In 2010, customers have continued to embrace a host of new technologies, applications and mobile devices and dictate how best and at which levels they prefer to communicate with companies.

As the marketing landscape continues to evolve in 2011 and the channels for media consumption and delivery continue to proliferate, marketers need to consider combining in depth customer intelligence on an increasingly fragmented audience with the optimisation of channels to engage with their target customers and strengthen their brands and product offerings.


Optimising the mobile platform

John Merakovsky

According to the Radicati Group, consumers using their mobile phone for email are predicted to increase from 234 million users in 2010 to over 1.1 billion users globally in 2013 (“Wireless Email Market. 2009 – 2013, October 12, 2009). As more consumers use a host of mobile devices to obtain information on the go via email or other platforms, marketers need to pay attention to optimizing the mobile platform for success.

Optimising messages for reading on multiple devices: The recent growth of smart phone devices means consumers can now read emails via PC or mobile 24/7. This makes it critical to ensure that well-formatted content is delivered in a format which customers can easily access from a website when clicking on a link.

Personalised user experience and conversion optimisation: Identifying customer segments that respond to your marketing campaigns and the channels they use to respond, is critical. Conversion optimisation is a process that enables marketers to refine a website’s usability to help increase the conversion rate of sales, leads, email subscribers, downloads and other conversion points. This process is vital for online marketers today.

Analysing the new digital customer

A customer’s propensity to respond to a type of offer through a specific channel is not static, and the changes in consumer tastes and preferences will continue to evolve. Responsiveness is entirely dependent on the customer’s lifecycle, not the marketer’s.

While the increasing popularity of digital channels gives marketers the power to follow-up with new messaging based on previous behaviour, campaigns cannot be executed without a marketing database that captures demographics, transactions and actual behaviour.

If marketers want their message to be relevant to the customer at the time of the campaign, analytics must progress to a near-real time function and provide insights needed to deliver effective, multichannel marketing and conversion optimisation programs.

Multichannel marketing research

Research from Experian to identify gaps between marketers’ expectations and actual consumer behaviour shows that only 10% of consumers will click on a link from a mobile device, yet 61% will click on an email link through a PC. In addition, a high proportion of consumers are experiencing difficulties when viewing content via their mobile. This is a result of only 20% of marketers having adapted their web design/programming changes to cater to mobile devices.

Given the growth of mobile messaging, marketers must make it easy for a user to respond to the ‘call to action’. Both messages and WAP sites must be built with mobile Internet in mind. The call to action may also be in the physical world. Innovative marketers are embedding coupons and barcodes in MMS as a means of encouraging (and measuring) foot traffic generated from mobile messaging. As more marketers adapt their properties to the mobile Internet, consumers will learn to use mobile links thus expecting significant increases in conversion ratios.

Conversion optimisation research

According to a survey by Experian with marketers on their current and future plans for improving conversion rates on their websites, conversion rates of web visitors from ‘browsers’ to ‘customers’ is very low, with an average of 1-5% of traffic converting. In addition, half of the marketers surveyed spend 60% of their budget driving traffic to their website but fail to convert the traffic into users with 9 of 10 marketers not conducting conversion optimisation to improve online sales. This reflects a lack of awareness by marketers around conversion optimisation.

The simplest changes within a webpage can result in orders of magnitude change in conversion ratios. Layouts, language, trust markers and speed of response are some of the key areas that marketers must focus on to ensure that the traffic generated results in conversion. For example, changing ‘free quote’ to ‘instant quote’ can increase conversion by 60%. The reason? Instant implies a machine-generated response, and not a pushy salesman.

2011 and Beyond – Creating value and loyal brand evangelists

The key to a relationship of mutual value with a customer is through continuous relevance. And this can only happen if marketers understand their customers and communicate with customers on the basis of their understanding, measure the effectiveness of communication, and feed that back into the understanding of the customer. This requires a single customer view, in the form of a multi-channel marketing database that is integrated with digital channels such as mobile and email to effect that communication in real-time.

Business takes place in both interactive and bricks and mortar properties; having invested so much in these properties, businesses must maximise the traffic to these properties to achieve the greatest ROI. This means maximising both the quantity and quality of retention and acquisition traffic, and using conversion optimisation techniques to close the deal.

In order to build a robust capability with an extensive range of in-depth data, marketers need to choose a service provider that can provide the right technology platforms and expertise required to build and flexibly roll out effective marketing campaigns. In an increasingly digital marketing ecosystem that will dominate the marketing landscape in 2011, Experian’s expertise and focus on ROI and demonstrable business benefits, rather than simply functionality and price will enable marketers to unlock the power of data to anticipate market, client and program needs and opportunities, creating loyal and vocal brand evangelists.

By John Merakovsky, Director, Digital Marketing, Experian Asia Pacific