Learn the most influential mix for your target audience
For service marketers seeking to optimise their influence, a mix of online and offline channels is key.
Sponsored content: This article was commissioned by Australia Post to let readers know they can access a free copy of ‘Creating connections that matter: Optimising the advertising mix for services.’
New research from the Australian Consumer, Retail and Services (ACRS) Research Unit within Monash Business School’s Department of Marketing shows that a multichannel approach is key to influencing complex purchase decisions – such as choosing a superannuation fund, or switching credit card or electricity providers. But trying to hit too many channels may spread your budget too thin and not lead to any greater impact.
Commissioned by Australia Post, the independent research was carried out with over 8,500 Australian consumers across a broad range of life stages. It explored consumers’ conscious and unconscious channel preferences, to find the ideal blend of channels for optimal influence at three key stages on the journey to purchase: initial consideration, evaluating options and purchase decision.
Channels examined were: TV ads, email marketing, newspaper and magazine advertising, catalogues and flyers, personalised direct mail, websites, radio, social media ads, billboards and outdoor, and banner ads on websites.
‘Creating connections that matter: Optimising the advertising mix for services’ reveals that websites are the most influential channel overall, driving 35% of a consumer’s service purchase. As the source of all product, service and company information, they clearly play a key role in helping consumers to research and validate their service purchase decisions.
Personalised direct mail is the next most influential channel, contributing 21% to a consumer’s overall choice of service provider and product, with the greatest impact during the initial consideration stage of the purchase journey.
TV advertising rounds out the top three channels of influence at 19% – but at an individual audience level, it’s not part of the optimal mix for retirees, a finding that challenges industry assumptions.
Catalogues and flyers come in fourth at 17% and radio ads sway the remaining 8% of a consumer’s purchase overall, but are notably important at the final stage when making a choice between alternatives, where their influence spikes to 31%.
Contrary to much public and industry opinion, social media ads did not appear in the optimal advertising mix for any audience segment. Possible reasons could be that social media ads are easier to ignore, as reported by 64% of consumers, or ‘less trustworthy’, as reported by 22% in the study.
The report recommends that if social media is to be employed in marketing, it should be paired with specific channels.
To learn the specific mix of channels with optimal influence of your target audience, download the full research report to find out more.
This information is provided for general purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your business needs.