Fewer than 20 years ago, financial institutions had few ways to connect directly with their audience. Email was in its infancy, only one in ten Americans was on the Internet, and cell phones weren’t smart. “Click here to apply” was just a gleam in technology’s eye.

Today, consumers are clicking and applying from computers, mobile phones, tablets —even their watches. They’re also still calling and visiting branches, and responding to targeted direct mail.

Smart financial institutions have taken advantage of this multichannel age to give their consumers many ways to connect with them.

Smarter financial institutions have moved beyond multichannel proficiency: They are thriving in the era of omnichannel marketing.

Knowing the difference allows these institutions to strengthen their brands, optimize each customer’s experience, and spin consumer relationships into gold.

United, They Brand
The difference between omnichannel and multichannel is more than a word choice.

Omnichannel marketing is a high-level strategic initiative that uses multiple marketing channels to provide a consistent brand encounter for consumers across all channels and devices.

Having an omnichannel strategy keeps your brand strong by uniting your campaigns in messaging, tone, and response options — no matter where your consumers choose to meet you. 

Divided, They Brawl
The question, then, is why hasn’t every bank or credit union switched to Channel Omni?

The biggest thing in the way is a silo mentality, which inevitably creates disjointed —sometimes fighting — campaigns across channels. This dilutes the financial brand and frustrates consumers. Research shows that multichannel use alone (without the guiding hand of omni) reduces customer lifetime value by .7 percent each year.

True, omnichannel does add a layer of technological complexity. But an omnichannel customer care study cites these notable returns:

  • 91 percent higher year-over-year increase in customer retention
  • 3.4 percent increase in customer lifetime value

A Loan Is Just A Loan, But Your Brand Is An Experience
Consumers know that most financial products and services are pretty much the same everywhere. It is the power of your brand, and the value your customers or members place on it, that has kept them with you so far.

But the financial consumer’s search for ease, convenience, and simplicity doesn’t end.

Switching your brand channel from “multi” to “omni” will give your consumers the experience they want, whether they’re using old technology or new. And each time they have that experience, they will fall a little deeper in love with your brand.