Wednesday, January 18, 2012
What could be a better start to the New Year than to kick off with ExactTarget’s first breakfast seminar of 2012. Bringing together clients and prospects, Phil Cook and Andrew Chothia provided an interesting and engaging presentation revealing insights from ExactTarget’s first-ever study of consumers in the UK – The Digital Kingdom – the 11th report of our Subscribers, Fans and Followers research series.
The report specifically looked at:
• When and how UK consumers use Email, Facebook and Twitter (i.e. what motivates them to subscribe to receive permission-based emails, “Like” a brand on Facebook or follow a company or brand on Twitter)
• What motivates UK consumers to interact through each of these channels
• How UK marketers can more effectively utilise these channels to reach their target audience
With the fast-paced marketing evolution over the last 20 years, modern marketers find themselves constantly trying to discover the next big thing that will give them an advantage in the competitive marketplace.
Businesses and brands find themselves in a position where they not only need to build their own communities; they also need to understand why, where and how their customers spend their time online in order to develop truly effective marketing communication strategies.
According to The Digital Kingdom, 93% of UK consumers are Subscribers (of email), 45% are Fans (on Facebook) and 7% are Followers (on Twitter). Here’s a quick snapshot of each key channel:
Contrary to reports that claim email is dead, email is in fact social media’s secret weapon. 82% of the UK’s online consumers check their email at least once a day, including more than 90% of all consumers over age 35. Email remains the first priority, as 73% of UK respondents start with and 47% finish their day by checking their email. Looking specifically at consumers, the research found that the reasons individuals choose to subscribe to a brand via email or “Like” a brand on Facebook are mostly monetary. 52% choose to subscribe via email to obtain money off promotions or discounts. Tip: Marketers must understand that in order to succeed using email as a marketing tool, it’s crucial to gain permission from the consumer prior to engaging. Marketers must then deliver something of value in the form of exclusive content, early notifications or deals.
Facebook serves a social purpose and is seen as the channel for personal social interactions. The research found that only 8% of UK consumers use Facebook for business, somewhat limiting its usefulness for businesses. In terms of what motivates consumers to ‘Like’ a company or brand on Facebook, there are two main drivers; to receive discounts or money-off promotions (49%), or to receive free stuff or giveaways (48%).
Also note that the companies consumers
Interestingly, companies that are “liked” on Facebook are less likely to be those that consumers shop with on a regular basis— which calls into question the sincerity of their fandom.
To make the most out of Facebook, marketers need to keep the conversation interesting and useful, and make sure they give their consumers something in exchange for their ‘Like’ that keeps them happy.
Tip: Encourage Facebook fans to become email subscribers, creating clear boundaries between those who want a meaningful cross-channel relationship and those who just want a deal.
Unlike email and Facebook, where consumers are predominantly motivated by social interactions, discounts or freebies, Twitter is clearly viewed as an important place to gather information, create social circles based on niche interests and keep one step-ahead by gaining access to exclusive content. The data showed 42% of respondents use Twitter to receive information related to personal interest or hobbies. Quoting one of the respondents: “I like to think of Twitter as my connection to the people I wish I’d gone to school with, whereas Facebook is how I’m connected with the people I was unfortunate to go to school with.”
Tip: Remember that Twitter is more about driving conversations than pushing new products.
Coherence of channels and single view of customer
Each individual channel attracts different audiences and requires different types of engagement. It’s not enough to be connected with all the channels but playing to the strengths of each, since consumer use different channels for different reasons.
Understanding where YOUR customers begin their daily online activities is the key to successfully identifying where and how to deliver your marketing message.
Be sure to download The Digital Kingdom report.