Experian Surveys Targeting Effectiveness In HK
Hong Kong, 3 May 2012 – Research conducted by Experian, the global information services company, has revealed a significant disconnect between marketer perception and the real experience of every day customers in Hong Kong. The report shows that 64 per cent of marketing professionals believe they have an ‘effective’ customer segmentation strategy, which enables them to run targeted campaigns.
However, 47 per cent of consumers said they had stopped engaging with four or more brands, as a result of poorly targeted communications.
Marketers however did acknowledge that it was becoming harder for their messages to cut through the noise and get heard by the right people, with 52 per cent saying it was getting more difficult. The results also showed that the travel and leisure industries are most likely to find it difficult for messages to be heard (75 per cent), while the financial services and online digital industries are far less likely to think it is difficult (48 per cent).
To overcome this challenge 85 per cent of marketers have a customer segmentation strategy in place. In addition, 77 per cent say they are becoming more selective about the channels they use to engage customers. While marketers are using tools to get the right message to their audiences, they may not be applying this strategic segmentation across all marketing disciplines, particularly among channels such as social media.
Channel preferences – Digital vs. Print
Marketers believe the company website is the most important source that customers use to find out about a brand or product. Seven out of ten marketers (71 per cent) rated the website as one of the top three most important sources. The second most important is search engines (63 per cent) with social media ranking third (56 per cent).
Overall, consumers also agree that a company website is the most valuable source of information (78 per cent) and similarly search engines (62 per cent) and social media (61 per cent). Yet when it comes to print media there is a massive disconnect.
For consumers print is the second most valued channel (68 percent), in contrast to marketers who see it as one of the least important sources of information (39 per cent).
Channels delivering the best return on investment
Over eight out of ten marketers in Hong Kong think social media marketing (85 per cent) and online advertising (81 per cent) are “highly effective” or “effective” at delivering the best ROI respectively and hence, these two channels will continue to be key investment areas in the next 12 months.
However, despite marketers’ focus on digital channels, 75 per cent did report that they had previously invested in a new online digital approach that did not deliver the anticipated return on investment. This was highest among government (81 per cent) and technology companies (80 per cent). Across all industries, the primary reason for a new channel failing was ‘a poor understanding of the channel’ (30 per cent).
“A multichannel marketing approach is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Marketers should think about their cross-channel strategy and how they can create and stimulate a dialogue that engages consumers and encourages them to convert,” said John Merakovsky, Managing Director at Experian Marketing Service for Asia Pacific.
“Social media and online channels get the most attention from the marketers in terms of strategy and investment, however, accurate and comprehensive consumer data is also required in parallel in order to justify the effort and launch successful campaigns.”
Future areas of investment
Over the next 12 months, 65 per cent of marketers plan to increase investment in social media advertising. This is followed by online advertising (49 per cent), apps (46 per cent) and events (44 per cent). Despite the increased focus on digital, 41 per cent of marketers also plan to increase their spend on print ads. Similarly, in TV and radio, 35 per cent plan to increase spend.
“Marketers are working hard to ensure their messages are heard, but the research highlights that there is still huge room for improvement. Marketers need to further understand how and when consumers want to engage across all channels, particularly social media. The opportunity for marketers over the next year is to make their customer segmentation strategies more sophisticated, to create more tailored traditional and social campaigns to target the consumer,” concluded Merakovsky.