SMEs must automate data collection to target customers, Big Australia report warns

SMEs are focusing less on using wide-reaching digital campaigns and instead are using more nuanced targeting techniques to reach a specific group of customers more effectively, the latest Responsys “Big Australia” report reveals.

The report reinforces advice from digital marketing and data experts who continue to encourage SMEs to track the huge amount of information being collected by their businesses, and use it to craft targeted digital and social campaigns.

The third Big Australia report, which surveyed 125 digital marketers in Australia, also found more digital work is being done in-house, rather than being outsourced, and only 22% understand the impact that privacy legislation will have on their business.

But Responsys vice president of Asia Pacific, Simon O’Day, said the most important finding is that 74% of marketers are now prioritising targeting campaigns over increasing the volume of messages sent.

“They’re being more sophisticated,” O’Day told SmartCompany this morning.

“If you’re not targeting people specifically, then you can expect a one-time revenue return. But the minute you start doing data-driven marketing, your revenue grows three, four or five times more.”

The report even found that over the next 12 months, the biggest priority for respondents will be improving the targeting and segmentation of their campaigns.

However, there’s a distinct lack of resources available. Half of the respondents said they aren’t equipped to analyse the data they already have.

“To further advance digital marketing in Australia it will become increasingly important for organisations to employ data specialists and invest in time and resources to upskill their staff continuously.”

O’Day says SMEs need to start investigating ways they can collect and analyse data as efficiently as possible, especially when resources are sparse.

“There is a challenge in the software SMEs can use, but it’s approaching the reality here you can start pulling in more data from consumers. This is needed, especially because SME operators are so time poor,” he says.

“That’s the biggest message in this report. You need to try and automate your data collection as much as possible.”

Keep up to date with information about topics like big data by reading regular SmartCompany bloggers David Markus and Paul Wallbank.



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