Australian retailers are focussing on the wrong online marketing strategies, and therefore making life unnecessarily difficult for themselves.
In a recent post, Australian Retailers Floundering Online, I lamented that many Australian retailers were focussing too heavily on out dated and less effective methods of online marketing, and ignoring the proven and more effective tactics.
No sooner had I posted the article, and then I came across a recent research report that backed up what I was saying.
In the previous article I referenced the The Australian Retail Adoption Plans for Online Advertising and E-tailing report released by AIMIA which contained the following chart listing what Australian online retailers are using as their top marketing tactics.
The Old and Outdated Online Marketing Tactics
The New, More Effective Online Marketing Tactics
In another Online Marketing Study, consultancy group Hinge looked at what High growth firms used to drive their online marketing and what they considered to be the most effective.
The results are very different to the chart above.
Only SEO and email are at the top of both lists, and even then the priority is still different. The common themes through all of the top firms marketing tactics though are content and social.
That is, write lots of great content and get it shared.
The other thing to note is that the high performance firms have pay per click (PPC, SEM) and banner ads at the bottom of their priority list.
It’s not that they don’t do them, they do, it’s just that they understand where online advertising fits in the mix and they prioritize them accordingly.
What High Performance Businesses Do Differently
The difference between the two approaches is stark, and shows just how out of step most Australian online businesses are with modern and proven online marketing techniques.
The Hinge report includes a number of other charts which all reinforce the one above, and shows that high performance online businesses simply do things very differently to everybody else.
Hinge also consulted a small army of leading online marketing consultants to get their views. Their views more or less concurred with the high performance companies practices.
However, the experts did give more priority to analytics and testing.
The Rise of Content Marketing
What the two charts and the report show is that content marketing and all the various options that go with it, now make up a large part of any effective online marketing strategy.
In the US, content marketing accounts for a third of the marketing budget in successful online companies, according to Marketing Profs and Content Marketing Institutes 2012 report on budgets, benchmarks and trends.
Unfortunately, at present, it doesn't even appear on Australian online retailers’ radar.
Hopefully the situation will change once they get proper professional marketing advice.
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