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Digital Marketer 2011

Experian Panorama

Can new media be considered new anymore? How can my brand stay relevant in a Facebook world? How can I leverage the digital communication channels to achieve my ROI and revenue objectives? Is there any other effective tool to drive consumer spend besides price and discounts? How are social media and mobile devices impacting ecommerce? Is email marketing still effective?

You’ve probably asked yourself some of these questions. You may even have been asked some of them, and if not, then it’s probably time to get up to speed. The Digital Marketer is a yearly report from Experian Marketing Services that puts together all the data wealth and analytical capabilities of Marketing Services, with the purpose of delivering not only answers to those questions (and more!), but actionable insights on digital marketing that will allow your brand to stay relevant and live up to the challenges in the market. One takeaway: change will endure.

Consumer insight

As consumers cross channels to do even more things online, from researching products in social networks to book holidays from a mobile phone, they become less tolerant of any irrelevant messages. This trend is unlikely to reverse, so gaining precise consumer insight and behavioral data is key to survive and flourish.

One of the key pieces of insight from the report on this matter, and one that can surely be applied across most markets, is that the most influential element driving purchase decisions is still word of mouth (54%), followed closely by information from a website (47%). It’s interesting that while email sent from someone you know influences purchase decisions of 42% of consumers that percentage drops to 16% when the email comes from an advertiser/company. Hence the importance of staying relevant.

Email Marketing

Email is a core component of the digital experience: social network alerts, transactional and service messages, mailing campaigns based on preferences, search or purchase activity. The surge in the use of smartphones has just consolidated its vitality, getting our emails out of the desktop and into our pockets.

In the US, email marketing volume increases ranged from 29% to 32%, from Q1 2009 to Q4 2010. Revenue increased on the same timeframe from 10% to 23%, strengthening email as a revenue generation and consumer engagement channel.

Mobile Marketing

As smartphone usage and market penetration continues to grow, integrating mobile into the marketing mix is a sure investment for marketers today, regardless of industry. Time will only make this channel more cost effective, and easier to include in cross-channel campaigns. Making your email marketing campaigns mobile friendly is a good place to start. In the US, mobile ad revenues have increased from 59$ million in 2009 to 163$ million in 2010, with the display and search categories growing the most.

While mobile commerce holds promises not yet truly delivered, the most popular shopping activity that consumers do with their phones is checking prices (24%). But they do that in the store (28% of consumers) as well as from home (59%).

Social Media

Social media is an ideal outlet for creating content and driving engagement with brands online. Most marketers have realized the potential, with budgets growing in 2011 and 80% of companies with 100 employees or more allocating funds for social media marketing activities. Not a surprise, considering that in the US social networks have surpassed search engines as the most visited category of websites and 40% of consumers plan to use Facebook to help make a decision about a product.

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