A new study by ExactTarget has found that UK marketers are at the head of the pack when it comes to using segmented multi-channel marketing campaigns, with more British marketers operating such sophisticated campaigns than in any other country.
However, whilst 68% UK marketers deliver multi-channel marketing messages based on customer segments, only 35% actually know which channels their customers prefer.
The new Strategy Meets Customer Expectations whitepaper also found that UK marketers are increasingly relying on email, with more than half of all UK marketers reporting that email touches all areas of their marketing campaigns.
Text messaging is also emerging as a channel of choice for UK marketers with more than 70% of marketers citing the channel as an effective medium to deliver alerts.
Social media emerged as the channel that generated the most optimism from marketers with nearly 70% of marketers surveyed reporting that they believe opportunities to market via social networks will be around for the foreseeable future.
"UK marketers are harnessing the power of multi-channel messaging more frequently than marketers in any other country," says Peter McCormick, general manager and co-founder of ExactTarget. "However, much like their contemporaries in the United States, UK marketers often mistake consumers' personal communication preferences with their marketing communication preferences."
The research found that:
- 44% of UK consumers prefer to receive alerts via text message, while 74% of marketers believe the channel is the best way to deliver alerts.
- 46% of UK marketers currently use social media to market, while 65% of UK consumers report ignoring advertisements on social media.
- 69% of women aged 18 to 24 prefer text messaging to communicate with friends and family, while only 12% of the group report they made a purchase as a result of a text message from a marketer. (This compares to more than half of the group that reports they made a purchase as a result of direct mail or email).
In addition to identifying the challenges marketers face in harnessing the power of consumer preferences, the whitepaper recommends UK marketers implement three key recommendations:
- Technology is a must — Marketers need to use technology to drive coordinated interaction across multiple channels. According to the study, marketers who realise better results have access to technology that allows them to strengthen their multi-channel programmes, yet 68% of marketers examined believed they need more comprehensive and integrated application suites.
- Permission remains more important than ever — Consumers understand that they have choices, and expect marketers to deliver meaningful information, tailored to their individual needs. Consumers do not want to hear from marketers whom they have not invited to contact them — 29% of consumers believe unsolicited promotions are unacceptable through any channel.
- Budgets, channels limit multi-channel campaigns — 80% of marketers want to improve their multi-channel programmes, yet 60% become stuck in isolating channel-focused budget competitions.
Readers can download the full whitepaper free of charge from ExactTarget's website