Stats that should be shaping your marketing plan

Managers analysing data, marketing

At Marketing Angels, we regularly share compelling statistics with our social media fans and followers. We do this to help them make informed decisions and form better marketing strategies.

There are different ways to leverage statistics for a more data-driven marketing. Brands and marketers use them to identify market trends, pinpoint challenges, understand their target market and competition, or even make bold decisions to challenge a prevailing trend.

Here are the key statistics that illustrate what media Australians are consuming, how Australians are looking for products and services, what’s shaping their decisions and how your marketing strategy should be adapted.

Internet or online advertising will account for over half (51%) or $8.2bn of the total ad spend in Australia by 2019, up from 34% in 2014. (Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers for IAB: Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook)

You are on the right track if you currently have an online media strategy. As people increase the amount of time they spend online vs consuming other media, it only makes sense for brands and marketers to use this medium as a main marketing tool. Your investments should go towards mobile, search, display and video advertising, which are the four major segments consumers strongly respond to. Video ads, by the way, is the fastest growing segment of internet advertising that’s expected to triple in growth in the next five years from $176m to $608m.

What’s great about online is that it’s easier to compete with big spenders even if you’re on a smaller budget. However, be prepared. Expect tougher competition as some of you will be vying for the same group of customers. The trick is to use two or more tactics and be as creative as possible. On the other hand, if you think you can still spare some marketing dollars for a TV ad or any offline channel, for that matter, go for it! Sometimes going where only a few go can be a good strategy.

There are 18 million Australians actively online as of March 2015. Three out of the five age groups experienced growth, with those aged 25-34 experiencing the largest boost of 5.3% to 24%. (Source: Nielsen: The Australian Online Landscape Review – March 2015)

Results show the top 10 sites that experienced growth in engagement during this period are Google, Facebook, MSN/WindowsLive/Bing, Microsoft, YouTube, Wikipedia eBay, Yahoo!7, Apple, and ABC Online Network.

On further examination, you’ll see that Google, Wikipedia, and Apple have more engagement with younger groups belonging to ages 2-17, 18-24, and 25-34. Whilst ABC Online Network and Yahoo!7 had the heaviest skew towards Australians aged 50+ at 42.9% and 35-49 year olds at 33.2% respectively. These clearly highlight the big difference in how Aussies are currently accessing information, entertainment, news, etc. These sets of information are just some of the data you need to help you find, understand and target your customers better.

Only 47.1% of Australian businesses have an online presence (Source: Australian Business Statistics (ABS): IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business 2013-2014)

The number almost didn’t move from the previous 47.2% for 2012-13. In comparison, the number of businesses with social media presence is steadily growing, from 26.1% in 2012-13 to 30.8% in 2013-14. Clearly, many local businesses are prioritising social media over having a website. This is probably because it’s easier to create a social media presence than launch and maintain a website. Also, a social media strategy requires little or no cost whilst creating a website can get expensive. But is this a good strategy? I think it’s a risk. A website, to most customers, is an indication that they’re dealing with a legitimate business. Not to mention, most customers nowadays prefer e-commerce to in-store shopping because it’s fast, convenient, and secured. In fact, the value of online retail continues to grow in Australia with an estimated worth of $22.1bn last year. Keep in mind that a website is also a marketing tool. You can sell or cross-sell on your website, blog to establish your brand, and even use it in tandem with your email marketing. If your business is selling anything, having a website is non-negotiable.

Social media continues to grow as a way for businesses to engage consumers.

Meanwhile, despite strong consumer usage of social media, with 3 in 10 Australians using social media for commercial purposes, to assess brands and businesses, to research purchases and to access offers and promotions, businesses are still lagging behind in social media presence as shown in the recent Sensis report below:

Mobile advertising has continued its steady climb, with one in three general display dollars being spent on mobile display advertising. (Source: IAB/PwC Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER) – Quarter ended March 2015)

When 89% of the population own a smartphone and 60% have a tablet (2014 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index), mobile advertising becomes a marketing strategy that’s a must for any type of business. The wide variety of media available on mobile devices means you can show ads in many different formats like text ads, image ads, app promotion ads, video app promotion ads, and others. So jump into the mobile ad space early and ahead of competitors to experience a significant increase in your ROI.

Be sure to optimise your site for mobile. If your site is already mobile-friendly, you’re in good shape. Study after study shows how Australians are increasingly using mobile devices to search, play, work or shop online.

20% of all online sales happened in Australia between 6-9pm during the first quarter of 2015, with Tuesday proving to be the strongest day for transactions overall. (Source: eWay Q1 2015 Online Retail Report)

Online retailers should pay attention. You now know the time and day when most online transactions happen for the majority of Australians. After-work hours is the best time for you to work the hardest. Consider increasing your ad spend during this period to ensure you’re visible and available to your potential customers. Keep in mind that in the first quarter of this year alone, Australians have already spent billions of dollars, $4.37 billion to be exact, online (Forrester).

What’s happening offline

It’s clear that ad revenues in online channels are growing whilst in traditional media they are falling or remain stagnant. That being said, there’s still some merit in advertising offline. Audiences are dropping away from free-to-air TV, newspaper and consumer magazines but radio and outdoor continue to grow.

Radio and outdoor are still expected to post positive results showing consumers are still paying attention to these channels. Radio is expected to grow from $1.17bn to $1.33bn and outdoor from $746m to $856m by 2019 (The PwC Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook).

Marketing is not for the unprepared and uninformed. With the plethora of measurement tools and research available to us, we can plan the future of our business based on real facts – and not on gut feel. If you want to get the biggest bang for your marketing dollars, you’ve got to know not only how your market behaves but also how other businesses are planning their strategies. Pay attention to every compelling statistic you encounter so you can plan your strategy accordingly.

Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses


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