designed to work in symbiosis with one another.
Omnichannel is a customer-centric approach, allowing HCPs to move through an optimised content journey, building upon messages from previous channels to increase engagement and belief in your single-minded message.
The channels utilised by omnichannel can often be similar to that of multichannel, however they are used in a purposeful way to achieve an improved customer experience and high level of interaction. For example, an approved email targeting a HCP’s individual needs will have a call to action to take them to a website for more detailed information. Another email is then used to invite them to a detailing presentation or a webinar discussing the latest scientific data. Each channel allows the story to build and unfold in a way that targets the HCP’s specific needs.
The level of customer journey sophistication can be altered depending on the digital practices that are currently being utilised and the brand’s ambition. For instance, highly targeted and personalised communications that precisely meet different kinds of customer needs may not always be required, and a simpler approach can be implemented with greater effect.
No matter where a customer is on their digital journey, omnichannel marketing presents many challenges for organisations. The need for more personalised content requires thought around different HCP personas; who are they, what are their needs, what is their current state and what is the desired state? Existing content then needs to be adapted to meet these established needs. Often, modular content is used as best practice to ensure consistency across channels but can take a lot of organising upfront. However, the benefits of omnichannel can often make all these challenges worth the effort in the long run – especially when looking to maintain consistent imagery and messaging at a local level.