Australia Post

The digital age has transformed consumer expectations for engagement with both government and business. But, with the increasing availability of communication channels, the task of informing or influencing new and existing customers is complex. In this multichannel world, consumers are demanding more choice. With Australia Post’s extensive physical and digital networks, we can help you provide true multichannel engagement – and connect with every Australian . Learn more

Report Reveals the Channels That Really Influence Consumer Purchase Decisions

A study commissioned by Australia Post and developed, conducted and analysed by the Australian Consumer, Retail, and Services (ACRS) Research Unit within Monash Business School's Department of Marketing, found just four advertising channels (websites, personalised direct mail, TV ads and catalogues and flyers) influence up to 92 per cent of a consumer’s service-related purchase decision.

The study – which surveyed over 8,500 Australians across seven audience segments – explored consumers’ conscious and unconscious channel preferences, to find the ideal blend of channels for optimal influence at three key stages on the journey to purchase: initial consideration, evaluating options and purchase decision.

Websites dominate purchase decisions

The report revealed websites have the greatest influence on service purchases – from choosing a superannuation fund, to switching credit card or electricity providers – driving 35 per cent of the decision overall. According to the study, the importance of a service provider’s website in the advertising mix is indisputable as the primary source of all product, service and company information.

However, offline channels also interplay to influence the choice of service provider and product. Personalised direct mail drives 21 per cent of a consumer’s overall decision with particular importance in the initial consideration stage of their purchase journey. TV ads are also well received by all demographics except retirees, with 19 per cent purchase influence overall, while catalogues and flyers round out the top four channels at 17 per cent.

Radio ads lag behind at only eight per cent purchase influence, however, they are particularly persuasive when consumers are at the end of their purchase journey, where they sway 31 per cent of the final choice between alternatives.

The report also found that as consumers age, the number of channels that influence their purchase decision grows. For example, the youth segment focuses on just four channels, whereas retirees consider up to seven channels.

Social media ads most effective when combined with other channels

Most interestingly, social media ads do not contribute to the optimal advertising mix for service purchases in any audience segment, even for millennials. In fact, the report suggested the optimal ad mix for youth is websites, TV ads, followed by catalogues and traditional print ads in newspapers and magazines.

When asked openly about their drivers for using or not using channels, consumers said social ads were ‘easier to ignore’ (64 per cent) and ‘less trustworthy’ (22 per cent).

“Consumers know the difference between organic and paid search. They know the banner displays on the top and right hand side of the search are paid for and some will reject those on principle,” said Australia Post’s general manager for customer data and insights, Paul Fanthorpe. “They talk about having ‘blinkers’, they want to feel in control.”

But the research found that when paired with specific channels, social ads do have more relevance and effectiveness increases. For instance, finance marketers can improve the effectiveness of social ads by pairing them with catalogues or newspaper ads.

The ‘perfect omnichannel blend’

Salesforce’s head of product marketing, Derek Laney, stressed the real power of multichannel campaigns can be enhanced when channels are combined in the perfect blend for optimal effectiveness. But what that perfect blend looks like will depend on your target audience’s needs and behaviours at each stage of their journey.

Interestingly, he believes financial services firms are leading the way with holistic multichannel campaigns – and seeing measurable impact.

“By linking channels they’re lifting conversion,” Laney claimed. “For example, we saw one provider increase conversion by 22 per cent by linking Facebook campaigns with eDM activity. Just by taking two channels and sticking them together.”

Report shows the optimal multichannel mix is actually quite simple

There is no doubt multichannel marketing is a powerful strategy for service sectors, and it’s essential for marketers to balance their online and offline mix to reach the right audience with the right message, at the right time. But given the pressure to juggle more with less while showing return on investment, the power of a relatively simple multichannel strategy for Australian consumers is good news for service-based marketers.

Fanthorpe said despite new opportunities available to target and engage customers, this report highlighted the value in continuing to invest in so-called ‘traditional’ channels.

“These findings are timely, given the need to find balance between ‘push’ and ‘pull’ marketing strategies – between offline and online marketing – and could signal an opportunity to achieve more marketing impact, with less,” he added.

And as this is the first time that quantifiable data against the influence of channels in complex purchasing decisions has been captured, Fanthorpe highlighted the report opens up an opportunity for marketers to re-evaluate their multichannel advertising strategies moving forward.

“The report shows that there is an opportunity for marketers to refine the messages they send through their channels to meet different expectations,” he added. “In the long run, this means that advertising and marketing dollars can be better optimised to create awareness, familiarity, trust and finally, lead to a purchase.”

For more information, or to download the free ‘Creating Connections that Matter: Optimising the advertising mix for services’ report please click here.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.

Jacqueline Burns

Founder, Market Expertise

Why customer experience driven growth is set to take off

Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.

Consistency and conversation: How branding and advertising can work better together

Advertising and branding are two of the most visible outputs of marketing, which is why getting them right is so important. However, too often the line between branding and advertising becomes blurred. This means advertising activity can be out of sync with brand, resulting in poor results for both functions.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

Someone needs a swift kick up the bum for such an idiotic idea.

random

​Why a degree is no longer enough to get you hired as a skilled marketer

Read more

The frequent flyer programs are the new profit machines for airlines all over the world, as they have morphed to be mass marketing machin...

Steve@iFLYflat

Velocity frequent flyers program strong performer in mixed half-year for Virgin

Read more

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing these info regarding the digital marketing trends.I've created a related video to this topic, would you m...

Fabio Carry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Great news. Marketing automation can be very useful for companies at various stages of development. With so many tools out there it's bet...

Ben

How HBF rolled out marketing automation in eight months

Read more

I read a report that the business sector in Australia as a whole have yet to fully harness and see the proactive change that predictive a...

Alex Martin

Report: Predictive analytics, IoT, machine learning battle it out for marketing dollars

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in