A recent article in Biz.com reports that “In “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers 2012″, Forrester reveals that, while marketers focus on social, it’s not the channel that drives consumers to open their wallets. Almost 4 in 10 new customers who make a purchase arrive at a website via organic or paid search links. Three out of 10 transactions by repeat customers are initiated after interacting with an email from a retailer, 13% after reading an email and 17% after seeing an email and interacting with other forms of marketing. However, less than 1% of transactions could be traced back to social media activity, concludes Forrester, after analyzing 77,000 online transactions over a two-week period.”
In an marketplace that includes sites like Face book. Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram new is not necessarily better it is just different and needs to be evaluated against basic marketing tenets that have been in practice for years as well as by the analytics that cutting age technologies now provide. No matter what is new in the marketplace unless it fits in with your current strategy and marketing plans by allowing you to reach your customer, reach similar prospects by tried and tried methods like segmentation, to initiate and complete some form of call to action and build and understand your customers life time value the new fads amount to just that… new fads.
Our Executive VP of Sales, Dick Weissman, also a very astute marketer often said ” unseen and untold is unsold”. If your customer doesn’t know about your product and they don’t have enough information about why they should consider a purchase then just “liking” something on a web page might help build a brand community but as current research shows it is not a direct sales channel. Being present in social media is not enough. Integrated marketing programs employing print, direct mail, web, email and social media components have been shown to get your product noticed by speaking to the buyer in the language that they best like to listen to. You can move your product into their consideration set and can convert lookers into buyers by grabbing their attention. Companies marketing dollars are being very closely scrutinized and if you are going to spend money on promoting your product shouldn’t it result in sales? Forrester has found that Face Book ads are producing minimal sales where according to a recent Direct Marketing Association (DMA) study more than 80% of U.S. households read some or all of their advertising mail. A recent DMA study has found that direct mail boasts a 4.4% rate, compared to email’s average response rate of 0.12%. One reason why direct mail continues to be a go-to strategy for marketers is that improvements in printing and database technology as well as analytics have allowed direct mail and other offline media to deliver consistent response rates. Studies have found that integrated marketing programs have increased sales to a greater degree than the aggregate rate of return of all their components combined. Just something to consider to increase your ROI.