New Survey Highlights The Disconnect Between Customer Engagement And Business Marketing Strategies.

Why aren’t all businesses getting more traffic to their websites and increasing their conversion rates?

Well, according to a survey just released by Yesmail Interactive, it’s because they’re trying to sell their internet marketing campaigns to the wrong people on the wrong day and at the wrong time. That’s about as comprehensive a critique as you’re ever likely to get. The company, which is part of the Infogroup organisation which studies customer interaction intelligence, has just released the first round of statistics from its report “Using Digital Market Intelligence to Drive Multi-Channel Success.” If the statistics do paint an accurate picture of the state of internet marketing in the current climate, then all businesses better ship up, or be forced to ship out.

Yesmail analysed the marketing behaviour of a number of major retailers who trade on both sides of the Atlantic, including Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel, American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Diesel, Eddie Bauer, Express, Forever 21, The Gap, Guess, H &M, J Crew, Kenneth Cole, The Limited, Old Navy, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Urban Outfitters.

Now, it’s pretty obvious from that list that all these business share one thing in common: they all sell clothes.

Yesmail believes this gives the study credibility and gravitas as it is able to study the behaviour of one sector in depth: others, however, view this as a major flaw and argue that the behaviour of one sector of the market is not necessarily a-typical of another.

Nevertheless the company used its intelligence tools to track and analyse each retailer’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and email campaigns over a three-month period in order to assess how effective they were in driving consumer engagement. The preliminary findings clearly indicate that the majority of social media and email marketing campaigns are failing because they do not replicate the behaviour of the consumers they are targeting. In other words, they have failed to understand and appreciate how and why customers engage with the brand

Michael Fisher, President of Yesmail, explained the findings in a press release:

“While marketers have plenty of tools at their disposal to put these multi-channel strategies in place, they have been slow to effectively harness the power of customer data available to them. When properly collected and analysed, this type of digital intelligence provides in-depth, actionable insights that can definitively improve a brand’s marketing strategy.”

So when should you be running your marketing campaigns?

  • Well, when Yesmail analysed the ties at which various marketing campaigns were started, and compared this to the known patterns of customer engagement levels, they discovered the following:
  • Marketing campaigns reach their highest levels of activity on Tuesdays, yet that day only comes in fourth in terms of customer engagement on Facebook.
  • Twitter campaigns generally take place on Friday: sadly this day generates the fewest number of re-tweets.
  • Most interaction on YouTube occurs on Monday, but that is the weekday least used by marketing companies.

Essentially what the study found is that the majority of marketers launched their online campaigns on every day of the week, except the one that proved to be the most popular with customers – Tuesday. Tuesday is the day when customers are most receptive to marketing and are more likely to engage with brands. Well, that certainly seems to be the case in the clothing retail industry. Whether it’s equally true in other sectors is arguable.

What about time though? If businesses are going to start targeting Tuesdays, then what’s the best time to start the campaign?

  • Facebook campaigns reached the highest level of interaction between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. Eastern State Time (EST), yet few companies targeted this time slot. Instead the most popular time to deploy campaigns was 11a.m.-1p.m.
  • More than 84 percent of Twitter campaigns occurred within regular work hours of 9 a.m.-7 p.m., even though 5 a.m.-8 a.m. is the timeframe with the highest level of customer engagement.
  • Marketers appear to ignore over half of the day when running YouTube campaigns.
  • Only 3 percent of emails are sent after 6 p.m., yet this is a fairly consistently utilised timeslot for social campaigns.

Yesmail (an email company) also found that sending out an email prior to the start of a social media campaign significantly increased customer engagement. They also discovered that video was highly effective on Facebook, yet very few social media marketing campaigns use it.

So the next time you’re thinking about running a new marketing campaign, take your time and think about your customers’ behaviour. When, and at what time do customers tend to interact the most with you based on past performance? Once you know this, then make sure all future marketing campaigns target that slot and time. If you do, you may just see your conversions rates increasing.

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