By Sameer Kazi, senior vice president, general manager, EMEA, ExactTarget

Effective Digital marketing requires marketers to prioritise the consumer and not favour one marketing channel over another. In fact successful campaigns should utilize all channels in which consumers interact with brands – social, web, mobile and email – to create a collaborative dynamic customer experience.

While each marketing channel has its unique value, consumers continue to view email as the leading channel for a permission-based marketing messages (77% of US consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing messages via email), according to ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey. Email remains the workhorse of digital marketing, providing a connection between social, Web and mobile.

Here’s a quick look at how each channel in the digital marketing mix can provide value to marketers:

Social media should not be viewed as a silo but instead as part of an integrated digital strategy, complementing your email, Web and mobile messaging. Brands need to create opportunities to extend the relationship beyond the Facebook ‘like’, to interact with consumers cross the channels they use most, improving customer satisfaction and increasing return on investment. eBags, an online retailer, increased Facebook likes by 46,000 and increased email subscribers by 28,000 in less than two months with its ‘Bag an iPad’ campaign.

Mobile is a prolific device to consume all media, creating an opportunity for marketers to be aware of the high expectations that are set for web and email viewing via a mobile device. The mobile experience is highly interactive and every email is viewed in stages- name, subject line, preheader, etc. In each stage consumers decide to continue or exit, so it is important to know what these stages are and plan for each one. Return Path confirms 40% of emails opened on a mobile device, reinforcing the importance of optimizing font size and layout for mobile. Mobile is also used at higher peaks in early morning and late evening (comSource 2013) as more than 70% of UK consumers begin their digital morning with email and 47% are likely to end their day here they stated it — with email (2013 Executive Summary). This knowledge helps business schedule their emails to be delivered at mornings and late evenings when consumers are most likely to be on their mobile devices.

Email and the web are not one and the same. Marketers can send relevant and targeted content tailored to their consumers via email and build on that personalization with more in-depth content on the Web. The key is to deliver content that’s easy to consume on any device and be part of the path to conversion. We all know what it is like to open a website or email which does not fit on the screen; the writing is too small, layout is unconventional and font too small. With 90% of consumers moving between devices to accomplish a goal, consumers expect to see the emails in the same state as on all devices or they will move to another site that can offer them the complete user experience (Google, 2012).

It is essential to bring all marketing channels together, using multiple technologies to effectively engage brands customers. In a time where budgets are scrutinized, marketers need a tool that offers a measurable ROI and can communicate a variety of messages. Email remains essential to tie together campaigns, mobile lets brands reach customers wherever they are and social expands opportunities for engagement and call to action.

*ExactTarget’s 2013 Executive Summary

Digital Marketing moves at lightening pace and marketers need access to the latest information and advice – a new event — The Digital Marketing Show is taking place in Excel, London in November – visit www.digitalmarketingshow.co.uk

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