In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Only one in three Australian marketers say they’re in control of the many consumer touchpoints available to them thanks to the digital and social explosion, according to a new report.
The new Asia-Pacific Marketing Monitor 2016 report from global insights consultancy, TNS, found just 30 per cent of Australian marketers feel they’ve harnessed control of the huge array of consumer touchpoints now available to them, in comparison to 24 per cent in New Zealand, 29 per cent in Singapore and 28 per cent in Korea.
When asked how they select touchpoints for activity, respondents demonstrated a disparate level of strategy and knowledge. Just over one in four, for example, are spreading budget across as many touchpoints as possible, while 37 per cent are focusing on the ones they’re comfortable with. Thirty-six per cent said they are experimenting with new ones.
The report pointed out confidence was lowest across countries with the most advanced media ecosystems and highest Internet and digital penetration.
Of the touchpoints being used, customer service channels represented three of the 10 most important for marketers: Social media customer service, interactions with in-store staff and online customer service channels.
TNS regional marketing director for brand and communications, Nitin Nishander, suggested the figures illustrated just how many marketers could be either wasting resources on inefficient channels, or missing out on new ways of engagement.
“Businesses are now focused on building a single view of their customers - tracking their audiences and their communications across every touchpoint, flexing every platform to meet a wide range of consumer needs, from research to purchase to customer service,”he commented. “It’s therefore understandable marketers want to be across as many platforms and touchpoints as possible.
“However, with new touchpoints entering the mix on a regular basis, large numbers of businesses are still seeking to identify the ones that deliver results most consistently.”
Nishander pointed to other TNS research, which indicated 20 per cent of touchpoints used by brands on average have up to 80 per cent of the impact.
“It’s clear that brands need to be doing more to understand where to place their focus and budgets to get the most value,” he said.
TNS’s latest research also showed marketers are increasingly choosing to connect with consumers via digital, with 38 per cent using search marketing, 39 per cent using social media marketing and 38 per cent attempting to reach their audience via viral control.
This doesn’t mean more traditional methods are not still being used, however, and the report noted PR activity (67 per cent), SMS deals (47 per cent) and TV advertising (39 per cent) are still in the current marketing budget for Asia-Pacific marketers.
Overall, the top priority development areas for marketing departments noted in the report were customer relationship management (40 per cent), followed by innovation and product development (36 per cent) and real-time marketing (34 per cent).