Email still king as mid-tier companies look to increase marketing spend

Online Marketing Key Can Be Blogs Websites Social Media And Email ListsOver 50 per cent of Australian mid-tier companies plan to increase their marketing spend this year, though a quarter of this number fails to measure the ROI, according to recent research conducted by marketing services business Salmat.

Salmat’s study revealed that while 59 per cent of Australian mid-tier companies are increasing their marketing spend this year, 24.9 per cent fail to actually measure the results of their marketing investments. When asked why they don’t evaluate campaigns, two-thirds (64.5 per cent) of respondents said it’s too time consuming.

Benjamin Hillman, Salmat’s head of marketing, said by not measuring campaigns, marketers were at risk of throwing money down the drain and missing opportunities to invest in more effective marketing activities.

“With marketing resources tight and the pressure to deliver results increasing, we need to be asking ourselves, ‘how will I measure results and prove effectiveness?’ before hitting the go button on any marketing activities,” he said.

Salmat’s research also found that while marketers are investing heavily in online channels, offline channels are expected to experience a renaissance in 2017, as a number of marketers are looking to invest in letterbox drops, print catalogues and magazine advertising for the first time.

Mid-tier businesses still value marketing, with year-on-year investments in this field steadily growing. Comparing budgets from 2015 to 2016, only 4.8 per cent of companies reduced their marketing spend, and more than half of marketers (59 per cent) intend to increase them in 2017. In 2016, 43.3 per cent of mid-tier companies spent more than half of their marketing budget online, and this will increase to 51.3 per cent of companies this year.

“It’s not surprising to see mid-tier marketers turning to letterbox drops and catalogues, considering how popular these channels are with Australians,” said Hillman.

“Catalogues reach around 21.8 million Australians every week, and 58 per cent of readers do end up buying afterwards. Letterbox campaigns are now more cost-effective and relevant to consumers than ever, thanks to the invention of online platforms that allow for granular targeting based on target market location and demographics.

“However, the best results happen when letterbox is linked to digital and vice versa.”

According to Salmat, email marketing remains a top marketing priority for mid-tier companies, second only to the company’s website in investment and effectiveness.

In 2016, 61.8 per cent of mid-tier companies used email marketing, and this will grow in 2017 with an additional 11.6 per cent of respondents planning to use it for the first time.

““Email marketing is efficient because it can be automated and triggered almost in real-time, with personalised content to reach the customer on every device,” said Hillman.

“It has the best ROI by far at $38 for every dollar spent.

“However, even though lots of effort has been made in the last decade to protect customers from spam and foster trust, consumers remain sensitive to email marketing.

“One or two badly targeted campaigns are enough to make customers unsubscribe, and damage a company’s reputation,” he said.

Hillman also cautioned against companies that don’t see any disruption to the evolving market.

“These companies should stay alert as a static market without emerging trends is always more susceptible to quick disruption than a market constantly evolving,” he said.

“The acceleration in market disruptions means that marketers need to be nimbler in their marketing approach to manage sudden changes that can be forced on a business.

“No marketing plan is ever set in stone from one year to the next. It takes time, money and knowledge to reach the right customers, at the right time, with the right messages.”

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