There’s little argument that every organization needs more than one channel in order to reach the majority, let alone all of, your workforce. Maybe you have an Intranet, maybe a newsletter, and perhaps a mobile app, and maybe you’ve taken into consideration the differences among your multi-generational work force (if not, have a look at our recent article on this). And do your channels work harmoniously together?
Here’s are the key differences between Multichannel and Omnichannel approaches.
Multichannel (“many” channels)
It revolves around your communication and lets employees interact with your content on multiple channels but treats each channel as a silo, and independent from one another. Each channel in a multichannel strategy exists as a separate content source.
This also means that when it comes to publishing content, you’re likely going through additional manual effort to get it out via each channel. Posting your content on the Intranet, then putting it into the newsletter, and maybe reformatting it again for mobile. You become the integration engine, and the analytics are separate and siloed by channel.
Omnichannel ( “all” channels)
This revolves around your employees and creates a single employee experience across your brand by unifying content that accounts for the spillover between channels. If the user reads something in one place, it’s recognized as read everywhere. If they’ve commented on it in one place, that comment shows up everywhere.
When it comes to publishing, you create your post once and send it, your communications platform takes care of posting it on the Intranet, creating the newsletter, and sending the post out via your mobile apps. And if you add another channel, like Microsoft Teams or Slack or something else entirely, the platform will have a connector so that it’s still “Create Once, Publish everywhere.”
Reality of Omnichannel
Omnichannel isn’t an ideal or fantasy, it’s very much available and exactly what we built Sparrow. An Omnichannel experience allows your workforce to have their preferred place to consume and engage with the content, and allows them to be able to shift as they want facilitating a fluidity supported by the underlying technology.
There are also a few other characteristics that are important for such platforms:
- Muting Unnecessary Reminders: If an employee interacts with your content on one channel then there is no need to send him/her a reminder via another channel. It is one piece of content that once consumed is recognized as consumed everywhere.
- Unified Analytics: It’s important to be able to see the total number of views and engagement across all channels as if they were one. It is also important to be able to break down access by channel to let you know where your workforce is engaging. This can help identify if different types of content or engagement is more likely on certain channels over others. In a multichannel world, all of this is up to you to put together, with analytics from different systems that may not be equivalent to each other. Again, in a multichannel world you become the integration engine.
- Interactions from Everyone: When it comes to engaging our workforce, it’s important to not forget about those who won’t have access to the Intranet, MS Teams, or Slack, maybe they don’t even have an official corporate email address or access to your network. Everyone needs to be accounted for, which is why a platform that handles this in a unified way is vital. Before you decide on a mobile solution, make sure to read this article of ours. You want to make sure you have proper reach, but not engagement for some and only reading for others. You need to have it fit for everyone, and understanding their needs is vital to your success (see our post about multi-generational workforces).
At the end of the day, having an omnichannel platform that’s built explicitly for corporate communications is going to help you get your content out more easily, help your people engage with it more naturally and easily, and provide you the analytics to know and show what’s happening.
Some organizations are still centered around their Intranet as the main communications hub, however despite 20+ years of having them, they never connect with more than approximately 19% of your daily workforce and that’s further limited by those who don’t have easy access to it . First, you should ask yourself if you’ve outgrown your intranet and then figure out how to transition to an omnichannel strategy. We’d be more than happy to help you with that if you’re interested.
When it comes to communications platforms, the Sparrow teams aims to not only to deliver the best value product but to also be the partner that’s there for you. We work closely with our customers, sharing where we’re going, listening to what they would like to see in our platform, and always thinking about how we can make them even more successful with our platform. At Sparrow, we believe that corporate communications can be transformative. Sparrow – Built for Communicators. Book a conversation with us today.