Multi Channel Marketing vs Cross Channel Marketing: What’s the Difference?

Multi-channel marketing and cross-channel marketing are two terms that come up often. Both terms have drifted around marketing blogs for a few years now, but many people can’t concisely define them.

Defining Multi-Channel Marketing and
Cross-Channel Marketing

The difference between these two marketing techniques boils down to the following.

Multi-Channel: Across multiple channels

As the name might suggest, multi-channel marketing means communicating with customers on several different channels (e.g. push, web, brick and mortar). The key difference, however, is that the channels are separate. They work independently with no connection between them, meaning customers can’t easily hop from one channel to another during the same journey.

Cross Channel: Across multiple, connected channels

Cross-channel marketing is similar to multi-channel marketing in that it involves communication using different channels, but in this case it also entails passing data between channels to create a seamless customer experience. In this case, customers can ‘cross over’ between channels.

In reality, multi-channel and cross-channel marketing are not opposed to each other. Cross-channel is actually a subset of multi-channel. In other words, a multi-channel marketing campaign might not be cross-channel, but a cross-channel campaign is inherently multi-channel.

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