Skip Fidura, strategy & insight director at online marketing firm dotmailer, discusses the company’s latest report, which found many businesses lacking when it comes to digital marketing.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Though the phrase is often mistakenly attributed to Albert Einstein – its exact origins remain a mystery – it is still valuable advice, and important guidance for today’s marketing departments.
At least according to dotmailer’s 2018 Hitting the Mark report, which found that many organisations are still making the same slip-ups, over and over, when it comes to their digital marketing strategies.
Now in its ninth edition, the latest Hitting the Mark report assessed thousands of marketing and transactional messages from brands of all sectors, sizes, and regions – drawing the conclusion that businesses are still struggling to use digital marketing tools effectively and missing out on substantial returns on their investment.
With email marketing able to return an average of £32 for every £1 spent when deployed effectively, brands can see an incredible return on their initial investment. However, the report found that despite putting significant resource into this area, brands are still making the same old mistakes, and leaving money on the table.
Good news and bad news
The good news is that businesses have already begun to invest in these areas. The bad news is that these investments aren’t yielding the results we know they are capable of. When evaluated against a comprehensive list of criteria that looked at how tools such as automation, personalisation, and audience segmentation were used to build a satisfying and effective customer experience, many businesses came up short.
Surprisingly, many missed out on crucial steps; over half the companies, for example, didn’t request a customer review while the average post-purchase evaluation score was a paltry 39 per cent for all brands, highlighting an overall lacklustre experience.
Ultimately, the low performance in aftersales care means that businesses are ignoring an excellent opportunity for customer advocacy – an important growth tactic when it comes to building audience awareness and brand credibility.
Similarly, the study found that two-thirds of brands are still not using any form of audience segmentation, failing to take into consideration the individual preferences and needs of their customers.
In an age of marketing overload, with customers subjected to a barrage of marketing materials throughout their day, context really matters. Getting the right message to the right consumers can, therefore, be the difference between making a sale or going unnoticed.
A prime example of these lost opportunities can be seen in the lack of abandoned cart emails. Over half of brand failed to send this simple automation, missing out on a key chance to close a sale and potentially allowing customers to go to their rivals.
Answering consumer demands
There is no doubt that we’re more connected than ever, and as a result, consumers receive enormous quantities of messages from brands every day. Standing out from the crowd and engaging with potential customers needs one key thing: relevancy.
Consumers now expect marketers to be able to share interesting, personalised communications with them, when they need them, and via the channels they are using. Anything else is simply considered as ‘marketing’ (and you’ll be lucky if they are even opened).
Ultimately, as the landscape has evolved, so too must our marketing strategies. In an era of high competition and even higher customer expectations, neglecting basic steps in the customer email journey is leaving companies at a costly disadvantage. Happily, marketers now have the tools needed to meet these expectations.
By not implementing simple steps and quick wins in the customer journey, brands are missing out on these potential returns on sales, not to mention the opportunity to build stronger, longer-lasting relationships with their customers. And that really is insane.
The Hitting the Mark report is available to download from here.
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