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What’s the Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Marketing?

We hear the buzzwords over and over, but what do they mean? Multichannel and omnichannel are similar and overlap in many ways, but they are different approaches to marketing. At its core, multichannel marketing is interacting with potential customers on various platforms. This may include print ads, the sales center, open houses, a development website, external websites like Zillow, social media, and many more.

Omnichannel is multichannel marketing on steroids. You are not only using different channels to interact with potential customers, but also integrating the data and creating personalized experiences. While multichannel is channel specific, omnichannel puts the prospect in the middle, combining information from every channel to engage customers and provide the best overall experience at every touchpoint.

In reality, omnichannel marketing is about the customer experience. More than other industries, the customer journey for homebuyers is particularly relevant. A significant investment and risk for most families, buying a home is a stressful and sometimes confusing process. Everything must be done to create as frictionless a journey as possible. We must create the environment for homebuyers to have that delightful homebuying experience they tell their friends and family about.

The first question to ask is: How are people finding out about the real estate development? Website analytics provide some numbers, sales agents should be able to give another set, and Zillow and Trulia will offer a third set. While print ads and OOH may be more challenging for tracking prospects, open houses should collect prospect information.

The next question is: Can you create a holistic view of prospects with all the information collected? Is it possible to identify what a homebuyer finds essential? Are they downloading specific e-books related to the development (like schools, location, builder info)? Are they looking at particular types of listings or neighborhoods?

The last question is: How do we personalize the experience for the prospect? If a website visitor downloaded two lead-generation related e-books, is it time for the sales agent to call the prospect knowing they downloaded those specific e-books? Can we send them specific promotions for the type of homes they are interested in?

Ultimately, omnichannel marketing is about data management and integration. Most real estate developments have most of the tools already, but they don’t talk to each other or are not leveraged to provide prospects with the best experience.

2019 is right around the corner. What will you do differently?