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Multi-Channel vs Cross-Channel: What Do You Think?

Multi-channel. Cross-channel. Can we use them interchangeably? Is there a difference and if so, what is it?

The eec's Cross-Channel Integration Roundtable believes not only is there a difference, but it's a significant one.

Here’s our definition: multi-channel marketing refers to sending out the same message to your audience using a variety of different channels (email marketing, direct mail, mobile, etc.).  The channels work independently and are generally not coordinated - more of a silo approach.

When referring to cross-channel marketing, you’re still using multiple marketing channels but you're taking a much more choreographed, orchestrated, personalized approach.  One message reinforces the next message and leverages the benefits of the specific channel by driving your audience to action, as opposed to just repeating the same message.  It's much more tightly integrated and looks at the interactions 'holistically' - not only how the customer is receiving the communication, but also how they're responding to it.  A cross-channel marketing strategy then takes that into consideration before sending out the next communication.

So...what do you think?  Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

- Eileen Weinberg
Member of the eec's Cross-Channel Integration Roundtable

Comments for Multi-Channel vs Cross-Channel: What Do You Think?

Name: Ali Swerdlow
Time: Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Great post, Eileen! I'm looking forward to a lively discussion.

Name: Manny Ju
Time: Thursday, December 9, 2010

Absolutely thrilled to see that EEC members agree that there is this distinction between multi-channel and cross-channel. Very well articulated definition. The online world provides a technology platform that facilitates cross-channel campaign management. The only limiting factor is the imagination and creativity of the marketer.

Name: Melissa Campanelli
Time: Thursday, December 9, 2010

I am very interested in this topic, especially as it pertains to retailers...would love to hear any feedback! Melissa Campanelli Editor-in-Chief eM+C/ROI 718-788-1772

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