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Direct Response Marketing

Response Advisors Forum: Entering the ‘Omnichannel’ Era

1 Jan, 2015 By: Thomas Haire Response

The members of the Response Advisory Board buzz about the rise of omnichannel marketing.

For anyone who’s spent any appreciable time in the marketing world, the seemingly constant debuts of new buzzwords to describe a sector or technology can become tiresome. But woe is the marketer who doesn’t make sure they are educated in all the latest “marketing-speak.”

It seems like about a little more than a year ago, the concept of the “multi-channel marketer” — a marketer selling on TV, online and at retail — began to be slowly replaced by a new buzzword: “omnichannel.” What is omnichannel, you likely asked back then? As it is in the early stages of every new buzzword, the definition varied depending who you were speaking with.

But now, there seems to be some agreement that the word omnichannel describes a marketing campaign that communicates with, educates and transacts in every medium — from TV to online to social to print to retail to mobile, and more.

“The biggest opportunities are simply to understand all the new tools that are available, how they work, and how they work together to drive results through different distribution channels, including DRTV, print, live shopping, retail and all facets of online,” says Richard Stacey, president and CEO of Toronto-based Northern Response Intl. Ltd. “It’s really about being clear about your objectives and your target market and how to generate awareness that leads to action — often in the form of search and then research and then a purchase decision.”

That’s just one of the thoughts we gleaned when we turned to our Response Advisory Board of industry experts for our first quarterly edition of the 2015 Advisors’ Forum with a series of questions regarding the expanding era of omnichannel marketing. Here’s what they had to say.

The combination of direct response methodology and digital technology has made many marketing campaigns omnichannel — reaching consumers as well as closing sales across every medium. How is your company utilizing omnichannel mechanisms in the campaigns you work on?
Tim Hawthorne, Hawthorne Direct: All media research, planning and execution is now prepared from the omnichannel perspective. All campaign responses and engagement are now being attributed to multiple channels, and it is imperative that we target a consumer engagement with the strongest content to capture the response at any step in the engagement process. We utilize research and live campaign responses to plan and optimize the channels being utilized to deliver content and we utilize our proprietary Web attribution model, PureStat®, to properly attribute and report where and how the consumer is responding.

Fern Lee, THOR Associates: What differentiates THOR Associates from other marketing agencies is that we always include omnichannel initiatives in our client’s strategy. We are utilizing DR and national/syndication TV, radio, print, E-commerce and mobile brand builders as a halo to drive unique and new visitors to a product URL or specific landing pages. We have been in the forefront of gathering data analytics and attribution from a blending of omnichannel initiatives — from using TV as the halo to drive E-commerce clients’ return on investment (ROI) to using all omnichannel initiatives to sell through on the retail shelf.

Rob Medved, Cannella Response Television: Omnichannel has been great for DRTV. We are working with more and more online marketers who wish to explore TV as a way of reaching mass aggregated eyeballs. Brand and direct marketers across all mediums now realize that you can’t or don’t need to just be in print or online or on TV. TV has become one of the many pieces needed for success. The effect TV can have on the other channels is enormous.
The main challenge has been getting the marketer to understand that TV creative and messaging need to be handled in their own light. It’s no different than social, search engine marketing (SEM) or retargeting needing different marketing methodologies. Message and brand cohesion is necessary, but the approach differs.

Digby Orsmond, ARM Direct Ltd.: In the United Kingdom (U.K.), we still refer to “multi-channel” marketing and that’s the way I describe using additional types of media to drive our brand response TV (BRTV) advertising campaigns. We are, however, increasingly having to reach consumers of all ages on their smartphones and this is where “omni” (a Latin prefix meaning “all” or “every”) comes into its own.

Richard Stacey, Northern Response Intl. Ltd.: We’ve moved from “As Seen on TV” to “As Seen Everywhere.” Today, we consider all the tools in the marketers’ toolbox and select as many as appropriate for each campaign depending on the specific objectives we are trying to accomplish. Most significantly, we now use the Web to test and iterate every product and campaign prior to rollout. This has saved us a lot of time and money, maximized our winners, and reduced the probability of failed launches.

How is omnichannel marketing attracting a different type of marketer to this space? What are the biggest challenges when dealing with these marketers?
Peter Koeppel, Koeppel Direct: Dot-com marketers are beginning to realize that they cannot rely on digital alone to develop the critical mass audience they require to build their businesses. They need the broad reach of television to create awareness and drive second-screen users to their sites. If nine out of 10 TV viewers now watch with a smartphone or tablet in hand, then it is only logical that TV can act as an engine to drive online traffic.

However, these marketers are very fixated on measuring ROI because they’ve been able to measure click-through and purchase behavior with great accuracy in the online space. Now that TV is being used to expand their audiences, they should be open to looking at different kinds of metrics in order to evaluate the performance of their television media. That might include everything from a traditional DRTV media efficiency ratio, cost-per-visit, Web impressions, Nielsen data and proprietary attribution models that have been developed by agencies such as ours.

Robert Yallen, InterMedia Group of Companies: Omnichannel marketing is attracting a more sophisticated marketer — one that is heavily reliant on and fluent across multiple technologies. They expect their campaign results to be available in “real time” and the resulting analysis and optimization concluded quickly thereafter.

These new marketers don’t just expect — they demand that their agency/media partners are just as knowledgeable and committed to the same principles. They don’t have the time or inclination to “train” partners, or to wait for them to get up to speed. And they demand ever-increasing levels of performance and accountability. As a result, highly integrated and timely data capture and analytics are crucial for any agency that wants to attract and retain omnichannel advertisers.

There are numerous challenges facing agencies dealing with this fast-paced, rapidly evolving landscape. One of the most-pressing concerns is how to educate clients on the process and manage their expectations. This is especially true regarding the timing of campaign analysis and optimization. In order to establish a solid, long-term agency-client relationship, clients must be counseled on what are realistic timeframes for “real-time” reporting for each channel, and just as importantly, how these channels interact — and ultimately — benefit or detract from each other’s performance.

Hawthorne: Omnichannel marketing demands accountability at every step of the creative and media process. The new marketer is turning to direct response advertising’s accountability as a platform that can help drive TV impressions smartly and cost efficiently to other cross channels. We believe that this type of marketer will enhance the type of marketing innovation that presents a solution more than a challenge.

Lee: Omnichannel marketing is not “attracting” a different type of “marketer” to this space. What is occurring is that ROI is being redefined. Rates paid for “brand” advertising, marketing and multi-channel touch points are being challenged, with direct response initiatives being used more and more for branded accounts. At the end of the day, the omnichannel marketing of traditional and digital efforts will drive the needed touch points for ROI. The marketer’s biggest challenge is being able to read and understand the analytics of an omnichannel campaign by each vertical.

Orsmond: Omnichannel marketing is not attracting a different type of marketer —more that it’s challenging us all to think differently about how to slice and dice our advertising budgets. In the U.K., we find that traditional retailers are still not spending enough on social media, video-on-demand (VOD) or YouTube, and are missing out on the substantial increase of second-device users. This is especially important if your target demographic is millennials.

Stacey: In the traditional DRTV model, many companies would test on DRTV and move to other channels like retail. Today, companies may find success in any channel and then try to get that success to travel across other channels, including DRTV. We now routinely get marketers coming to us who have found success on the Internet and now want to expand into DRTV and mass retail.

Another challenge is that the now simultaneous launch of TV, retail, online and mobile can sometimes lead to price erosion or shorter life cycles in certain channels (TV) and longer campaigns in other channels (retail).

How can the omnichannel environment benefit marketers who maximize the use of every channel — both online and offline?
Hawthorne: Marketers that utilize omnichannel executions will be able to properly evaluate the worth of all media being planned and executed. It also places significance on the relational quality of every channel and not just the linear one to one measurement that we have experienced throughout DR history.

Koeppel: The choice of when to buy and where to buy has really become the consumer’s choice. Consistency of message and pricing are paramount to ensuring that each channel is leveraged to maximum effect. It is too easy for today’s proactive consumer, or “prosumer,” to price-shop your product. They are doing it in the retail aisle, with their smartphone, and online at home — in other words, everywhere. This doesn’t mean that a marketer can’t have variable pricing if the offers differ. For example, a warehouse club might offer a package that is different than what is being championed on TV direct to the consumer.

What you don’t want to have is a situation where the prospect can price shop on an apples-to-apples comparative basis, because they’re going to likely shop the lowest price every single time. That dynamic reduces margins and profits and puts tremendous pressure on the marketer to maintain low manufacturing costs in the face of high-quality expectations. It also runs the risk of a marketer then having too many eggs in the basket of a single powerful marketplace.

Lee: If a marketer is not using an omnichannel strategy, they are doing a disservice to themselves by leaving money on the table! The consumer must have a positive user experience and be touched from multiple points to make a decision to purchase — a relationship is developed and continues to be stroked through the omnichannel existence of messaging and educating.

Medved: Ultimately, it’s about creating the highest overall ROI. In the past, ROI was primarily direct television sales. Now, it’s online — search engine optimization (SEO), SEM, video roll, retargeting, brand defense — as well as more sophisticated retail drivers that incorporate lots of consumer data. Consumers use the multiscreen environment with growing ease. If a marketer ties all device campaigns together well (TV, mobile, tablet, desktop) and tends to the brand (social, comparison shopping, blogs, reviews, retail), its value will be incrementally enhanced. Omnichannel needs to be cohesive.

Orsmond: Television in the U.K. still manages to reach more consumers than other media, and the good news is that costs for testing a TV spot on a wide selection of U.K. channels has dropped substantially — which is why we’re now increasingly able to introduce younger brands to the power of TV. Most consumers sit in front of their TVs with another device, such as a smartphone or laptop switched on. This is why we now always encourage clients to aggressively test smartphone marketing, and we’ve found that it’s possible to establish a new brand from scratch — especially in the fashion and cosmetics sectors — in half the time it took five years ago.

In our experience, omnichannel marketing allows marketers to generate greater response plus brand loyalty plus enthusiastic sharing — with the extra bonus of accurate campaign analysis.

Stacey: Omnichannel marketing allows you to reach a wider market and drive awareness across more platforms. Done properly, omnichannel marketing has given marketers more ways to grow their brand recognition and sales.

Yallen: The very definition of the word omnichannel implies that an advertiser has committed to reaching consumers using multiple channels and touch points. If an advertiser is stuck inside a DRTV-only model, it is exploiting only one of many possibilities and probably not even realizing the fullest potential of that channel.

It’s now the norm among certain demographic groups that their TV “viewing” is augmented or supplanted via another screen — usually on a mobile device and/or a tablet. Savvy omnichannel marketers have realized that it’s simply not efficient, or effective, to merely drive response to call centers and thereby ignore the willingness — or preference — of many consumers to engage with their brands through responsive, highly-interactive apps or websites.

By maximizing the omnichannel environment, marketers can: help avoid ad blindness; more closely follow the consumer path, and therefore, mirror the consumer mindset; maximize the opportunity to convert delayed brand recall; take advantage of retargeting opportunities on non-converting responders; and understand the entire purchase/sales funnel and the most-accurate methods to attribute results throughout its stages.

What is the role of the agency or vendor today in helping a marketer wade through all the different facets of the omnichannel campaign — most especially the digital facets?

Hawthorne: All agencies must be fully versed on the engagement that consumers utilize to get content marketing, especially the engagement that extends online. The agency should be prepared to educate its clients on what message is generating response across channels, what the consideration stages are online, what content can best be utilized to capture an online engagement, when to target such engagement, and what impacted the last touch of a digital engagement. Understanding this will help agencies avoid making the same mistakes and duplicate successes for their clients.

Koeppel: The agency needs to use research and analytics to guide their clients in selecting the optimal media mix to generate a profitable ROI. The agency should be constantly testing and analyzing all forms of digital media to help maximize the performance of their client’s campaigns. As consumers’ shopping and purchases migrate to mobile, particular attention needs to be paid to improving sales conversion through this medium.

Lee: It is the responsibility of experienced professionals to provide strategic guidance and execute with finesse, metrics and testing. Analytics play a crucial part in optimizing and maximizing efficiencies.

Medved: Agencies have had to essentially become marketing experts in order to survive. We need to be experts in all channels, including digital. Reporting on, commenting on, and analyzing the data are key. We don’t just clip a media coupon.

Orsmond: Recent research by BuzzCity places the U.K. eighth in the world’s top-50 smartphone advertising countries, ahead of France (18), Spain (20) and Germany (29). DR agencies increasingly need to advise their clients about the cost implications of omnichannel marketing as consumer consumption habits are changing faster than many clients are able to plan. For us, omnichannel marketing means combining these four choices — TV, online, smartphone and social media.

We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Britain, but Black Friday now creates annual online and retail madness here each year. Omnichannel marketing played an important part in starting this here, and vendors were especially aggressive this year by substantially increasing their online and social media campaigns to inform customers about Black Friday special offers. Here’s my favorite quote this year: “I got a Dyson. I just picked it up and saved 60 percent, but I don’t even know if I want it!”

Stacey: Tony Robbins says, “Complexity is the enemy of execution.” The growth of the omnichannel environment has resulted in an accompanying growth in complexity for marketers. Agencies today can play a vital role in providing the skillsets and organizational structure to help marketers navigate through the increasing complexity and sophistication of the omnichannel and digital marketing worlds and provide clients with an overall coordinated solution.

Yallen: The role of the agency has always been to be an advocate for its clients. We used to fulfill those responsibilities by creating persuasive TV ads, negotiating rock-bottom rates, and then tracking and optimizing that medium’s performance.

The role of agency hasn’t changed with the emergence of omnichannel marketing. It is still to plan, prioritize, lay out a strategy, and then test and refine it. However, with the increased options and interaction among them, determining the correct strategy has become a more complex, multi-faceted process than in prior times, and requires advanced analysis and the development of new metrics to determine true bottom-line success.

A resulting challenge for agencies is to guide clients through the process without falling prey to campaign over-optimization, which can be more detrimental than the converse.

For example, based on an internal result’s analysis, one of our clients chose to abandon all other channels from its media mix and move its entire advertising budget to paid search. However, a subsequent analysis conducted by InterMedia revealed that 95 percent of the client’s search results were based on “branded terms” driven by TV, radio, social media and display advertisements.

Accordingly, we recommended a less-sweeping, more-nuanced optimization approach where various elements would be isolated for testing. Despite our objections, the client felt the implications were clear-cut and went ahead with the sweeping change.

After eliminating its advertising on these other media channels, the client’s branded search results soon died out. Without the previously generated support from the other media sources, interest and demand in the branded SEM program quickly diminished, and the program was unable to stand on its own.

This was a classic example of over-optimization where decisions are based on “last-click” results, instead of allocating credit to the building-block components (or “assists”) that contributed to the final action. It is the role of the agency to understand when to credit these “assists” and, in turn, make the proper optimizations based on all marketer-consumer touch points.

Where does television media fit in an omnichannel campaign, and how can broadcast/network media partners best help marketers drive leads and sales?
Hawthorne: Broadcast/network TV are still a pivotal part of all omnichannel marketing. It is still the largest “push” of audience impressions across other channels, and the frequency and reach will positively impact other channels. However, for TV to get its proper credit, it must be diligent about its attribution and capability to trace back the right responses back to TV. Broadcast media must also show how it improves lift in lead volumes and conversions from other channels, especially when a smart agency can execute complimentary creative and media executions from offline through online.

Koeppel: Television still has more reach. It’s consumed for more hours per day and is the biggest driver of Web activity and leads/sales than any advertising medium. When a television and online campaign are properly integrated, they can work together to help marketers attain better results from their media investment.

Broadcast/network partners need to continue to develop technologies that allow for TV advertisers to more efficiently target and track consumers. By providing TV marketers and agencies with more precise demographic information about their audiences, networks and broadcasters will insure that TV maintains its strong presence in the omnichannel marketing mix.

Lee: Television is a halo effect to drive E-commerce. A strategic plan needs to be put in place between the digital and traditional sides of the business to optimize ROI. Media should be looking at a bigger picture — including in their media buys an E-commerce play in messaging on actual programming, and educating through their websites and relationships with their consumers.

Orsmond: We find the biggest challenges are clients who want to abandon traditional and “more expensive” TV advertising — and instead spend their hard earned marketing budgets online. Finding the right media mix for a client’s product or service is crucial, as DR will always build brand awareness over time if targeted to the right demographic using the most appropriate media channels.

We have a household-name client that stopped all of its TV advertising (against our advice) and instead switched over entirely to online marketing. Nine months later, it had slipped from No.1 to No. 5 in its competitive set. As a consequence, this same client is now back on TV having to outspend their competitors (who never stopped TV advertising) to try to claw back lost market share. The valuable lesson learned here is that for many brands, it is TV advertising that drives online — not the other way round.

Stacey: Television will always be part of the omnichannel marketing mix but now needs to be coordinated with other omnichannel elements. TV can be an effective top-of-the-chain driver that can move people to other channels. For example, you can use TV to drive Web traffic but you wouldn’t necessarily use the Web to drive TV traffic. Some broadcast/network media partners have been slow or resistant to change their rate structures in the face of changing audience levels and composition. We’re in an adapt-or-die environment, where flexibility and more mutual collaboration between media and marketing partners will be necessary to succeed.

Yallen: The conventional answer is that TV creates awareness for all marketing efforts and drives engagement through the sales funnel from the top down. The less obvious response is that as a medium, television planning, buying and consumption is evolving into an “omni-video” form. TV campaigns now extend beyond traditional viewing; an agency must incorporate alternative platforms, including mobile and tablet devices, as well as Hulu, Crackle and network-specific apps.

It’s still incumbent upon media partners to create, fund and produce video entertainment that attracts viable audiences. Some in the industry see a future where abbreviated series (six-to-nine episodes) become the norm; others are promoting a programming vision that looks more like YouTube. It’s a forgone conclusion however, that the days where programs deliver a massive rating — or even a 10 rating — are long gone.

The challenge for agencies and television media partners is to conduct a deeper dive into the analytics, understand which metrics are most meaningful, and determine how to best maximize the data.

The advent of enhanced set-top box measurement by Nielsen and Rentrak —and the emergence of advanced, multi-media attribution models from Convertro, i.Predictus and TVSquared — brings the necessity for a higher level of analytic precision, linking media investments to response and profitability.

Whatever the case, it’s clear that the evolving television/video media form will be more-closely measured than it has been in the past. It is becoming similar to digital campaigns, where additional variables can be quickly integrated, and the resulting analysis and optimization must be conducted in a timely manner.

What three things must today’s marketer know about using social media as part of their omnichannel platform?
Hawthorne: Video content and creative is essential to engage with consumers in social media, especially within Facebook. In 2014 we observed a drastic shift from static images to video as the preferred form of content and creative. Second, focus on audiences and people — not necessarily channels and tactics. It’s important to first understand your target consumer and then how to find them on social media. Third, DR messaging works. Make it clear and to the point and your results will follow.

Koeppel: First, consistency — while social media is its own marketing channel and often requires quick, nimble actions and responses, it should be treated as an arm of the overall marketing campaign with very specific strategies and tactics planned well in advance. Everything that a brand portrays on social media should support overall brand messaging, voice and calls-to-action. Specific PR or marketing campaigns should extend through all social media channels. So when a consumer sees a brand on Facebook, all things about that brand’s social media appearance should match the consumer’s perception of what they see and experience about the brand on television, radio, print, out-of-home, etc.

Second, consider the influencer. Social media can play an important role in the three main portions of the sales funnel; it can be an introducer, an influencer and a closer. However, social media functions in its most natural state as an influencer. That’s because social media is social. This is the component of the sales funnel where people develop a relationship with the brand, or develop brand affinity, and are constantly and subtly reminded of the brand. Social channels were not created for brands to push their messaging; rather they were established to develop relationships. Brands that remember this and own being an influencer will perform the best. Let other channels own being an introducer or closer.

Finally, in omnichannel marketing campaigns, not all marketing channels serve as a two-way street for consumers the way social media channels do. Social media marketing campaigns allow consumers to talk back to a brand, whether it’s positive or negative, in a very public way. Because of this, brands need to be prepared to handle such responses and have a strategy and proper resources in place.

Lee: First, social media builds brands and can add to the bottom line dollars. Second, social media needs are growing and using platforms to provide integration with marketing efforts is paramount. Third, social media has become a vehicle for new technology platforms. Although there is a cost aligned with these platforms, the artificial intelligence garnered is paramount. But challenges arise from this innovation, including: which platform is worth the allocated dollars; how are metrics applied for ROI; and will these businesses be here for the long term or is the technology changing so fast that they are not worth the investment?

Medved: Social is the real testimonial. Your product better really work, be liked and resonate. Your key selling benefits will be judged by an unedited neutral party, not just set in stone because you said so. Next, treat it like any other marketing channel. Test, review, monitor, track and change to drive better results. Finally, the consumer sees the social brand experience as a fluid medium where they can engage seamlessly and openly with the marketer. Get that wrong and the consumer disengages immediately.

Orsmond: For our clients, it’s all about generating meaningful content — i.e., creating interesting stories, tutorials and sales offers to support offline spend. We’ve found this is the best way to engage with customers, and this is especially true of millennials whose boredom threshold is low. We’re seeing an increasing number of marketers using “voxpops” style short films on YouTube to engage with their customers on a more personal level. This has opened up new opportunities for them to test Shazam, Blippar and other smartphone/laptop apps and seem more “cool” than they otherwise might be perceived. For many marketers, just keeping up to speed with new media opportunities is a challenge in itself and not all DR agencies are investing enough in savvy new media staff to keep up with their client’s needs.

Stacey: A marketer needs to realize that a lot of things you hear about social media may not work for a particular product or campaign. It’s still very much a trial-and-error environment. Second, you need to remember it’s a “pull vs. push” world, so being relevant and content rich is critical as consumers are ultimately in control of what messages they choose to listen to — and often react in real time. Third, in the old model, marketers looked at lead generation, lead conversion and lead retention. Consumers could not talk to each other. In the new model, customers can talk to each other and customer reviews can make or break your campaign. This means a lot of other elements now come in to play. The quality of your product, shipping on time, providing good customer service and so forth can all have more impact on your sales than they did before.

Yallen: With the rapid growth of social media comes the potential for social mayhem and risk. There is no autopilot for dealing with social media impact; every company has to pay close attention to consumer comments about their customer experience — especially the negative ones. And marketers today need to respond quickly, credibly and responsibly if they are to alleviate the impact of these comments effectively.

Three things that today’s marketer needs to know about utilizing social media in their campaigns:

  1. Stay up-to-date: social media is an ever-changing landscape where the rules and norms are constantly shifting. Actions and/or responses that were considered relevant and/or appropriate a few months ago can quickly become obsolete — and even damaging — if not re-evaluated and altered in a timely manner.
  2. Social media platforms offer paid media options that are highly targetable and rapidly evolving. A savvy marketer can leverage specific first-, second- and third-party data to limit waste and reach the desired audience with more effective messaging. Instead of enacting broad-reach social media campaigns, smaller efforts utilizing deeper targeting are highly efficient at delivering more-relevant messages to multiple audiences.
  3. Consumer/customer engagement is moving away from interaction on the telephone and toward marketer-owned and controlled properties. Increasingly, consumers are turning to social media to engage with brands, for services ranging from product recommendations to customer service. Clearly, it is advantageous for a brand to create an environment that encourages its customers to interact this way, but it is equally important that the company offers an appealing setting once they do. This increased focus offers customers a valuable engagement experience beyond simple acquisition and, ultimately, enhances customer retention and advocacy.

What three things must today’s marketer know about mobile marketing as part of their omnichannel platform?
Hawthorne: Mobile, for most consumers, represents “me time” and, as a result, is an extremely valuable part of a successful media strategy. Time spent on PC devices has been largely relegated to “work time.” Second, you can’t simply “shrink” your tactics and execution from the desktop Internet to mobile. Mobile requires you to rethink your executions to take into account the specialized nature and functionality of the device. Third, it’s about “location, location, location.” A properly executed mobile campaign should take into account the role, or relationship, location has in driving a sale or conversion.

Koeppel: Mobile is an important and ever increasing way to reach consumers. According to leading marketing research firm eMarketer, mobile search will surpass desktop search in the U.S. in 2015, and mobile ad spend will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent of total media spend from 2014 to 2016. So companies must start using mobile as a key component of their marketing plans. Second, depending on the type of product or business, mobile may or may not drive direct conversions, but it is an important part of engaging with consumers. Mobile video engagement and click-through rates are proving to be much higher on average than desktop ads.  Third, proper attribution tracking can help marketers better understand the point of consumer engagement and accurately credit mobile advertising within the full marketing funnel. This can also help to determine how much spend should be allocated to mobile from the total marketing dollars available.

Lee: How about five things? Mobile marketing is growing yet still taking baby steps. Mobile marketing is the “Holy Grail” if an effort is in place to capture demographics and psychographics. The “new” philosophy on mobile is “geofencing,” with ads apparently performing better from a click-through rate (CTR) perspective. Mobile marketing has great potential, however, there is still a disconnect on how the data acquired is utilized. And, finally, there is a growing trend of fraud in mobile purchases.

Medved: First, a growing percentage of consumers shop via mobile. Everyone knows this yet many marketers ignore it. More than 50 percent of most television campaign orders are digital, with 50 percent of those being mobile in many cases. Next, optimize the mobile experience. It sounds simple, but many marketers still don’t have a mobile site that is aesthetically pleasing or A/B tested to optimize for the best result. Third, mobile is vital from the beginning of the brand experience. Social, comparison shopping, search and ordering are all occurring in a growing percentage.

Orsmond: In the U.K., consumer buying habits are changing faster than most clients can plan ahead for. So they need to set aside budget in 2015 specifically for robust testing and then analysis of the results before deciding whether omnichannel marketing is more hype than reality.

For many, omnichannel marketing still means a combination of TV, online and social media. In the U.K., however, it’s the increasing use of mobile devices (primarily smartphones) that is changing consumer buying habits via real-time website visits, loyalty programs and spontaneous sale offers.

In 2015, mobile marketing will guarantee that consumers of all ages are even better informed and make it possible to shift stock in a manner that was simply not possible 10 years ago. DR marketers cannot afford to miss the revolution!

Stacey: Campaigns need to be developed with mobile in mind right from the start. Omnichannel means we’re living in a multi-screen environment so your message has to be designed to be responsive in any format, including mobile. Messages need to be targeted, focused and concise. Consumers aren’t going to read a 10-page E-mail on their phones. Finally, we’re still in the discovery phase of mobile marketing so it’s important to continually educate yourself on evolving mobile strategies and marketing techniques to take advantage as this new area keeps developing.

Yallen: Consumers have a growing predisposition to engage with brands and products using the screen that’s most convenient for them. For much — if not all — of the time, this has become either on their phone or tablet, especially for the younger demographics. Right now, for some of our clients, more people are engaging via mobile apps or responsive websites than are using voice.

Consumers are absolutely ruthless about ease-of-use and efficient use of time. For them, receiving information must be smooth, swift and stable; some estimates state that frustration sets in after as few as six seconds. Marketers using these mobile platforms must conform to this mindset or be left behind. Basically, no one is willing to hold for the next available representative anymore.

Sophisticated geo-targeting and geo-fencing — where ads can be served on a geographic level/area within 100 feet of a physical location — is becoming increasingly viable. The targeted marketing implications utilizing this capability are already profound and will only become even more so in the near future.

Display advertising on mobile has been given new life, as many of the apps are now primarily ad-supported. The ability to hit consumers with targeted messaging at the optimal time and place has widespread implications for driving awareness and sales never possible — or even conceivable — until recently.


About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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