Omnichannel vs impact channel: a marketer’s guide

It’s no secret that the world of marketing is evolving faster than ever. According to a recent survey by HubSpot, over 80% of marketers believe that marketing has changed more in the past three years than it did in the previous 50. With new technology, new regulations, and countless new ways to connect with customers, staying on top of the game is no easy feat.

So, when the higher-ups come knocking, asking why you haven’t jumped on the latest channel yet, you need to be ready with an answer. In today’s digital age, businesses are grappling with the challenge of reaching customers across a multitude of platforms seamlessly – aka omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel marketing promises to integrate various platforms to deliver a unified brand experience…or so they say. Maybe the answer to your engagement strategy isn’t expansion of channels but actually subtraction. Hear us out. Let’s take a minute to pause, put down the shiny new channel you’re about to engage with, and take a look at the bigger picture when thinking about omnichannel marketing. 


All channels are not equal

Let’s start with an exercise. Look at your current channels – from socials to your web portal to SMS to stores to emails, etc. From here, let’s create two lists. In the first, you’ll rank each channel on its impact on customer experience. For the second, you’ll rank them based on their impact to your bottom line. 

Now let’s break down these lists:

Channels that impact your customer experience

This list is about your customers. From customer service to onboarding, certain channels will simply rank higher in providing the best experience for your customers. Look at a health insurance company – they have a limited number of channels where their customers can simply get things done, such as submitting health claims or switching plans. These could include your store (in-person), your website or your app. 

Channels that impact your bottom line

This list is about your organisation. Think of channels that drive conversion, increase engagement, and help your team reach their targets. From upselling current customers to avoiding data breaches, you look to particular channels to support business objectives. Take for example a bank, where security is part of their bottom line. They need to prioritise secure channels to speak with their customers to protect their customers from scams. Channels like SMS, phone and email used to be at the top of this list, but in recent times, this may be changing.

Now compare your two lists and you may just notice a pattern here. A consistent group of channels is commonly identified as offering high impact to both customer experience and your bottom line. We like to call these Impact Channels. These include channels like your mobile apps, web portals and in-person stores.

What’s interesting about these three channels is that they are all authenticated in some way. You know who your customers are and they know it’s you (and not some scammer), which means you’re able to do more with them in these channels.

When you look at this within the context of channel strategy, it’s clear that there are two different strategies at play: omnichannel and impact channel strategy.

Omnichannel vs. impact channel strategy

Both of these strategies are important. We’re not saying you need to throw away omnichannel altogether and just focus on your impact channels. But each strategy requires a different mindset, approach, and toolset to implement.

An omnichannel strategy, by definition, is focused on customer messaging – how you get the right message to the right person at the right time. And that’s important. A “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work in most organisations. So you need to understand your customers’ needs and cater the message to the appropriate channel every time. This requires far more integrations, various tools, and a well thought out plan.

Now look at impact channel strategies, which focus more on customer journeys. You need a way to help your customers achieve outcomes with less friction, while still meeting your own targets. This strategy aims to provide the best (and usually the quickest) journey for customers to get stuff done. This strategy should require just as much thought, but usually far fewer moving parts and tools to implement.

Even if you’ve got both of these strategies floating around your organisation in one shape or another (and they each serve their purpose), the way you put them into action can vary.

So pause for a moment and assess your current communication avenues. Are you perhaps stretching your resources too thin across numerous channels? Is your message making the most impact on the channels you’re currently using? Are you getting the most out of your impact channels? And are there other channels you might be overlooking? 

About is an impact channel platform. We plug and play nicely with omnichannel software, while helping you focus on impact channels like your app so you can make a difference.

We currently power in-app engagement for some of the biggest brands like Westpac, ANZ and Movember. If you’re interested in learning more about how can supercharge your web or mobile app, we’d love to talk

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