Trends, Benchmarks And Insights – Digital Marketing In 2013

Recently, Experian Marketing Services released a very comprehensive report on just how marketers can reach today’s always on, highly engaged and demanding consumer in an integrated way across a variety of digital marketing channels including email, display advertising, mobile, search and social media.

The report contains trends, predictive benchmark data and analytical insights which are aimed to assist marketers in maximising opportunities and ROI. While much of the data is US based, it is still very relevant and topical for Australian marketers.

What kind of information can you expect to find in this report? Well, we thought we’d share a couple of insights with you below:

  • 44% of emails are opened on mobile devices
  • Personalised promotional emails had 29% higher unique open rate and 41% higher click rates than non personalised email
  • Around 1/4 of adults (aged 35-49 years) visit websites on 4+ different devices a week
  • 35% of marketers said response attribution (understanding the impact of multi channel marketing programs) was the most challenging multichannel marketing issue for their organisation.
  • The most profitable social sharing level is the first degree of separation (e.g you recommend a product or service to a friend via a link and then they buy it).
  • Australians are among the most avid users of smartphones in the world with sales exceeding those of PCs

At the conclusion of the report Experian state that “...marketers must unite their messages across those touch-points to create relevant experiences regardless of the customer’s channel or device preferences.” and to “…differentiate your business by providing excellent service and one-to-one connections — in other words, be customer obsessed.

We would highly recommend downloading a copy of the full report for yourself here, it is a really handy reference for any marketer.

If you’re looking for more information on digital marketing trends, check out our previous article Digital Marketing Trends In Australia.

What Is Content Marketing?

What Is Content Marketing?

One of the key Australian trends for 2013 that we discussed in our article Marketing Predictions For Australian Marketers In 2013 was ‘Content is King’. Everywhere you look, people are discussing the importance of content marketing and why marketers need to develop a sound content marketing strategy to avoid being left behind.

This week we decided to get back to basics, the 101, and look at what content marketing actually is, how marketers can use it and also some juicy statistics on content marketing in Australia.

The term ‘content’ doesn’t just mean written words, posts or articles. It is much more broad. Basically, content marketing refers to the act of distributing relevant, authentic and quality content and multimedia across any number of channels/platforms, with the ultimate aim of engaging with consumers.

By providing consumers with content that they actually want to watch, read, learn, enjoy and share, creates a positive brand experience and strengthens the brand relationship. The end result is increased brand awareness, traffic, customers and ultimately sales.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the common channels/platforms that marketers may use in their content marketing strategy:

  • Social media
  • Email newsletters
  • Commenting, posts and articles
  • Graphics, infographics, images, memes, photos and comics (e.g shared on sites like Pinterest and Instagram)
  • Slides, graphs and charts (e.g distributing via websites like SlideShare)
  • Video, webinars and podcasts
  • Events, presentations, papers, ebooks, articles and case studies
  • Online forums
  • Tools, apps and games

Now you may be thinking, I wonder what other marketers are doing? Well, as promised, let’s get into some juicy Australian statistics released by the Content Marketing Institute a couple of weeks ago:

  • 96% of Australian marketers are using content marketing
  • 61% plan to increase their content marketing budget over next 12 months
  • 25% of marketing budgets are allocated to content marketing
  • An average of 12 tactics/channels are used by marketers
  • Top 3 tactics/channels used are articles on your website, social media and email newsletters
  • Top 3 most effective tactics/channels seen to be in person events, case studies and email newsletters

So now that you know the basics and a little about what other marketers are doing, it’s time to get your skates on. Remember, you can always outsource content creation if you don’t have the time or feel out of your depth. Either way, always remember content marketing is not about a sales pitch or a call to action. It is about sharing quality (and not necessarily quantity) content that is authentic, unique and ultimately engaging.

If you’re looking for more information, check out a couple of our recent articles on Why The Digital Content Revolution Will Not Be Televised and 27 Ways To Improve Your Content. We also came across this great little video by the SEOMOZ crew on How To Win The Content Arms Race:

A Brave New World – Social Customer Relationship Management

We are currently witnessing societal and business change not seen since the industrial revolution. The combination of mobile phones, the internet and social channels are revolutionizing every aspect of our lives.

Within this brave new world where the customer is ‘front and centre and totally in control’ in terms of what and how they want to be engaged, we need to re-evaluate the traditional means of communication with current and potential customers when it comes to the online environment.

Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) businesses have the ability to combine social media engagement with customer relationship management. For savvy businesses looking to capitalise on the next stage in the social/ technology revolution, SCRM is the next frontier. (more…)

The Marketing Cloud: A New Era For Marketing

We attended the Salesforce Cloudforce Essentials day in Melbourne yesterday and we wanted to share with you some of the interesting discussions from the day. Salesforce recently launched Marketing Cloud™ which is a collection of cloud based marketing services to make both internal and external marketing communications easier to manage and be more effective.

Derek Laney who is the Director of Product Marketing Management at Salesforce gave a presentation yesterday called “Introducing The Marketing Cloud” which we really enjoyed.

Even if you are not interested in using their cloud based platform there were still some great points raised about how we need to engage more with customers, integrate our marketing efforts both online and offline and also measure our performance so we can continually improve and find new opportunities. You might also be interested to check out our article on using Inbound Marketing In Your Marketing Mix where we also discussed the importance of customer engagement.

There were three key take outs we wanted to share with you that we took note of from Derek’s presentation:

  • Improve customer engagement via social channels for increased return on investment – Business is now more social so it is more important than ever to align social goals with our business goals. In Derek’s presentation he talked about the real opportunity for marketers to listen to customers in real time and to build and engage with them.
  • Streamline and intergrate both offline and online marketing – While social is exciting it has certainly created chaos for marketers. There’s social media, PR, messaging, marketing, community management, creatives, media, eCommerce, digital etc. We need to find ways to better streamline marketing efforts across multiple platforms. Derek then shared with us how Salesforce’s new Marketing Cloud™ helps to turn insights into actions and connect with customers for life.
  • Measure and report on your data – We all know how important it is to not only look at our brands performance but also our competitors. We need to listen, analyse, engage and then also measure and report on how we are performing so that we can better develop insights and key strategies. There is a wealth of customer information we have right at our finger tips, we just need to find ways to better utilise this data.

If you are interested in finding out more, check out Derek Laney’s presentation slides. Thanks to Derek for a great presentation and for sharing this with us. You can also follow Derek on Twitter @derektweets.

Digital Marketing Trends In Australia

We recently published an article on Inbound Marketing In Your Marketing Mix where we discussed the importance of customer engagement and the need to focus more attention on earning the interest of customers and not just relying on being able to buy it through traditional marketing. However, for many of us, digital marketing is still somewhat of an untamed beast. The good news out this week is we’re not alone.

Responsys got in touch with us and kindly shared their annual Big Australia Report which discusses and benchmarks the practices of digital marketing in Australia based on interviews they conducted with 125 digital marketers around Australia in July and August of this year. (more…)

Using Social Platforms for Business

There is a rapidly increasing trend of social platforms and tools being used internally (not just externally) within organisations. This was actually one of the hot topics discussed at the Mashable Social Media Day 2012 Unconference Melbourne held at Inspire9 this past weekend.

Long gone are the days of the basic company Intranet with different company areas and static documents. Sure, everyone has a company Facebook page and Twitter account, but are you really connecting to your customers and clients? Are you even connecting with your colleagues? Companies are getting social, so get with the program!

We’ve come across a few interesting social platforms we’d like to share with you to help you better utilise and engage your team and connections.

Yammer

Yammer is a private company social network where you can securely collaborate across departments, countries, content and applications. It is a very popular enterprise social network tool and is actually used by over 200,000 companies around the world.

Some of the great features of this software include:

  • Great platform for the company to collaborate, share knowledge and ask questions
  • Improved visibility across the organisation to engage employees
  • Ability to share content by posting to team workspaces and editing in real time
  • Connecting and collaborating with customers and other partners
  • A flexible administration so you can customise and control your network

There is a basic network you can join for free to test Yammer out for yourself. There are some great paid packages for more functionality.

Icon

Spigit are a leading global Social Enterprise company and the minds behind Icon, the free private crowd sourcing platform. It’s a great way to generate ideas and innovate. It also offers intergration with Yammer.

Got a burning question you’d love answered? Don’t have the budget to do research? Well with Icon, you choose who you want to engage on the platform and you can leverage their creativity, ideas and feedback to make better decisions and truly innovate.

You get the flexibility to create a crowd or community that you want to interact with. You then set up challenges by asking a question to the crowd. The crowd will post their ideas and then vote on the best one. People are incentivised to participate with a point system for challenges and participation.

Icon is free to use and Spigit also offer SpigitEngage which is a more comprehensive enterprise platform that enables end to end innovation management.

Tip: the more people you invite to participate in your crowd the more useful you will find this platform.

Chatter

Chatter is a trusted employee social network designed by Salesforce. It enables businesses to become more social and encourage greater collaboration anywhere around the world in real time.

Some of it’s great features include:

  • Chatter messenger feature where you can have private or group conversations
  • News feed so you can see what’s going on
  • Social intelligence to recommend relevant people, groups files and records
  • File sharing so you can securely share documents and track versions
  • Create groups so you can easily share information, collaborate on documents and work more productively
  • Create Workflow approvals
  • Integration within SharePoint

Salesforce have a free trial version that you can download and test out for yourself and there is also a paid option with the full suite of features.

Rypple

Have you ever sat through a boring performance appraisal and just thought ‘What’s the point?’. Well you’re not alone. Rypple offers a new way to look at performance management and is a great solution offered by Salesforce.

The web based platform helps companies to improve their performance through key features including:

  • Social goals to improve collaboration
  • Coaching and ability to create private shared spaces
  • Fast and frequent feedback rather than waiting for a meeting or review
  • Recognition with thanks and custom badges
  • Performance summaries to make performance reviews more relevant

These great features mean that team members know where they stand and can be accountable for achieving their goals.

There is a basic free plan so you can trial it for yourself and there are paid plans with more features if you find it’s what you’re after.

We hope that you’ve found some of these suggestions useful. If you’ve had experience with these social tools or any others, we’d love to hear from you below.