A recent report from the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) of the Monash University school of Business and Economics, clearly shows social media and other digital channels are playing an increasingly vital role in retail marketing and advertising. Multi-channel strategies are proving far more effective now, especially given the adaptation of the iPad and other technological advances by the public.
We all know that traditional channels still prove effective in outreach to consumers, but social media and other new tools have been a question mark for some companies, where their marketing strategies are concerned. In truth, this is largely because SM and digital marketing and ad practitioners were not as effective in many cases. Today however, it is easy to see the ROI of engaging people via smartphones and other emerging technologies. The ACRS report, “Multichannel and Social Media: The State of Play 2011”, shows clearly the relationships and trends now.
Chris Burch, the mogul entrepreneur and hotel owner noted that “Multichannel Retailing is all about value, optimization, segmentation, and of course, ultimately, sales. Bringing it home and making the cash register ring is what makes it all count at the end of the day.”
Retailers who reach out to consumers via multiple channels, at least according to the report, achieve a far greater ROI than by using singular or more traditional channels. This only makes sense, if you think about it. Some of the suggestions of this project indicate dramatic gains in customer spending actually. The report suggests that consumers who shop via mult-channel engagements can spend up to 6 times as much as traditional “store only” shoppers. While this can be attributed to other statistical variables, the implications are staggering.
Interestingly too, email, social media and mobile are now among the most popular methods of outreach, at least in the Australian market. This study (PDF) from ACRS, Social Media and Advertising Value, form 2010 – showed social media and multi-channel marketing as a powerful branding tool, while this more recent study indicates the genre is a quickly becoming a more robust marketing communications tool.
Readers who are interested may pre-order their copy of this and other reports here. You may also want to look at the executive summary of the 2010 thought leadership series; Multichannel Retailing: Value, Optimisation and Segmentation. If you are interested in the work of ACRS, we suggest you contact Monash, the School of Business and Economics, or even Dean Stephen King Ph.D. (right) via his profile here.