There’s that old saying about ‘I know half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half.’ I think it’s very true… With radio and TV it’s far harder to measure and break things down, but with things like Google and most digital media, it’s so granular.

Hosted by The Australian and Sensis in Sydney last week, the Digital Marketing Forum 2015 was a sell-out event with industry heavyweights sharing insights on the future of mass marketing, what ‘micro moments’ are and why they’re relevant as well driving better return on your budget and making it to page one of Google.

The panel session featured Maile Carnegie, Managing Director – Google Australia & NZ; Stephen Scheeler, Head of Retail and eCommerce – Facebook Australia & NZ; Martin Hosking, Founder of online business Redbubble and moderator Alan Kohler, Editor at Large, The Australian Business Review.

Sensis CEO, John Allan introduced the panel with findings from the Sensis eBusiness Report including one third of Australians are on the internet 15 times a day and spending the equivalent of a full working day on Facebook weekly.

“The report shows that Australians are embracing online purchasing in ever increasing numbers, with six out of 10 of us buying online…There is no doubt the increase in smartphone ownership has changed the way we connect online. Some 69 percent of Australians access the internet using their smartphone, yet only 35 percent of small businesses — 45 percent in NSW — have a mobile-optimised website.”

Since Google’s algorithm update in April to favour websites that work well on smartphones and tablets, many small businesses have upgraded their websites with 28 percent planning to optimise their website for mobiles in the coming year.

Mr Allan urged all small businesses to see beyond their website and look at every aspect of their business, from customer service to delivery of products and services through a mobile lens.

Google Australia & NZ Managing Director, Maile Carnegie also pushed the importance of mobile strategies for marketers and said a consumer’s “purchase journey had radically changed in just two years and the effect was exacerbated by mobile”.

In an era where there are many competing interests for consumers including social media, smartphones, tablets and TV, Ms Carnegie said the businesses who manage to communicate with their consumers during these ‘micro moments’ will succeed.

She said marketers had their work cut out deciphering what was the “new battleground of just micro moments” because people check their phones 150 times a day.

“The easy part of mobile is over. I mean, we could all look at the graphs and kind of estimate how many Australians were going to have a mobile phone… The more interesting — and I think difficult — part of mobile has now begun, which is, what are the behaviour changes it’s driving?”

As part of this new era in marketing, it’s important to know which ‘micro moments’ are linked to purchasing behaviour so advertisers know where to focus their energies because these are “laden with intent”.

This is an opportune time for small businesses because the digital economy means they can compete more than ever before, she adds. 

“Small businesses make up 50 percent of private employment and one third of GDP… When you kind of put together the web and small businesses, it’s like rocket fuel…  Those that make the most of web are twice as likely to be growing.”

Facebook’s Stephen Scheeler agrees the shift to mobile web and targeted marketing will see the end of mass marketing within his lifetime. He spoke about the difference between mass marketing and targeted marketing and said the days of Madmen-style advertising are long gone.

“We only have limited time each day. The micro moments are what’s critical for advertisers and getting customers attention… If you’re an advertiser you need to compete with other content in the newsfeeds.”

Mr Scheeler said major advertisers, including Volkswagen, NZ Tourism and The Iconic, had abandoned mass-market TV campaigns in favour of targeted digital marketing using mediums such as Facebook.

RedBubble’s founder Martin Hosking said mass marketing doesn’t work for his business. “It’s a micro targeting experience. We enable that micro content to find its micro audience and that’s a completely new world that’s been enabled.”

He said 50 percent of visits to Redbubble came from mobile devices and that when they started, they tried radio ads but found it didn’t suit his target market because they are keen for specific content like “a t-shirt with skulls and cats”.

The Forum also included a master class on ‘How to get the best from your online presence’ featuring Jackson Hewett, Commercial Editor, The Australian; Dan Ferguson, CMO of online marketplace DesignCrowd; Ruth Trewhella, Group Manager TrueLocal and David Hancock, Founder of online computer service company, Geeks2U.

Here’s a snapshot of what the speakers had to say

John Allan – Sensis

“It is with some concern that we found only 17 percent of SMEs have a digital business strategy, a figure which remains unchanged for the past two years.”

Maile Carnegie – Google

“The most relevant ads that are being actively engaged in are the ones in the right context and are increasingly predictive on what people are interested in.”

Stephen Scheele – Facebook

“We had built a great website on desktop but we didn’t have a great app on mobile so Mark Zuckerberg took all the engineers from the company and retrained them on Android and ios to make a great user experience for a mobile environment. Now 75 percent of our sales come from mobile.”

Martin Hosking – Redbubble

“It’s a micro-targeting experience. We enable that micro-content to find its micro-audience and that’s a completely new world that’s been enabled.”

Dan Ferguson – DesignCrowd

“Viral tends to be a lot of good processes working in the background. It’s not good enough to just create content, we need to get value out of that. We need to get sign up and conversion.”

Ruth Trewhella – TrueLocal

“You need to be open to having reviews everywhere because you never know where a consumer is going to find you. They might find you in the Yellow Pages. They might find you on your website.”

David Hancock – Geeks2U

“There’s that old saying about ‘I know half my advertising works, I just don’t know which half.’ I think it’s very true…With radio and TV it’s far harder to measure and break things down, but with things like Google and most digital media, it’s so granular.”


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