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Omni-channel Or Multi-channel: A Guide For Movie Marketers

Omni-channel. Multi-channel. Same-same? Not quite. These two buzzwords might sound identical, but knowing the difference is what turns standard marketing campaigns into well-rounded and effective strategies. This blog post will equip you with the tools to not only explain how the two should co-exist, but also implement them into your own campaigning. 

What is the difference?
It’s all about depth: multi-channel equals ‘many’ while omni-channel equals ‘all’. Multi-channel is the simple process of having an interaction on a number of different channels - but it can often lack a seamless experience across comms channels. Omni-channel looks at how every one of these channels can work in synergy to deliver your moviegoers a personalized, targeted and engaging message while building stronger brand loyalty and recognition. Cinema and studio marketers have the exciting challenge of achieving this both offline and online - in-cinema and across web and social channels. 

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What makes omni-channel so powerful?
We often talk about the importance of the right message on the right channel at the right time at Movio, and the concept of omni-channel ultimately puts that into practice. By ensuring a relevant version of your message is everywhere your audience are, you’re optimizing the opportunity to engage with them on all of the platforms they naturally gravitate to, on their own terms. Did we also mention it results in a significant increase in purchase frequency when done right? The days of being incessantly stalked by a movie advertisement you already saw and hated are over! The omni-channel approach notices that you logged into your cinema site, watched the trailer, purchased a ticket, attended the film, gave it a thumbs down in-app after viewing, and scored it poorly in a post-session survey. It allows you to pay attention to your moviegoer, and address them in ways they appreciate rather than causing irritation. It puts your moviegoers at the heart of your strategy and follows their journey in real-time.

Does this mean I should ditch multichannel?
Omni-channel should be the end goal for all cinema and studio marketers. Afterall, who wouldn’t want to make their campaigns as targeted and effective as possible? However, the reality can be a little trickier than that. Multi-channel is the perfect initial step for marketers who struggle with the resources and expertise needed to build a fully-fledged omni-channel strategy. It’s an excellent starting point for understanding how to optimize different touchpoints and nurture trust and reliability in the many places your moviegoers are. However, it’s important to look at this as foundational rather than an ultimate goal.

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So where to from here?
You’ve probably realized by now that omni-channel involves a lot of moving parts, and you might be wondering if it’s worth the hype - but the effect it has on customer retention alone makes it worth it. If you’re feeling intimidated, we recommend taking a step-by-step approach:

  • Isolate your current sales channels and look out how you can optimize their usage.
  • Start to band together similar experiences i.e. website to newsletter, or social channels, or in-cinema experiences. How can you synergise the messaging within each of those, to respond to customer actions? 
  • Look into features and tools that allow you to synchronize the entire journey, both online and offline, of your moviegoers. 
  • Build a solid bridge between the in-theater experience to back pocket. Try:
    • Fostering online communities on social media, encouraging interactions and reviews about your movies ‘now showing’.
    • Digital coupon codes for instore rewards in response to a customer’s action on your website
    • Alerts via your app for relevant events happening in a moviegoer’s favourite or closest cinema
  • Consider all touchpoints as a seamless customer journey, from your website to your app to your newsletter to your in-theater experience.

Our industry is really a prime environment for omni-channel success. The way people experience cinema is constantly evolving, and it’s an exciting challenge to maintain stellar relationships with audiences inundated with other offers for spending their leisure time and money. Pay close attention to your moviegoer relationship both in-cinema and outside of it, and remember the key to success with this approach is being dynamic - both holistically and specifically. By keeping your finger on the pulse of new and evolving communication channels and ensuring your marketing propositions modify in real-time, you’ll stand out from the many attractions charming audiences in 2019 and beyond.

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