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Email marketing top of the ROI Charts

The 2017 Econsultancy/Adestra email Marketing Industry Census has revealed that email marketing is top of the ROI Charts for the third year in a row.

Based on a survey of over 1,200 marketers undertaken between February and March 2017, 73% of companies along with 76% of agency respondents rated it excellent or good.

Budget allocated, however, was only 15% of total marketing budget, with a feeling that the growing complexity of the digital marketing landscape still left many marketers confused as to how best allocate funds to create a more complete campaign.

Those marketers who are more tech savvy and able to master the data and successes within email marketing are set to gain business advantages over competitors over the next 12 month period.

“The results of this year’s Census show that marketers are struggling to see the bigger picture and stand by their choices,” explained Henry Hyder-Smith, Adestra CEO. “By getting the fundamentals working together – personalisation, automation, integration, optimisation – they can make the most of the technology available, offer their customers the experience they are looking for, and realise the benefits of becoming First-Person Marketers.”

Monica Savut, head of research services at Econsultancy, said: “Email continues to be one of the most effective marketing channels and it’s encouraging to see that marketers are looking beyond standalone campaigns by embracing marketing automation and personalisation. However, this year’s Census shows that marketers need to adopt a more rigorous approach, keeping a sharp focus on both technology and strategy while never losing sight of the customer.

“The rewards are there for the taking, but reaping maximum value is dependent on two key success factors: investment that is proportional to any potential returns and a comprehensive strategy that focuses on continuous measurement, testing and optimisation.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

2017 Email Marketing Industry Census

Guest Blog, Nick Henderson: Traditional demographic data will always have its place…

Traditional marketing can refer to the channel that is taken, or it can refer to the technique that is used to determine what to market and to who. While the channel of marketing has been an obvious transition from postal to online, what hasn’t been so obvious is the rise of utilising digital, rather than traditional demographic, data to make marketing decisions. More than a third of marketers are looking to shift spend from traditional mass advertising to more tailored advertising on digital channels (Salesforce, 2015).

Firstly, it is important to stress that traditional demographic data will always be necessary. Certain services and products have a target audience limited by age, gender or location, for example over-50s insurance, gender-specific products, or location-dependent offers such as a restaurant chain with multiple locations.

With marketers reporting that customer satisfaction and customer retention rates are both key digital marketing metrics for success (Salesforce, 2015), it is even more important to keep up with the ever-growing demand for a personalised user experience. 70 per cent of consumers want a more personalised shopping experience, and 60 per cent of consumers are comfortable with their digital data, such as their interests, being used by retailers so that they can receive more relevant offers throughout the year.

While traditional data has its place in a modern marketing world, this alone is not sufficient to provide true personalisation to your consumer base, and it often fails, resulting in drop-offs during the buying process, and a reduced sense of brand loyalty stemming from feeling unvalued as an individual. Assuming that an entire demographic group all hold the same interests is a huge mistake that can cost you thousands of customers. Not every millennial likes coffee cups with their name on; not every female loves pink; and not everyone living in London wants to see a West End musical. Offers based on demographic data like age, location or gender can result in communications being impersonal and consumers feeling frustrated. Research has found that targeting more specific emails to smaller groups of consumers results in higher open and click rates.

A way that businesses can get around these restrictions is by utilising big data analytics. Big data is a term which refers to a large set of unstructured data that requires advanced analytic techniques to derive meaning. One way to put it would be considering big data as a goldmine – there is a lot of value there but it is useless without the correct tools to extract it. Big data analytics is the process of getting gold bullion from this gold mine – where the gold bullion is the meaningful and actionable insight.  Big data is by no means a new term utilised by businesses, and it has been discussed, and even invested in for a long time. What businesses seem to be missing, however, is the right tools to extract meaning from it.

As mentioned earlier, consumers are increasingly becoming comfortable with having their online data utilised in return for a more personalised user experience. When comparing the depth of consumer insight that can be derived from a consumer digital footprint to the amount that is utilised in traditional marketing techniques (which is usually limited to sociodemographic data), there is no question that it would enable more effective personalisation. With the right analysis, businesses can gain real-time insight into consumer personality, their hobbies and interests, their life events, and more, all on top of the traditional sociodemographic data, and this is what is required to make the consumer experience truly personalised.

It is unlikely to be the case that traditional data in marketing will become obsolete to businesses, and this data can be used in conjunction with more advanced data mining techniques to enable more personalised targeted marketing based on deeper consumer insights.

On top of personalised marketing, this insight can be used to pre-fill application forms, detect and reduce fraudulent transactions, asses credit risk and boost financial inclusion, and personalise products based on customer interests, saving time for customers and increasing the chances of them completing an application or buying an item.

It’s important to remember that the acquisition process and using targeted marketing is only the start. Following through the consumer journey can go a long way to building customer loyalty. Understanding consumer behaviour based on personality, interests, and life events provides key indicators of what products and services they might be interested in. For example, if a TV and internet provider has real-time insight into its customers’ life events, it could identify which customers are going to university and market their services as a student bundle, ideal for multiple users streaming at once. Likewise, a coffee shop could identify which of its customers have upcoming exams and offer them a revision such as ‘skip the library: get your second coffee free for a stress-free revision session.’ This is just one of an endless list of examples of how businesses can leverage big data insights to create a personalised user experience.

By harnessing the power of big data businesses can personalise the user journey from sign-up, throughout the entire relationship and adapt alongside their consumers’ ever-changing needs. Real and effective personalisation isn’t just offering a football fan football tickets, it’s about offering a football fan tickets to their favourite team on their birthday.

 

Nick Henderson

Nick.henderson@hellosoda.com

0161 694 9747

www.hellosoda.com

 

Nick has over 13 years’ experience in sales and business development in credit risk, fraud and ID. Nick joined Hello Soda in July 2016 during an exciting time of growth for the business, and focuses on one of our core big data analytics products, PROFILE Personalisation, enabling businesses to empower consumers by providing an individualised user experience based on unique real-time insights.

Marketers rely on data to manage client and agency relationships…

A recent survey from the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has revealed that more than 80 per cent of advertisers are using data as a tool to help them manage agency relationships.

ANA, in partnership with Decideware, explored the use of data in broad categories of the client/agency relationship, including: tracking of agency hours, agency performance evaluations, production costs, creative/copy testing and media efficiencies/budgets.

The survey of 92 ‘client-side marketers’ found 90 per cent see data as a way of improving agency efficiencies; 84 per cent believe the use of data will grow in their organisation; and 78 per cent state data improves internal efficiencies at a client’s organisation.

ANA Group EVP, Bill Duggan said: “Data helps build better relationships between the client and agency, helping both parties to focus on outcome. And at a time where there are transparency issues in the industry, the use of data enhances trust.”

Among the 37 performance metrics evaluated, media-related metrics account for seven of the 10 highest-rated metrics for importance, with delivery of total campaign audience goals, efficiency of media buys and media quality assessment rated the highest.

Industry Spotlight: How can marketers ensure that their brand is being displayed correctly on the high street?

Luca Pagano, CEO of BeMyEye, discusses the need for marketers to find a cost-effective means of ensuring that retailers in brick and mortar stores are displaying their brand correctly.

In the digital age, it’s easy to forget that marketers face challenges offline, as well as online. When faced with decreasing budgets and difficulties justifying ROI to the c-suite, a common problem is proving that offline marketing materials are achieving what is intended. Marketers do not have the same visibility afforded to them when their brand appears in a physical store as they do in online environments. Ultimately, as soon as marketing materials leave the marketers hands, they go into a blind spot.

With the uncertainty of Brexit’s impact and falling store prices, marketers will have to work harder than ever to ensure consistent revenue streams and safeguard operational efficiency. The majority of sales for brands and retailers still take place offline and therefore marketers who supply brand products and materials to physical stores must be confident that their brand is being presented to consumers correctly.

 

Facing the challenge head on

The biggest challenge in ensuring this is the spread of location. Marketers cannot easily monitor how their products and marketing materials are being presented in thousands of physical stores. Normally, marketers would receive a sample snapshot of data providing an overview of their brands presence across a handful of stores, but how can marketers ensure that this is consistent everywhere to measure accurate compliance of promotional activation and ultimately ROI?

To achieve a census view, the brand needs to ‘see’ each individual store. However, up until now this has been a costly, lengthy and improbable task for sales teams to complete. Brands need the ability to check thousands of retailers for in-stock presence of their products, effective activation of marketing collateral and POP and compliance of price quickly and cost-effectively.

 

The role of crowdsourcing to ensure brand consistency

Mobile crowdsourcing and the gig economy have grown at rapid speeds in recent years and businesses are beginning to tap into its incredible power. Marketers can utilise hundreds of thousands of eyes on the ground who are ready to deliver detailed actionable insights about their brand. The crowd can deliver images of promotional activity, pricing and competitor positioning from any location, all in real time.

BeMyEye’s recent report ‘Eyeing up the cost of UK groceries’ is an example of this at work, revealing price differences for a basket of popular groceries across hundreds of retailers in the UK, collected over just 4 days. The crowd uncovered granular level details of branded goods, including that cans of coke are less likely to be stocked in two of the four big supermarkets than avocados, which highlights changes in distribution for Coca Cola in the UK.

The report also discovered interesting insights for marketers when looking at convenience shopping, which is a trend that could unseat leading retailers as consumers move towards ‘little and often’ shopping. For example, results from the report showcase that whilst supermarkets like Tesco remain the most cost-effective outlet for grocery basics like milk, eggs and bread, some other goods, such as avocados, can often be found for lower prices in off-licences.

 

Brands are already benefiting from the crowd

The data from the grocery report highlights that it is possible to gather actionable retail intelligence at scale, cost-effectively and in real-time, however utilising the crowd doesn’t just apply to the grocery sector, the data can be applied to any brand or retailer operating on the high street.

For example, the world’s largest cruise line company, MSC Cruises, uses BeMyEye’s crowd of eyes to analyse the presence of their marketing materials in its travel agency partners. The results amounted to a complete overhaul in the brand’s marketing strategy as 30 per cent of the travel agent partners weren’t displaying the materials correctly.

During uncertain times, marketers need an honest representation of how their marketing materials, promotional offers, and products are being presented and they can turn to mobile crowdsourcing to find this stability. A recent report from McKinsey showed the importance of insights for brands, stating that brands such as Phillips and TRESemmé are all driving growth by meeting consumer needs better than their competitors are. Brands who invest wisely in scaled data, analytics and real-time insights will often achieve up to 10 per cent sales increase, up to 5 per cent higher return on sales and a margin uplift of 1 to 2 per cent – something the c-suite cannot argue with when allocating marketing budgets.

Crowdsourcing and the gig economy have quickly become the fastest, most feasible, accurate and valuable means for marketers to gather granular insights about their products, pricing and promotional activity across every single offline touchpoints. Combating this blind spot will be fundamental for marketers to maximise their brand’s revenue streams in the uncertain post-Brexit retail landscape.

 

Luca is CEO of BeMyEye, Europe’s leader of mobile crowdsourcing for real world data gathering. Prior to BeMyEye, Luca was co-founder and CEO of Glamoo, Italy’s third largest player in the digital couponing space, acquired by Seat Pagine Gialle in 2014.

Prior to joining Glamoo, Luca was VP of Publishing EMEA at EA Mobile, where he spearheaded the growth of iconic brands like Fifa, Tetris and Need for Speed into the dominant titles of the App Store; from 2001 to 2009 Luca was Managing Director UK & International at Buongiorno, a global leader in mobile Value Added Services (VAS).

Experian Marketing Services confirmed as MBF’s headline sponsor…

Experian Marketing Services, a leading industry provider of data-driven marketing expertise and cloud-based technology, has been confirmed as the headline sponsor of the upcoming Marketing Business Forum (MBF), to be held on November 8 at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London.

With more than 30 years’ experience using analytics, customer identify data and cross-channel marketing solutions for better data-informed decision making, Experian will benefit from full accessibility to pre-arranged one-on-one meetings with big-name delegates ooking to optimise their current strategies; as well as numerous networking opportunities in a relaxed setting.

Dan Bond, head of Marketing at Experian Marketing Services commented: “Experian’s expertise in data, and our powerful Marketing Suite, puts us in a unique position to solve today’s marketing challenges. At the Marketing Business Forum, we are looking forward to connecting with people and companies we can help. Events like this are a great way to share knowledge and build long-lasting business relationships.”

Craig Ross, event sales executive at the Marketing Business Forum said: “Experian Marketing Services are the perfect fit as headline sponsor due to their experience within the industry and the vast number of services they offer. With more than 90 delegates looking for a number of services from this year’s event, Experian have the capabilities to assist the majority of our attendees with their upcoming projects, making the event hugely beneficial to all involved.”

 

Learn more about Experian Marketing Services here

Data leading marketers to feel ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘distracted’, new report claims…

A survey of 151 UK-based senior marketers commissioned by the Callcredit Information Group has revealed that almost three quarters (72 per cent) believe data is negatively affecting the creative aspects of their role; with 69 per cent branding data as a ‘distraction’ from core marketing duties.

The Data Dilemma’ study found data to be a ‘valuable asset’ for 70 per cent of respondents, but the medium is not being fully exploited within their organisations. This corresponds to the fact that only 29 per cent believe they hold the appropriate skills to analyse data effectively – prompting 44 per cent to claim they are planning on investing in further training over the next two years.

Download a full copy of ‘The Data Dilemma’ here

Nielsen Marketing Cloud and i2c collaborate to deliver ‘complete omnichannel view’…

The Nielsen Marketing Cloud has announced an ‘insight collaboration’ with i2c – an innovative partnership between Sainsbury’s and Aimia – that concentrates on data-driven strategies and insights designed to influence shopping behaviour, build brand loyalty and enhance the shopping experience for customers.

Both parties claim that this collaboration will enable brands to acquire a ‘complete omnichannel’ view of customers across hundreds of key characteristics; as well as allowing marketers to harness the data gained in order to analyse, activate and plan their marketing campaigns across media; reliably analyse campaign results and improve the relevance of their customer messages.

Previously, the Nielsen Marketing Cloud and i2c partnered to support Carling’s national ‘Great British Moments’ campaign, which resulted in a 19 per cent sales uplift and a 4.1(X) campaign ROI attributed to this collaboration.

VP and managing director of Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Europe, Matt Bennathan, commented: “The collaboration of i2c and The Nielsen Marketing Cloud has proven the impact that data-driven programmatic audience buying can have on in-store and online sales for a brand. Our award-winning Carling campaign illustrated that.”

He continued: “The Nielsen Marketing Cloud has the richest UK data available and is a perfect partner for Nectar’s loyalty card data. We can programmatically engage digital audiences at scale and close the loop, providing strong, measurable sales results.”

 

Learn more about i2c here