Digital Advertising and marketing and Omnichannel Maturity
Consumer behavior has changed drastically in the last year. The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop, search for new products, and connect with brands. As a result, brands have had to change too to meet changing consumer expectations and shopping patterns.
While marketing specialists worked on the further development of their strategies, one of the main focuses was on digital transformation. Consumers have gone online and brands have to go too. However, this rapid digital acceleration has exposed many gaps in digital maturity. Some brands were better prepared than others to meet consumers directly through digital channels, while others struggled to compete.
In a report by Smart Insights and BrightTALK, investing in digital marketing has been a cost-effective way for many industries to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. For 41% of the respondents it was reported that digital marketing activities have increased – another 15% report a significant increase.
How COVID-19 has changed shopping behavior
- The number of orders placed online and picked up by brick and mortar customers increased by 208% during the pandemic. (Adobe Analytics)
- 59% of customers say they are more likely to continue picking up on the side of the road after the pandemic. (Retail dive)
- 30% of online consumers prefer BOPIS (buy online, in-store pickup) or curb to delivery. (Adobe Analytics)
- Many consumers now shop exclusively online, even baby boomers who have never done it before. Online sales rose nearly 50% at the height of the pandemic as consumers stayed at home but continued to shop. (Adobe Analytics)
- 87% of US consumers prefer to shop in stores with touchless or rugged self-checkout options. (Shekel)
- 79% of consumers say they will continue to use self-checkout or increase their usage after COVID-19. (McKinsey)
- 36% of consumers now shop online on a weekly basis, up from 28% before the pandemic. (Selligent)
- Globally, 49% of consumers now shop more online than they did before COVID-19. (Bazaar voice)
- 62% of US shoppers say they shop more online now than they did before the pandemic. (Bazaar voice)
Consumers are clearly shopping more online, but what do they expect from online brand engagements?
Digital and omnichannel maturity
A certain amount of preparation is required to respond effectively to consumers. However, many brands forego this crucial step. In fact, according to a study by Smart Insights and BrightTALK, almost half (48%) of brands have no defined strategy at all.
The good news is that 40% of respondents said they have a strategy and it’s built into their broader marketing strategy.
Equally remarkable is the number of marketers who do not pursue a clearly defined omnichannel strategy. 63% even stated that they did not have a clearly defined omnichannel strategy.
As we know, consumers are shopping through any number of devices and channels, many of them increasingly digital in today’s changing environment. Consumers also know what types of shopping experiences they want when shopping on their own terms, through their preferred channels, and at the time of their choosing. Brands need to have an omnichannel mindset to deliver the right kind of messaging and personalized travel.
Email continues to be the top performing marketing channel in terms of ROI, lead generation, content distribution, and other key metrics. According to a study of the manifesto, nearly 70% of companies use email marketing as part of their campaign strategy. Other important findings:
- Among the companies involved in email marketing, the majority of marketing emails send out either daily (32%) or weekly (41%).
- Businesses send a wide variety of emails, but product / company updates (69%), promotional emails (69%), newsletters (68%), and event invitations (65%) are the most popular.
- When asked what their primary goal for email marketing is, most companies want to grow and retain their customer base (29%) or increase engagement (22%).
When asked, “Have you ever shopped on any of the following products in the past 12 months?”, Email was 45% the most popular channel. In fact, email outperformed SMS by 92% and banner ads by over 39%.
Social purchasing is becoming more and more popular
Social is not far behind email. 43% of consumers said they made a purchase based on a social media post. In a survey by PWC, 37% of online shoppers say they use social media for “purchase inspiration”.
This is higher than any other form of online media, including retailer websites, price comparison websites, and multi-brand websites.
- Social media is the most relevant advertising channel for 50% of Generation Z and 42% of Millennials.
- Non-customers are three times more likely to visit retailers through social media ads than customers.
- 50% of consumers said viewing user-generated content would increase their chances of buying products through a brand’s social media. 49% said simple payment systems (like Amazon Pay) would increase their chances of buying on social media.
- Posts with links to more information are the most popular type of content on social media. 30% of consumers said this is what brands they love most on social networks. 18% preferred graphics and images, while 17% would like to see produced videos. (Sprouts social)
In the future, digital marketing will only gain in importance in the context of omnichannel outreach. Marketers need to continually adapt to grow and ensure their brands maintain a competitive advantage.
Download our. down Success kit for omnichannel marketing to get access to some of our most informative resources on omnichannel marketing trends, strategies and tactics. The most convenient way to research, this Success Kit includes themed blogs, webinars, white papers, case studies, and more – all with one download.
Author: Larisa Bedgood
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As the VP of Marketing for V12 Data, I have a deep understanding of today’s data-driven marketing environment, including key components such as data integration, personalized travel management, customer experience, third-party data, marketing technology, and analytics. I lead all marketing functions including lead generation goals, content management, marketing strategy, … Show complete profile >