When asked what audiences his game arcade serves the owner replied with the question: “What time of day, which day”? Very impressive! In talks with hundreds of organizations over the years none has had the certain knowledge of their target audience as securely as this retail store owner in Wappingers Falls. The idea that a market company might not know its target audience may seem unlikely, even years ago when this conversation took place. Not coincidentally, in this digital age, not much has changed. In fact, very few media campaigns match up well with consumer patterns for engaging with brands. On the digital side this becomes even more important for the easy access to data that gives a clear picture of buying habits, even by time of day.
Though most retailers take a shotgun approach to promotions, constraining most campaigns by geographical boundaries, few qualify consumers by their specific buying habits or media specific tendencies. A recent analysis of social media and email campaigns by Yesmail Interactive reveals that Tuesday is when the highest level of engagement occurs, though it ranked fourth among campaign launch days. Similarly, Twitter and YouTube deliver more engaged buyers on Monday, a day least selected for campaigns using these media. Though video rises in usage by consumers, only 6.5% of social media campaigns employ it. Time of campaign deployment also figured prominently in the analysis.
- Facebook campaigns reached the highest level of interaction between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. EST, yet this time slot was the least utilized by marketers. Instead, the most popular time to deploy campaigns was 11a.m.-1p.m. EST
- More than 84% of Twitter campaigns occurred within regular work hours of 9 a.m.-7 p.m. EST, even though 5 a.m.-8 a.m. EST is the time frame with the highest level of customer engagement
- When it comes to running YouTube campaigns, only 3% of emails are sent after 6 p.m. EST, yet it is a fairly consistently utilized timeslot for social campaigns
Integrated media significantly aids campaigns, as the study confirmed. Email campaign data overlaid with social engagement data produced a significant increase in engagement on social channels.
- On Facebook, engagement grew by roughly 50% when one email campaign was deployed on the same day and by 100% when two email campaigns were deployed
- Twitter campaign engagement levels reached a 25% increase with one email campaign and a 40% increase with two
The study found an “active and volatile” Email market, though well established. Advanced practices are more commonly in use across all retail channels than in the past. Addressing issues and tactical specifics speaks to the “gaining sophistication” of Email marketers described by Forrester in the report:
|Frequency of Applied Tactics (% of Respondents)
||At Least Monthly
|Run welcome email programs
|Coordinate email with site promotions
|Segment users based on past purchases
|Segment users based on site behavior
|Coordinate email with display
|Clean lists of inactive users
|Coordinate email with mobile
|Source: Forrester Research, Q1 2012
What About Print
Still the leading revenue driver for retailers, print gains significantly when integrated with digital media for a typical “wrap around” affect. For local retailers print works best because geo blanketing finds local customers wherever the print Ad comes to rest. For targeted audience placement it is increasingly necessary to gather email and cell phone data to drive store purchases. Here too, print is helpful in signing up buyers who like receiving email and text message bargains.