Tag Archives: DMA

How can social platforms make themselves more marketing friendly?

If you read the marketing trade press just before the Easter break then you’d have probably seen the story about marketers rating Facebook as the “most marketing-friendly” social platform of all.  The attention-grabbing headline came from a new study published by the DMA’s Social Media Council.

The Social media scorecard is the industry’s first ever quantified assessment of the relative merits of the top social sites in terms of their ease-of-use for campaign planning, execution and post-campaign analysis. One clear victor emerged: Facebook.


More than 170 social marketers polled for the study rated it above Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ in almost every department. The only notable exceptions were Twitter’s ranking as the best platform for building brand awareness and LinkedIn for having the most effective user-targeting tools.

While Facebook received the highest ratings across the board, what really surprised me was just how harshly marketers rated each of the platforms. When asked to mark each of the platforms out of 10 in terms of their strengths, Facebook only managed an average score of 4.39; Twitter averaged 4.02 and last-placed Google+ garnered an average rating of 3.05.
If this was a school report card then even Facebook would be scraping a D-.

So why, in the eyes of marketers, are social platforms falling far short of providing an A+ service for their customers? How can the platforms up their game and improve the tools marketers need for campaign planning, execution and post-campaign analysis. Answers on the back of a postcard please…

Read the Social media scorecard infographic

By Tristan Garrick, the DMA’s Head of PR & Content


Email marketing ROI goes up a gear thanks to better targeting

Interesting findings from this year’s DMA National client email report, sponsored by Alchemy Worx, – ROI rocketed in 2013 and marketers are predicting budget rises in 2014 for the marketing channel.

Yep, according to more than half of a panel of senior UK B2B and B2C client-side email marketers, email expenditure is likely to increase this year thanks in no short part to ROI hitting nearly 2,500%. In 2013 there was an average leap of 16% from   £21.48 in 2012 to nearly £25 (£24.93) in 2013 for every £1 spent on email campaigns. This rises to an average of £30.52 for B2C campaigns.

So, what’s driven this leap in ROI? Well, according to the report’s authors its due “a heightened focus on better-targeted campaigns”. The stats reveal that there’s been a strong emphasis on list segmentation as the percentage of marketers segmenting campaigns for six+ audiences rose from 29% in 2011 to 38% in 2013. The amount of marketers not using segmentation techniques dropped from 19% in 2011 to 11% in 2013. Segmented emails accounted for 60% of all email revenue in 2013, compared to 55% in 2012. As a result the percentage of revenue marketers attribute to targeted email has also risen from 30% of total revenue in 2012 to 39% in 2013.

Increased social activity has also made a big impact on email ROI as it has increased levels of brand engagement with consumers and helped to drive a rise in the acquisition of new email addresses.

What’s particularly striking about this year’s report is that it silences the sound of the death knell for email we’ve come to expect from commentators at this time of year. Email seems to have gone up a gear in the past new thanks to new techniques, new approaches and better integration within the digital realm. But will this continue to develop…? Let’s see what next year’s National client email report has to say on the matter.

Read the National client email report infographic

By Tristan Garrick, DMA’s Head of PR & Content

Unilever’s ‘Why bring a child into this world?’ campaign sets out to make a difference

A Unilever video ad doing the rounds on the internet has become an instant viral hit, clocking up nearly two million YouTube views since it was posted on 20 November, which also happens to be Universal Children’s Day. The video marks the launch of Project Sunlight, a new Unilever initiative with huge ambitions – to help improve the lives of two million children across the globe. Continue reading

How a phishing email made PayPal my best pal

Who’d have thought that a phishing email trying to compromise my PayPal account could leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling in the end? PayPal managed to reassure me by dealing with this security threat quickly and efficiently and even gave me a £10 eBay voucher as a thank you!

Soon after I started using PayPal I got a phishing email telling me my account was frozen and that I needed to download an attachment to prove my identity and reactivate the account. I instantly recognised the scam, having naively fallen for a similar one a few years ago that led to my online bank account being compromised!

Customer service system that thinks like a real person
I immediately logged into my PayPal account to contact customer service to check if they had frozen my account. The ‘Contact us’ link was easy to find and I had several contact options. I wanted to speak to someone so I chose the ‘call us’ button. A website message popped up telling me that I had received an email with a case number and that I would have to quote it when I called. Full marks from my end to be assured that a robust security system was in place by a company managing my money.

I dialled the number and then the magic began! The automated voice system that I initially went through was so sophisticated that I felt like I was speaking to a real person. I felt extremely comfortable answering everything I was asked and was impressed at how ‘he’ grasped everything I said and the swiftness of the responses.

Finally I got diverted to a real person, and I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, security questions again!’ But I was proven wrong, the person I spoke to simply asked for my name and surname and we went on to discuss my problem. He confirmed it was a phishing message and requested me to forward the spam email to him so that PayPal could take measures to prevent the fraudsters from striking again.

Friendly sign-off and £10 voucher!
In my head I am thinking, “Yay, they’re actually going to do something about it.” The call ended with a short, soft marketing message in the “Thank you for calling us, have a nice weekend” sign-off, suggesting PayPal banking or other services to me as a new customer. No hard sell, book appointment, “Big discount if you buy now” in this call.

In return for the email I forwarded, I got an email back showing me what a genuine PayPal email looks like. It had no attachments, addresses the customer with his/her name and never asks for personal details.  But the final jewel in this customer service crown was the £10 eBay voucher from PayPal as a thank you for contacting them about spam email and for doing business with them.I think there is a lesson or two to learn from this and I am sure as marketers you will agree that it is important for companies to ‘keep it ‘real’.

Posted by the DMA’s Research Executive, Yashraj Jain

Conversational marketing: The art of conversation

In an age of the consumer, mass communication and consumption of disposable information, marketers face the challenge of offering consumers a unique, engaging dialogue. As the way we interact with each other changes, it poses the question, have we lost the art of conversation? With the proliferation of digital channels where we are swamped by volumes of ‘Big Data’, how can marketers rise over the cacophony of competitors to make their voice heard?

Conversational marketing is about moving beyond what is said. It is considering all the available information (buying behaviour, location, declared and inferred interests) and presenting a contextual proposition that elicits the desired response. For marketers the art of conversation revolves around seamlessly combining the right data, right channels, right products and the right services into a cohesive marketing message.

It can be argued that marketers have long been conversing with consumers, but broadcast messages and mass marketing campaigns are losing their appeal; marketers cannot directly attribute revenue and consumers do not feel valued as individuals. Marketing strategies have already adapted to offer personalised outbound campaigns as marketers utilise tools to segment data and present offers based on predefined rules.  However, conversation is a two-way dialogue, and marketing communications must now adopt this same principle. Harnessing the power of inbound interaction further enhances the relationship between brands and consumers. Empowering both anonymous and authenticated users with a personalised experience through outbound and inbound channels (web, call centre, social, mobile, interactive devices) creates further reassurance that the consumer needs and interests are understood.

This back and forth relevant interaction between a brand and consumer serves to build brand confidence. With every interaction, positive or negative, insight can be gained. The concept of conversational marketing is the ability to process this insight and present it back to a consumer, showing them that they have been listened to. Through this approach a brand can ensure their messaging is heard above the noise of competitors, building brand loyalty.

As technology evolves the  prerequisites of conversation remain the same; quantity, quality, relevancy and manner are unchanged. It becomes the speed of response, and the mode of delivery of that response that must adapt.  Marketers must ask themselves, how, when and where should I engage with my consumers? As consumers travel a more complex purchase journey, over multiple platforms/devices the most appropriate channels of engagement must be identified. Combining existing and emerging channels to create the right channel mix ensures the right message can arrive on the right device, at the right time.

The art of conversational marketing reflects the balance between action and reaction, by both brand and consumer. Ultimately it is the application of marketing technology, combined with the acceptance that consumers desire personal, mutually engaging and loyal relationships, even in a digital age.

Neolane is the sponsor of the DMA’s Technology Summit on 30 April: www.dma.org.uk/techsummit

By DMA guest blogger Sam Ledger, Marketing Communications Executive, Neolane

Social media marketing: Time to take some adult responsibility

The grace period for social media – the new kid on the marketing block – is over. No longer will brands forgive its foibles and excesses as youthful abandon. It’s time to grow up and take on some proper adult responsibility. That was the message I walked away with from the DMA’s social media debate at DMA Towers as part of national social media week.

Hosted by the DMA Social Media Council’s chair Roger Warner, panellists Christie Fidura of Adobe and Jai Kotecha of Red Brick Road debated the issues that have been taxing marketers since brands switched on to the immense direct marketing potential of plugging into social networks. Three hot-button questions dominated:

  1. Who ‘owns’ a social media account?
  2. How do you avoid the ‘creepiness’ factor?
  3. How do you measure social media ROI?

I’m taking my followers with me
You’ve built up a large following and you’re ranked as being highly influential on any number of online tools. So, what happens when you move to a new company? Who owns your account – you or your employer? Does your social media account migrate with you?

Many companies have experienced the problem of employees taking their followers with them to their next job. Take a recruitment consultant, for example. They have a lot of followers looking for jobs. Then the consultant moves company taking his employer’s clients with him to a rival. Ouch.

Without having a clear company policy in place setting out the boundaries between a corporate and personal social media account, then the question of ownership could be costly.

Big Brother online
The panellists at the debate confessed that they were uneasy with the sheer amount of data Facebook holds on them and what they might do with. The irony of this feeling was not lost on them. The potential social media data offers makes direct marketers salivate. The holy grail of laser-guided targeting is now a reality.

But, with great power comes great responsibility. Just because you can follow someone around the internet doesn’t mean that you should. People are ‘creeped out’ when one visit to the bed section of an online retailer results in banner ads for beds popping up on every website they visit. They feel like they’re being watched. If marketers as consumers don’t like this experience, then why do they persist with this tactic?

Social media is going through a maturation process. The golden rule of ‘do unto others as you would have them do to you’ should be the abiding principle by which marketers should set their boundaries of engagement.

Measuring social media ROI
If Facebook was a country, then it would have the third largest population on the planet. More than 200 million tweets are sent everyday. Brands understandably want to be part of the social phenomenon and have a presence where their customers are. But in the rush to get involved, many brands have deferred asking the crucial question of ‘how can we prove the value of our investment?’.

Now that the dust is settling and the finance guys are asking for a justification for the social media marketing spend, it’s time to think long and hard about how to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing and how it impacts on the bottom line. After all, it’s what social’s other direct siblings have to do.

So, what to measure? Number of followers? Likes? Positive sentiments? Direct sales? This year, the DMA Social Media Council will publish the sector’s first metrics guidelines, which will provide a standardised measure of all components of a social media campaign. The comprehensive guidelines will be the industry’s gold standard that will translate social media activity into the language of the balance sheet. It will be the first real step that social marketing takes towards financial responsibility.