The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

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1 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

2 Foreword Hong Kong is on the cusp of a multichannel marketing revolution, with investment in mobile marketing about to take off and more companies realising the importance of using analytics and data to drive their multichannel marketing approaches. The revolution is near but it s not here yet. Experian s work with marketers in Hong Kong shows the marketing landscape is very much shaped or potentially inhibited by two factors: competition and e-commerce. In the first instance, there is less competition among business and brands, particularly when compared with larger markets such as the UK and the US. This can discourage companies from taking risks and pushing the marketing boundaries and, as a result, we tend to see Hong Kong marketers taking a safer approach in the uptake of new marketing channels. Secondly, e-commerce enablement has been hindered in Hong Kong due to the lifestyle of local consumers. The people of Hong Kong love to get out and about to shop and are spending more time pounding the pavement and visiting precincts like Causeway Bay than they do online. As such, e-commerce is not as advanced in Hong Kong as it is in other economies and shopping is still very much a leisure pursuit. These two factors have hindered the development of some channels in the marketer s arsenal. Yet, paradoxically, it seems consumers are ready to embrace these newer channels. There is an almost palpable desire among consumers to use and interact with technology, with people using their phones to scan QR (quick response) codes, check websites or use a company s app. The need is there, but how far have Hong Kong marketers come in delivering the marketing services that consumers demand? Hong Kong digital trends The ADMA Digital Marketing Yearbook 2011 paints a clear picture of Hong Kong online usage and supports Experian s observations about the state of play in the local market. Most tellingly, Hong Kong citizens are clearly heavy users of the mobile phone. ADMA found that Hong Kong has one of the highest mobile service penetration rates in the world, at around 184% (close to two phones per person). Furthermore, the study shows that while smartphones currently have a global penetration rate of 23%, in Hong Kong the penetration of users is nearer to 48% and more than half (52%) of these smartphone users access the mobile internet via them. Marketers are starting to embrace this mobile phone culture, with SMS marketing coming to the fore as a key channel for companies. This trend is being accompanied by a decline in marketing and it is likely that the main mechanism for reaching Hong Kong consumers in the future will be via the phone in their pocket. Online activity The ADMA report shows that, in 2010, Hong Kong consumers spent an average of 16.1 hours per person per month online. This is well behind Japan (27.8 hours) and China (30.7 hours) but similar to Australia (18.5 hours). In addition, consumers in Hong Kong spend far less of their time online searching on retail sites just 1.5% of their total online time, far behind Japan (5.7%) or China (4.5%) and below the global average (2.6% of total online time spent on retail sites). However, data from Experian Hitwise, suggests this trend for e-commerce is starting to change. During the year to December 2011, the share of all online visits to shopping and commerce websites increased from 2.5% to 3.5% of all internet visits. While Hong Kong may lag behind some markets in its uptake of online retail, it does have one of the highest penetrations of online banking in the region. Experian s own market experience suggested marketers from financial services are a step ahead in their adoption of multichannel marketing and effective digital integration. This growing appetite for consumers to be online is likely to increase the volume of online retail over the next 12 months. The ADMA findings show how Hong Kong consumers changing behaviours are the driving force behind the growing diversity and increasing digitalisation in marketing communications. What s next? As Hong Kong consumers start to spend more time online, marketers are looking to better engage their target audiences. Companies are looking to increase their advertising allocation on social media and mobile apps in response to consumers interacting with brands across these channels. 2 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

3 Foreword Yet, in spite of the increasing popularity of these online tools, the lack of measurable ROI is still a challenge to marketers. Hong Kong s love affair with the mobile opens a raft of new opportunities for marketers and throws up a range of challenges, too. Marketers need new and clear insights into consumer preferences and behaviours when it comes to mobile websites and apps. They need to know how consumer mindsets and expectations around brand engagement are changing. Critically, they need the analytics and insights to measure the work they are doing in the digital space. With consumers readily adopting new technologies, marketers need to develop clear strategies around the use of data and analysis to deliver insights that, in turn, drive more effective use of technology in the future. The current trend of sending undifferentiated and SMS campaigns to consumers is no longer generating the impact that marketers desire. In response, marketers must start using data to drive responsive campaigns, to test and learn, and provide more one-to-one marketing communications. Those organisations that are more sophisticated in this space are experiencing the greatest advantage. The next 12 months will be interesting to watch in the Hong Kong market. Will marketers finally let go of their blast mentality and truly embrace customer segmentation and lifecycle marketing? Will the true value of mobile marketing be realised? And will multichannel marketing, with all of its potential and power, permanently alter the Hong Kong marketing landscape? This whitepaper draws upon recent research conducted by Experian Marketing Services among Hong Kong marketers and consumers to answer these and other questions. You can use the insights within this report to support key decisions about how the multichannel marketing world fits within your organisation and identify ways to increase the efficiency of marketing communications. With the shift to multichannel marketing, marketers require clear insights into how the channels they invest in are being used and perceived by consumers. They also need the confidence that any investment in new channels will deliver measurable results. About the study To paint a clear picture of the current state of play in consumer marketing, Experian Marketing Services commissioned independent research with 300 Hong Kong marketing professionals across the retail, financial services, government, technology, digital and travel industries; and a representative sample of 1,046 consumers across all demographics. The independent research documented in this whitepaper reveals how well marketers and consumers interests are aligned. On the marketing side, the research demonstrates where marketers in Hong Kong are investing their dollars and which channels they value most highly in their communication. From a consumer perspective, it explores how effectively the general population in Hong Kong responds to and engages with marketing efforts. The findings shed light on the marketing strategies which are already used effectively, but also identify opportunities for marketers to work smarter and align with customer expectations. By taking consumer perspectives into consideration, marketers will be in a stronger position to leverage the benefits of multichannel marketing and ensure that their adoption of this approach delivers long-term results. 3 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

4 Executive Summary John Merakovsky Director, Experian Marketing Services, Asia Pacific Multichannel marketing: the way of the future With new channels emerging across the globe on a monthly basis, marketers are under pressure to connect with their customers across multiple channels and in more meaningful ways. At the same time, as consumers become exposed to an increasing number of marketing touchpoints, marketers must measure these multichannel marketing activities, gauge consumer reactions and refine their activities accordingly. Already, multichannel marketing is delivering success in a number of industry sectors in Hong Kong. Financial services organisations and large retailers, on the whole, have embraced the lifecycle marketing approach and are leveraging multichannel marketing to great success. These organisations have multichannel strategies mapped out for the entire customer lifecycle from customer acquisition and welcome programs, to targeted communications based on customer purchases / enquiries. From these campaigns, marketers can develop more sophisticated programs that tap into cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Yet other marketers are lagging behind and need to adopt a considered approach that boosts the sophistication of their marketing programs. They need to become smart about their use of technology so that, instead of sending out mass s and SMS, they use data more effectively to drive responsive campaigns and one-to-one marketing. Key findings Overall, the Experian Marketing Services research shows that marketers are working hard to understand their customers, and use this understanding to provide tailored communications wherever possible. They are confident about customer segmentation strategies, the consistency of their brand message, and their ability to select the right channels. Yet there are some disconnects that reveal that marketers are perhaps not as in touch with their customers needs as they would like to think. Marketers undervalue the importance and trust that consumers place in more traditional channels. While they rightly identify the company website as a trusted source of information, marketers neglect a traditional source print media as a valued channel at the expense of new channels such as mobile apps. Contrary to marketers beliefs, consumers are telling us that print media and direct mail are more valuable sources of company information than some of the digital channels that marketers are turning to. That said, consumers are very receptive to social media and marketers are rightly allocating future budget to this area. Consumers also tell us that they are frustrated by the feeling of being inundated by marketing communications; and many consumers are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of brand communications they are receiving. As a result, the majority of consumers are becoming more selective about the level of personal information they share and the types of communication they sign up to. There is a lot that marketers are doing well. However, this whitepaper shows that they should not assume they have all the answers about how to best engage with consumers, which is a constant process of listening and adapting communication approaches. There is still a long road to travel in order for marketers to get closer to their customers and fulfill the requirements of today s discerning consumers in a multichannel marketing world. 4 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

5 Market confidence: Marketers say we ve got it right The Experian Marketing Services research shows that, overall, Hong Kong marketers believe their marketing strategies are effective at engaging with consumers and delivering business benefit. From the implementation of customer segmentation strategies to the overall alignment of the brand message across all channels, marketers are generally positive about the performance of the various marketing strategies they have in place. Customer segmentation works Recognising that a one-size-fits-all approach no longer applies in marketing circles, 85 cent of marketers have a customer segmentation strategy in place. Of these, 94 per cent are actually using the strategy day-to-day to deliver tailored and personalised communications to their audiences. Customer segmentation is perceived to be highly effective for 27 per cent of marketers that use it. These marketers run targeted campaigns that segment according to specific characteristics such as consumer sentiment, behaviour or preferences. An additional 64 per cent of marketers believe they have an effective segmentation strategy and are able to categorise customers to a more basic level, using demographics such as age or location. The travel/leisure and online/digital industries are least confident about the efficacy of their segmentation strategies. In the travel/leisure industry, 20 per cent of respondents say their strategy is evolving (compared to an all-industry average of just 9 per cent); while in the digital sector, 12 per cent of respondents say their strategy is evolving. Experian s experience in Hong Kong shows that some organisations, particularly in banking and finance, are sophisticated in their customer segmentation, analytics and targeting. Yet we see little evidence of such approaches being used effectively in other sectors like retail and travel and there are few published case studies of effective best practice. How effective is your marketing customer segmentation strategy? Effectiveness Total Retail Financial Services Government Technology Online & Digital Travel & Leisure Highly effective we run highly targeted customer segmented campaigns and we personalise communications accordingly e.g. sentiment, behaviour and customer preference 27% 20% 31% 21% 45% 15% - Effective we can segment to a basic level e.g. location and age, but we need to regularly update it to ensure we are not mis-targeting our customer base 64% 65% 62% 74% 53% 73% 80% Evolving we are still trying to find the most effective solution to enhance our marketing efforts / or we use our customer segmentation strategy on an ad-hoc basis 9% 15% 7% 5% 2% 12% 20% We do not segment our customers The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

6 Consistency of brand message The vast majority (83 per cent) of Hong Kong marketers are confident that their brand message never deviates, no matter which channels they use. Be it online, via a call centre, in direct mail, over-the-counter or any other touchpoint, marketers generally agree that the customer experience and brand is consistent across all channels. In government organisations this confidence about the consistency of brand message is highest, at 90 per cent. Yet, when consumers are asked how well a brand integrates their communications, only 57 per cent think that companies achieved this well. This points to a significant disconnect between marketer perceptions and the real experience of everyday customers, and reveals opportunities for marketers to close the gap. Our experience suggests this disconnect is based on changing consumer expectations. In recent years most organisations have made their messaging more consistent, but now consumers are looking for something more. Consumers are looking to be engaged in dialogue that seeks their opinion, values their view and provides an intelligent and timely response via their preferred channel. To help close the gap, marketers should think about their cross channel strategy and how they can create and stimulate a dialogue that engages consumers and encourages them to convert. An effective approach to get closer to customers is to identify the key personas of a brand s most important customer types, and evaluate how these groups interact with a brand across multiple channels (outdoor, E-DM, TV, print, online etc). By mapping this interaction, it is possible to identify if a disconnect exists, and where the inconsistency lies. Choosing channels carefully It is certainly getting harder for marketers messages to cut through the clutter and get heard by the right people, with just over half (52 per cent) of marketers saying it has become more difficult. There is a marked difference across industries, with the travel/leisure industry most likely to find it difficult for messages to be heard (75 per cent), and the financial services and online/digital industries far less likely to think it is difficult (48 per cent). To overcome this challenge and ensure that marketers stay on track with their strategies while not overwhelming consumers with an excess of communication 77 per cent of marketers say they are becoming more selective in choosing channels that most effectively engage with customers. These results are consistent with what Experian is seeing in the market. A multichannel marketing approach is not a one-size-fits-all solution. For organisations to successfully select the right channels for the right audiences, a consultative culture must be fostered both within the marketing department and beyond, with specialists across the creative, digital and technology industries. Specific capabilities and delivery platforms must be handpicked giving organisations the ability to lead consumers down the right channel at the right time, and in doing so deliver a significant boost to loyalty and, over time, revenue. The vast majority (83 per cent) of Hong Kong marketers are confident that their brand message never deviates, no matter which channels they use. Be it online, via a call centre, in direct mail, over-the-counter or any other touchpoint, marketers generally agree that the customer experience and brand is consistent across all channels. 6 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

7 Consumer views: Wanting brand messages but feeling overwhelmed Marketers think they have struck the right balance when it comes to connecting with customers. But consumer views and attitudes must align with those of marketers for real business benefit. Information overload Despite efforts from marketers to streamline and tailor their communication, 38 per cent of consumers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of communication they receive from a brand. Consumers simply aren t responding to blanket marketing and it is having a marked impact on their engagement. Almost half (47 per cent) of consumers have stopped engaging with four or more brands as a result of poorly targeted communications. Another impact of this marketing information overload is that four out of ten respondents (41 per cent) now ignore the s, direct mail and social media messages they are sent by brands. Consumer frustrations Other frustrations which consumers voiced about communication materials, included the inability to unsubscribe from unwanted communication ( , newsletters, direct mail, SMS alerts, social media messages). This was named by 23 per cent of consumers as their number one frustration. Two other issues that caused frustration among consumers include receiving content that isn t relevant or helpful (19 per cent) and receiving content that comes through at the wrong time of day (17 per cent). Approximately how many brands or companies have you stopped engaging with (sharing personal details, signing up to newsletters, SMS texts, following on social media) as a result of poorly targeted communications? 3% 1% 3% 13% 27% 53% Number of brands customers stopped engaging with: 1 to 3 4 to 6 7 to to to Some consumers actively take the upper hand when it comes to managing the consumer-marketer relationship, with 35 per cent of consumers creating a separate address to avoid being personally targeted by brands. In addition, 55 per cent of consumers state that they are very selective about what opt-ins, newsletters or updates they now sign up for, as they only want to receive messages that are relevant to their particular interests. Despite efforts from marketers to streamline and tailor their communication, 38 per cent of consumers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of communication they receive from a brand. 7 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

8 Relevancy over timing In terms of the timing of marketing communications, almost half (46 per cent) of consumers believe the ideal frequency of brand communication is once a month. 26 per cent are happy to receive it as often as once a week, while 13 per cent said they wanted to hear from organisations as little as once a quarter. The same proportion (13 per cent) think that frequency is not an issue, as long as the communication is relevant. What is the ideal frequency of communications you would like to receive from a brand or company? Once a week 26% Once a month 46% Once a quarter 13% Once a year 2% I don t mind the frequency, just as long as it s relevant 13% The importance of relevancy is further reinforced by the finding that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of consumers only actually read targeted communications that are personally relevant with everything else being deleted or thrown away. This sends a clear message to marketers that the content of messages needs to be highly targeted and relevant to be effective. 8 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

9 Sources of information: Where do consumers look? As the multichannel marketing world continues to expand, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to seeking information about a product or company. The challenge for marketers is to align their investment in marketing channels with consumer preferences so that those channels preferred by consumers are given adequate attention. Marketers perceptions For marketers, the company website is undisputedly the most important source that customers use to find out about a brand or product. When asked where they think that customers and prospective customers go to seek information about their brand or product, seven out of ten marketers (71 per cent) rate the website as one of the top three most important sources. Unsurprisingly, given this focus on the website, the second most important source is search engines, with 63 per cent of marketers rating it as one of the top three most important information sources. Social media comes in third (at 56 per cent). At the other end of the spectrum, the least important ways that marketers see consumers gathering information about their brand include via print publications (39 per cent) and friends recommendations (with 26 per cent listing it as the least important). Top channels according to marketers Company website Search engine Official social media channels Online news sites Most important (01) Least important (08) Blogs / review sites / discussion forums Download branded application friend to ask for a recommendation Print publication % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 9 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

10 Consumer preferences While marketers are accurate in thinking that consumers turn to the corporate website for information about their brand or product, there are some discrepancies when it comes to other channels. Overall, consumers agree that a company website is the most valuable source of information they use to find out information about a brand, with 78 per cent stating that it is a relevant or very relevant source. Similar to marketers perceptions, search engines (62 per cent) and social media (61 per cent) are also valued sources of information. Yet, while print has been demoted by marketers to the bottom of the ladder, some 68 per cent of consumers rate print media as a relevant or very relevant channel, making it the second most valued channel among consumers. In the consumers eyes, the least important channels for obtaining brand or company information include mobile apps (48 per cent) and LinkedIn (26 per cent). The perception of mobile apps may indeed be a reflection of the immaturity of the Hong Kong mobile market, which is predicted to grow in the coming 12 months. As more marketers embrace mobile technology consumers views about its value will no doubt change. Most relevant channels according to consumers Brand or company website Sponsored search engine results / Search engine advertising Information on social media channel e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Very relevant Relevant Indifferent Of no value Print media e.g. Newspapers and magazines Blogs / discussion forums / review sites newsletters from the brand Direct mail from the brand Information on Wikipedia Mobile application Information on LinkedIn % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% The challenge for marketers is to align their investment in marketing channels with consumer preferences so that those channels preferred by consumers are given adequate attention. 10 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

11 Brand engagement: Consumers want experiences and offers Consumers face a daily barrage of marketing messages from many different directions their mailbox, their inbox, the television, the internet, signage, events and more. Of all these different forms of engagement, consumers are saying that the channel they receive information through does not matter as much as the content. The medium is not the message In 1964, Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase, The medium is the message, to reflect the notion that a message can be partly interpreted by the medium or channel via which it is sent. Using this framework, a piece of communication sent by may be interpreted in a different way to the same message being sent via a print ad. For today s consumers, the medium is just as critical as the message. Marketers must strike a balance and use the right channel, with the right message, at the right time, for the right audience. By a large majority, the number one way that consumers would like brands to engage is via giveaways and incentives. 39 per cent of consumers named this as the top way for brands to communicate with them. A distant second was communication via brand experiences, stunts and interactive content, which 18 per cent of consumers prefer. This was closely followed by social media, named the favourite means of engagement by 15 per cent; and newsletters, named by 9 per cent. In terms of the least preferred modes of engagement, events which can be so similar to brand experiences were one of the least popular methods. This was deemed the favourite approach by just 5 per cent of consumers. Rounding out the bottom three were apps (3 per cent) and telephone marketing (1 per cent). Most preferred ways for companies to engage with consumers Telephone Direct mail Advertising Apps Most preferred (01) Least preferred (09) newsletters Customer Events Giveaways / incentives to purchase Brand or company experiences, e.g. stunts, promotions, etc Social media % 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 11 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

12 Budget allocations: Channels must prove ROI to gain support The allocation of marketing budget is driven by performance, and the channels that deliver the greatest return on investment (ROI) are likely to receive the largest budget increases over the next 12 months. Online delivers the best return According to the research, social media marketing and advertising are the channels which marketers believe to be most effective at delivering ROI. 85 per cent of marketers believe social media marketing is highly effective (25 per cent) or effective (60 per cent) at achieving ROI. Hot on the heels of social media marketing is online advertising, with 81 per cent of marketers stating that it effectively delivers ROI. Brand experiences such as stunts and promotions are deemed the third most effective channel, with 78 per cent of marketers rating it as effective or highly effective at delivering ROI. Despite this faith in digital channels, 75 per cent of marketers report that they have previously invested in a new online or digital approach that did not deliver the anticipated ROI. This is highest among government (81 per cent) and technology companies (80 per cent of marketers). Across all industries, the primary reason for a new channel failing was a poor understanding of the channel (30 per cent). An additional 22 per cent claimed that little or no budget was invested, while 20 per cent said it was due to a lack of long term strategy. In Experian s view, with a small e-commerce market, the challenge of measuring digital ROI is largely due to attribution to the marketing channel. Marketers need to ensure that the foot traffic generated from digital marketing is attributed to the right source to provide ROI. Greater use of technologies such as QR codes, and mobile couponing for in-store redemption, is a great way of doing this. Measuring digital ROI Marketers clearly value the ROI measure, relying on it to justify marketing spend. With the increased role of digital in the multichannel marketing mix, Hong Kong marketers are now very cognisant of the benefits of evaluating their online strategy. Some 16 per cent of marketers evaluate the channel on a weekly basis or more often, while 51 per cent evaluate their online strategy either monthly or bi-monthly. Just 4 per cent of marketers measured the success of their strategy less frequently than once a year or not at all. Despite the findings, Experian s observations of the market show that there is still a challenge to effectively measure digital ROI. Many organisations struggle with the process of monitoring and measuring the success of digital channels, and fall back on the last click wins measure which sees the whole of a sale attributed to the last click on a website. This measure is not truly representative of the purchase process, given there could be a number of clicks or responses across multiple channels before a sale is achieved. 12 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

13 Future areas of investment Looking to 2012 and beyond, social media advertising and channel development is far and away the most important area for investment. 65 per cent of marketers plan to increase their spend over the coming year in this channel. Other channels that look set to receive a budget boost in the next 12 months include online advertising (49 per cent of marketers are planning to increase budget), apps (46 per cent) and events (44 per cent). Yet it is not all doom and gloom for more traditional channels. Despite some print media experiencing declines in advertising sales in recent years, it seems that more stable times are ahead for print ads. 41 per cent of marketers plan to increase their spend in this channel, 38 per cent plan to allocate the same budget, and 21 per cent plan to decrease their print advertising budget. Similarly, in TV and radio, 35 per cent plan to increase spend, 35 per cent plan to keep the same budget and 30 per cent plan to decrease budget in this area. Over the next 12 months, how do you anticipate the proportion of marketing budget that you allocate for the following areas will change? Budget Social media ads and channel dvlpmnt marketing Sponsored search engine/ PPC SEO Online advertising Online video advertising Direct mail TV or radio advertising Print advertising Apps Events Other Increase 65% 43% 40% 42% 49% 41% 31% 35% 41% 46% 44% 24% Decrease 11% 26% 26% 25% 19% 24% 37% 30% 21% 21% 22% 23% Stay the same 24% 31% 34% 33% 32% 35% 32% 35% 38% 33% 34% 53% Looking to 2012 and beyond, social media advertising and channel development is far and away the most important area for investment. 65 per cent of marketers plan to increase spend over the coming year in this channel. 13 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

14 Major influences: Choosing new online channels Although digital budgets are on the increase, marketers are typically cautious when it comes to the adoption of new digital channels. Wary of the unique local conditions which can constrain e-commerce activities, they don t want to get stung by throwing money at channels that are yet to prove themselves. As the growth of technology accelerates and new channels become instantaneously available, marketers are adopting a go-slow approach that lets them find their feet before launching new marketing programs. Yet most marketers see the investment in digital channels as a non-negotiable necessity. As the previous section showed, non-traditional channels such as social media, online advertising and apps are the way of the future and marketers rely on a range of factors to help them make their investment decisions in these channels. Influencing factors on when and where to invest When deciding whether to invest in new digital marketing channels, the most common influence on whether budget gets allocated is monitoring how competitors use the channel first. Over half (54 per cent) of marketers state that they observe how competitors use the channel before investing in it themselves. This is closely followed by 52 per cent of marketers who say they experiment by trial and error, and 49 per cent who read reviews from expert commentators and analysts. Only 28 per cent would seek advice from within the organisation. Notably, just over half of marketers (55 per cent) say it is harder to get budget approval to invest in new marketing channels such as social media. This suggests that some budget holders are open to new ideas and opportunities, while others are more cautious and prefer to maintain a more traditional approach. Making new channels work As multichannel marketing gains traction and pressure to deliver ROI increases marketers need to implement proven strategies to accurately assess the huge amounts of data being collected across all channels. As a starting point, it s important to measure and monitor the huge amount of human activity interacting with their brand, and attribute responses to each channel. As yet, there are few organisations that can successfully access and interpret all this data. Given its strategic importance in driving marketing decisions, organisations need to outsource the process of data measurement and analysis if they cannot do it themselves. It s important to develop processes that will facilitate the accurate analysis of consumer behaviour; methods to gather insights and produce meaningful, actionable information; and then implement approaches to act on that information. When deciding whether to invest in new digital marketing channels, the most common influence on whether budget gets allocated is monitoring how competitors use the channel first. 14 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

15 Summary The Experian Marketing Services research sought to reveal the discrepancies and consistencies between marketing strategy and consumer behaviour in Hong Kong. It has produced some fascinating insights for marketers to consider as they move further into an era of multichannel marketing. Looking back to the ADMA Digital Marketing Yearbook 2011, Hong Kong is ready for a true multichannel approach to marketing. The report states that online markets in Asia Pacific have reached a size and scale at which consumer and B2B marketers can achieve significant business results Marketers can now actively influence and enable purchases. Measuring impressions, likes, click-throughs, costs per click, and open rates are still useful metrics, but marketers can increasingly also drive e-commerce and offline retail sales revenue, create sales leads, increase a brand s net promoter scores, and make a significant contribution to CRM. The Experian research shows that there is still some work to be done. But the good news is that there is a lot which Hong Kong marketers are getting right. Clearly committed to customer segmentation strategies, and measuring the effectiveness of their traditional and digital marketing strategies, marketers are listening to their customers and striving to deliver relevant, timely communications that deliver strong ROI. They are planning to increase their investment in new, popular channels such as social media and apps. Yet marketers must tread carefully. A large proportion of consumers indicate that they are reaching brand saturation, with many ignoring communication materials and disengaging from brands. Buoyed by the knowledge that most consumers still want to hear from brands in some form or other, marketers need to work harder to overcome the apathy towards some forms of marketing and advertising. Whether it be through free offers, loyalty schemes, redeemable codes or other marketing ploys the trick is delivering marketing messages that have perceived value to the consumer. Get real-time multichannel marketing right, and organisations can expect to see a ten, twenty or even thirty-fold increase in revenue and beyond In 2012, we expect to see mobile come to the fore as a significant channel for commerce in Hong Kong. No longer marginalised as an offshoot of the corporate website, mobile will gain ground as a cost-effective way to engage with consumers. We are likely to see companies investing in mobile-only websites to keep up with the growth in mobile usage. Going hand in hand with this investment, measurability will become a critical factor for marketers, and mobile advertising measures such as reach, unique visitors and share of traffic are needed for advertisers to start using the medium to its full potential. We also expect to see the competitive marketing landscape grow, as marketers realise the importance of customer data to drive lifecycle marketing. Analytics will become a central tenet of any savvy marketer s platform, and the data extracted from campaign analysis will start to be used at every point in the customer journey from acquisition through to conversion, retention optimisation, through to share of wallet. However, marketers must be cognisant that the move into a truly data driven, multichannel arena requires a significant investment that goes beyond delving into one channel in isolation. A quantum shift in data quality management will see data from , mobile and direct mail lists brought together for strategic analysis and action. Experian is seeing many financial services organisations and large, multinational retailers taking this leap, and some local organisations in the travel and accommodation sectors preparing to do so, too. As they do, the channel mix will change perhaps at the detriment of direct mail and outbound telephony and organisations will start implementing multichannel marketing in intelligent and sophisticated ways that see a real exchange of value between the marketer and consumer. Get real-time multichannel marketing right, and organisations can expect to see a ten, twenty or even thirty-fold increase in revenue. These huge increases can be simply attributed to getting the right message to the right customer at the right time. But the challenge lies in getting it right and leaves a lot for marketers to consider for 2012 and beyond. They must evaluate their existing strategies and budget allocations and tailor their marketing programs to create meaning and value for specific audiences and to help them stand out from the masses. 15 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

16 Summary Five-step plan: What marketers should be doing now 1 Become data-savvy with enhanced analytics Collect, measure and analyse data from all channels and interactions with customers so that more targeted, one-to-one marketing programs can be initiated. If the resources are lacking in-house, then look to outsource this process to achieve higher cut through with marketing campaigns. 2 Build a mobile website Mobile has come to the fore as a significant channel for commerce, yet too many websites are still not designed for mobile devices. With more and more consumers looking for business information on their mobile, it is a crucial area for marketers to address. The brands that invest in mobile sites and provide an enhanced user experience will be a step ahead. 3 Build mobile measurability Hand-in-hand with the creation of mobile websites, it is critical to achieve measurability of ROI in this space, both from mobile websites and mobile advertising. Customer conversion in the mobile space needs to be measured in order to achieve strategic success. 4 Embrace social media Acquire new customers in this space. Social media provides a great opportunity for customer engagement and retention, and as a two-way customer service environment to hear the voice of your customers. 5 Lifecycle marketing In an increasingly competitive landscape, it is important to drive lifecycle marketing programs right through from acquisition and conversion to ongoing share of wallet. Effective lifecycle marketing enables relevant, automated communications to be sent out in response to certain dates or activities. For example, if we know a household is buying diapers, an automated response can be triggered to send communications for toddler toys in months time. Marketers need to continually monitor customer engagement, and when a drop-off in purchasing, browsing and/or click through behaviour is seen, marketers can re-engage the consumer with an incentive before they are lost as a customer. 16 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

17 Methodology Experian Marketing Services commissioned independent research with 300 Hong Kong marketing professionals across the retail, financial services, government, technology, digital and travel industries; and 1,046 consumers aged 18+ across all geographic regions in Hong Kong. The findings were used to develop this industry whitepaper on the Future of Multichannel Marketing. The content of this whitepaper is the intellectual property of Experian. This paper can not be reproduced in full or in part without the written permission of Experian. 17 The future of multichannel marketing: marketer and consumer perspectives

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