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Tuesday, 03 December 2013 13:58

What is the endgame of internet marketers?


They want their share of our disposable income. How do they do that?

By using web analytics, predicative analytics, big data, little (granular) data, and dogged persistence in gathering as much information about our digital lives in order present highly tailored advertising – called personalised offers - to gain the edge.

I attended a media and analysts briefing over lunch at Wildfire restaurant at the Passenger Terminal in Sydney. Present was Jane Briggs, Director of First Point Research and her client Kyle McManus, Sales Director of Sitecore Australia and New Zealand, to talk frankly about digital marketing and a new research study into the attitudes and behaviours of Australian and New Zealand digital marketers.

Before we go further - I am not a fan of having my digital space invaded by digital marketing but it appears that Generation Y, Z, and to a lesser degree X, considers it de rigueur – fashionable – and an acceptable part of their lives.






The main outcomes of the survey were:

  • Offline (print, radio, TV, trade shows, and telemarketing) has shrunk to 61% of the marketing budget – 39% is now online (paid search results [AdWords], Web sites, social media, email, affiliate programs, webinars). That represents a huge drop in the traditional marketing mix
  • Smaller firms - <$2 million turnover - are willing to try digital marketing because (a) it has lower costs and (b) they think that they see more instant results. Larger firms use a mix of offline and online
  • The momentum is overwhelmingly towards increasing online spend
  • Email – junk mail – is still the preferred campaign delivery mechanism but social media use is not far behind
  • Online channels – delivery systems - are growing. Things like inflight and shopping mall entertainment are new ‘channels’.

In defence of offline – and these comments are in part from the briefing’s attendees – the ground rules have changed. So-called shotgun offline marketing is expensive but it still has its place where building long-term brand awareness is important. The decline of print and electronic, trade shows and direct mail is more about marketers experimenting in the digital space. Some 34% admitted they did not understand or needed more education about using this media, had difficulty finding digitally skilled staff or could not measure ROI from the campaigns.

Many marketers cannot really measure the success of digital campaigns – except by some very basic metrics like visits to the web site. The question is whether such visits result in sales or merely awareness. What makes the cash register ring!

Until more intrusive tracking is possible – and it may well be now – it is hard to measure that social media mentions or web search AdWords actually produces sales in their own right.

Jane summarised that marketing staff see digital as the place to be, to try new things and to harness the booming mobile market – perhaps however some really don’t really know what they are doing or what the medium is capable of.

Which is a good segway to Sitecore and Kyle McManus.

To Kyles credit he did not push the Sitecore line – ‘it is the global leader in software for managing web content and customer engagement providing an automated, flexible and predictive customer experience management platform that seamlessly combines web content management with customer intelligence to drive real one-on-one engagement with every customer at every touch point.’

Sitecore's Australian customers include Coles, Nissan, Network 10, Canon, Blackmores, Jenny Craig, CSIRO, AustralianSuper, AGL, Australian Army, Institute of Chartered Accountants, and Sydney Airport – all of which want a bigger piece of our disposable income pie.

What I got from this

Well a few delightful calories – the thyme-roasted baby spatchcock and hand cut chips were divine.

There is no doubt that marketing is moving from offline to online but the former has its place and a good marketing campaign will use a mix of all – online is yet to prove itself as a standalone device.

The ability to track results online is scary – granularity needs to be controlled. It is not fair if the supplier knows more about you than you do. Let’s be clear – there are dozens of things that an online marketer knows about you: IP address, real address, type of phone or computer (iPhone users pay more), facebook, linkedin, tweets, shoe size, birthday, what you eat, and so on all courtesy of your unique advertising identifier. The term used was ‘don’t screw the pooch’ by being too greedy or intrusive.

Sitecore is aware of this and feels that the industry will largely respect a modicum of privacy.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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