Effective marketing demands accuracy, timeliness, integration - and discounts

14th Sep 2010

With almost three out of five consumers complaining that marketers fail to target their needs accurately, effective engagement involves presenting customers with the right offers at the right time via the right channel, according to research - though it will also help if you're providing product discounts!

A survey among 2,316 adults undertaken by YouGov on behalf of email marketing specialist Experian CheetahMail indicated that brands that integrated their digital channels "intelligently" had the most success in building and engaging an online audience.

Steve Lomax, Experian CheetahMail’s managing director, said: "It’s vital to present customers with the right offer at the right time through the right channel mix. When implemented correctly, campaigns that are relevant and timely are likely to generate significantly higher return on investment than standard bulk mailings."

In an email context, 45% of shoppers said they were most willing to respond to marketing messages that included discounts on products they had recently researched online. They also responded well to reminder emails about shopping baskets that had been filled online but not checked out and to messages that focused on products or services available in their area or that were targeted to their lifestyle or age group.

On the SMS side of things, 51% of respondents most welcomed ‘confirmation of a delivery date’ notifications, while a further 45% liked ‘confirmation of a purchase or appointment’. Text messages were also effective in generating an immediate response for above-the-line advertising and provided a means of capturing contact details for future mailings.

Offer-based SMS campaigns were likewise of interest to consumers as long as they were timely and relevant, with techniques such as geo-fencing helping to encourage customers to shop in their local store.

Some 51% of 18 to 24 year olds, meanwhile, indicated that they would be happy to follow brands on social media sites in order to ‘find out about sales and special offers’ (33%) or ‘hear other users’ experiences and reviews’ (17%). Adding an email address collection box on a social network could also increase subscriber bases for future email campaigns.

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