October 21, 2014

Which Online Channels Are Best-Suited for Acquisition and Retention?

Using the right channel for strategic campaigns is of paramount importance to marketers, as outcomes are heavily dependent upon channel choice. Yet, the impetus to select one channel over another is going the way of the dinosaur, as two-thirds of marketers report that their priority is to integrate key marketing activities across channels (like social media, online display advertising and email) instead of choosing among them, according to a 2014 study from Econsultancy with Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Although the research, based on surveys from nearly 1,000 digital marketers and e-commerce professionals, found that the majority of companies are prioritizing integration, they are also grappling with successfully launching a definitive cross-channel program. In fact, only 7 percent of respondents said their organizations are “very much set up to deliver effectively orchestrated cross-channel marketing activities,” with almost half (49 percent) stating that they are geared up for this “to a certain extent.”

The lack of understanding stems from three primary areas: the customer journey (only 43 percent of respondents claimed to understand it and adapt their channel mix accordingly), organizational structure (cross-functional teams to facilitate integrated marketing were absent in 70 percent of these businesses) and measuring financial success (merely 19 percent of respondents have measured the financial results of cross-channel marketing).

For insight into the present state of channel usage among marketers, and which channels are best-suited for acquisition and retention, we share below how study respondents currently differentiate among available campaign delivery channels:

  • Retention
    • Email: Respondents were more than twice as likely to say their organization gears its email efforts toward retention (52 percent) than acquisition (21 percent).
    • Mobile messaging: SMS or MMS marketing efforts were identified by 58 percent of respondents as directed more toward retention than acquisition (23 percent).
    • Mobile apps: This channel also was identified as more likely to be used for retention (44 percent) than acquisition (30 percent).
  • Acquisition
    • Search: Some 86 percent of respondents said their paid efforts are more geared toward acquisition, and 66 percent said the same about natural (organic) searches.
    • Online display advertising: A full 85 percent of respondents identified this channel as geared toward acquisition, compared to only 11 percent for retention.
    • Web targeting: Marketing efforts via this channel are also geared toward acquisition (61 percent) vs. retention (22 percent), according to respondents.
    • Mobile Web: This is another favored channel for acquisition (52 percent) over retention (30 percent) per respondents.
  • Equal split:
    • Mobile and Web push notifications: Historically, these have been very effective in boosting app user retention figures primarily, so an interesting twist is that they now are used just as much to increase acquisitions.
    • Websites: Some 55 percent of respondents said they use this channel equally for retention and acquisition of customers.
    • Social media: Another tie; this channel is used for both acquisition and retention marketing.

Although many companies are coming to realize the value of conducting their marketing activities in an orchestrated manner, they are still faced with the challenges of managing multiple channels when delivering marketing campaigns to consumers.

For more on multi-channel marketing and strategies, visit the Content Boost blog.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

Comments powered by Disqus

Related News