Putting cross-channel marketing at the top of the agenda

By Simon O’Day, Vice President of Responsys Asia Pacific

Australians are more digitally connected and active online than ever before. Not only do consumers now spend more time using the internet, they are doing so across a variety of channels and on a number of different devices. This highly engaged consumer is good news for Australian marketers, presenting a number of opportunities, across a range of platforms, to reach their target audience.

With this in mind, I was somewhat surprised by the results of our recent survey* conducted at ad:tech Sydney and Melbourne. We found that while the majority of Australian marketers (89%) are now interacting with customers across more digital channels, they are doing so with minimal personalisation and automation – the corner stone of any successful campaign.

Uncovering the disconnect

Specifically, we found that marketers require more support or tools to help them implement cross-channel marketing campaigns (79%) – demonstrating a misalignment between Australian businesses’ objectives of targeting the engaged consumer and the marketing teams’ capability to achieve results.

Our research also revealed that less than one third of marketers communicate with customers through their preferred digital or social channel, and 23 per cent admit to never reaching out to customers through their channel of choice. So what does this mean for the industry and what can marketers do to improve the performance of their campaigns?

Getting personal

The amount of data now available from digital channels means marketers can target their audience in a highly personalised way that hasn’t been achievable before. However, if marketers want to see real returns from their cross-channel marketing efforts they need to find a way to still send highly personalised messages, but in an automated and orchestrated manner.

While Australian marketers are incorporating a variety of digital channels like email, mobile, social, display and the web to reach their customers, the level of personalisation they are using remains relatively low. What’s more they are spending far too much time executing campaigns and not enough time being strategic. It’s time for marketers to move away from manual, ‘batch and blast’ approaches and set up automated programs based on a customer’s lifecycle. Only by doing this will they enjoy the long-term benefit of increased efficiency and strengthened customer loyalty.

What we also found: A snapshot of how Australian marketers are leveraging social networks:

  • Facebook remains the social channel of choice for marketers, with 81 percent executing a marketing campaign on the social network in the last 12 months
  • Twitter has cemented itself as an increasingly important channel for marketers, with 70 percent implementing a campaign on Twitter in the last year
  • YouTube and LinkedIn are an equally important part of the marketing mix according to those surveyed with 49 percent (YouTube) and 45 (LinkedIn) percent of marketers using these channels to reach consumers in the last 12 months
  • Google+ and Pinterest are yet to become a fully integrated part of a marketers’ digital tool kit, as only 30 percent (Google+) and 13 percent (Pinterest) of marketers reported having executed a campaign on these platforms

*A survey conducted by Responsys of 115 marketers at ad:tech Sydney and Melbourne 14th– 15th March and 28th– 29th March 2012 .

This blog was written by Simon O’Day from Responsys.

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