By Erica Schulte at Dscoop.org
The number one challenge that today’s marketers face is reaching consumers. Seismic shifts have left marketing teams in a very different landscape from what they faced just a few years ago. Customers are consuming messages differently, and developments like the Internet, downloadable music, and DVR have given them more control over whether they consume certain messages at all.
The Statistics Tell the Story
Marketers are no longer the only source of information on any given product or service. Customers are communicating on blogs as well as social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. These social channels have a tremendous amount of influence on brand perception. Consider some recent statistics:
- As of June 30, 2013, Facebook had 1.15 billion active users and 699 million daily active users. In addition, 819 million were actively using Facebook mobile products on a monthly basis.
- Twitter’s latest IPO filing revealed that the site had 230 million monthly active users (MAUs) as of September 2013, up from 218 million at the end of June 2013. 100 million users log into the service at least once a day and 5,700 tweets are sent every second.
- LinkedIn, which celebrated its 10th birthday in May 2013, has over 237 million members in 200 countries. Two new users join LinkedIn every second, and 64% of these members are outside the United States. LinkedIn includes over 2.7 million business pages and over 1 billion endorsements.
- Pinterest was the fastest-growing social network during 2012. According to data from Nielsen, Pinterest is currently in fourth place in terms of unique PC visitors in the U.S., just behind LinkedIn. (As would be expected, Facebook and Twitter captured the first and second place spots, respectively.) Based on Nielsen’s data, Pinterest has grown 1,047% year-over-year.
- First introduced in October 2010, Instagram currently has more than 150 million active monthly users. Over 16 billion photos have been shared and more than 55 million photos are uploaded daily.
- Over 1 billion unique consumers visit YouTube each month. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on the planet. 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and Nielsen reports that YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network.
- Today’s consumers conduct nearly all of their daily activities with a cell phone in reach. According to the International Telecommunication Union (February 2013), there are an estimated 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide—equivalent to 96% of the world’s population. The number of mobile subscribers also saw a huge increase between 2010 and 2011, rising from 5.4 billion to 6.0 billion.
- As of July 2012, there were an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States. According to WordPress.com, there are 42 million blogs, 25 billion pages viewed every month, 500,000 new posts a day, and 400,000 daily comments.
Today’s marketers are blending print, online, social, and mobile technologies for a very good reason
Consumers live and work in multiple media environments, and they have control over the information that accesses their eyes and ears. Today’s marketers are thinking across multiple platforms and seeking methods to extend messages to a more targeted footprint utilizing the appropriate channels.
In its study entitled Understanding Vertical Markets: Enterprise Communication Requirements, InfoTrends surveyed more than 1,000 enterprise executives. Enterprises are trying their best to respond to consumers in this “always on” era. InfoTrends’ research indicated that more than 80% of campaigns use multiple channels. Additionally, an average of three media types is used in each campaign.
Figure 1: How many different types of media does your company use in a typical customer communication/marketing campaign?
According to InfoTrends’ research, 47% of printed materials have been linked to a mobile, social, or online channel within the past 12 months. Today’s marketers are blending print, online, social, and mobile technologies for a very good reason. According to shop.org, 34% of consumers use at least 3 channels when shopping. In relation to their single-channel counterparts, these multi-channel shoppers spend up to 10 times more, are 25%-50% more profitable, and are also more loyal. Marketers are being driven to fashion new kinds of advertising and marketing that are anchored firmly in relevance, interactivity, and measurability.
Implications for Printing Concepts
Industry pundits have been talking about multi-channel communication for years, but these visions have now become a reality. Marketers have acknowledged cross media communications and are embracing them. This means that we are assessing where and how we fit in the continuum of the marketing value chain. There are four critical areas that we consider in our drive to participate in the multi-channel cross media world.
Cross Media Services, Content Management, and Delivery Capabilities
Web, print, mobile, social, and interactive media all play a role. There is a time, reason, and method for using each of these media types when connecting to your target audience. Cross media and marketing service providers need to support marketers by promoting their brands consistently across all media platforms. They must also build important linkages with a variety of stakeholders in their audience. The services portfolio must include personalized direct mail, personalized microsites, custom Web portal development, targeted e-mail messages, text messaging, mobile applications, social networking, and traditional media.
Database Management and Analysis
Marketing professionals are seeking the answers to a number of critical questions, including:
- What can I do to lower my customer acquisition costs?
- Where can I find my best prospects?
- Who are my best customers?
- How can I increase my response rates?
- How can I get the most accurate and timely reporting?
Marketers are seeking partners with the skills and knowledge to help them answer these questions. Service providers that don’t have skills to help marketers with database management and analysis must identify data analytics partners so they can become full service providers.
End-to-End Campaign Measurement
Marketing accountability needs to become a full-fledged strategic imperative for corporations. Marketers want a partner that can provide a real time comprehensive evaluation of ROI for each and every marketing initiative. Contingent upon the campaign objectives, the marketer will need information on:
- The number of qualified leads
- The cost per lead
- The number of click-throughs
- The customer acquisition cost
Savvy marketers should demand access to a real-time campaign dashboard so they can continually monitor results.
The Bottom Line
Marketing and promotion are the keys to any business. This holds true for all business types, be it an online marketing establishment or a bricks-and-mortar store. In this “always on” era, marketers need to reach the right customer with the right message at the right time via the right channel. Marketers recognize that one channel simply isn’t enough for today’s consumers. It’s time to assess the role that you will play in this cross media world!