Dave Evans, VP of Social Strategy at Lithium, has called on Australian businesses to strengthen their social customer experience strategy, as new research reveals more than a quarter of online Australians have no trust in advertising at all.
Speaking at Forrester’s Summit for Marketing & Strategy Professionals, Evans says this new data should be a wake up call to Australian marketers, who collectively spend $10 billion annually on advertising (across free-to-air TV, print, online display, out-of-home, direct mail and cinema advertising).
“The rate at which consumers around the world are rejecting traditional marketing channels is accelerating, as trust in online review sites, communities and company websites grows,” he said.
“Australians are amongst the most sophisticated and demanding in the world – even more so than Americans – so developing a comprehensive Social Customer Experience strategy is the burning platform for Australian marketers right now,” said Evans.
According to PwC’s Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2014-2018 report released in July 2014, the majority of Australian marketing departments will continue to move their spending away from traditional advertising and towards ‘owned’ channels as a result of changing customer behaviour.
Evans’ observations of current trends reveals that many organisations have the basics of social in place, like listening and monitoring, but must integrate all channels and quickly engage customers if they are to capture the loyalty of ‘Generation C’ – and should do so on their own platforms.
“57% of CEOs expect social to be a primary way of engaging customers within five years, yet currently 70% of Tweets to brands go unanswered and furthermore, 88% of consumers say they’re less likely to buy from companies who don’t respond on Twitter,” he revealed at today’s conference.
“Our technology means that companies can now manage their online community via their own platform, a strategy that has had major impact for our clients, who are some of the world’s leading brands.”
“The organisations that are ready to lift their game in social will implement a single, unified customer service experience strategy using consolidated social management to deliver loyalty, ROI, sales and cost savings,” Evans concluded.
Lithium’s report revealed that some of the most trusted sources of information for online Australians included:
- 63% trust online sites with product reviews (e.g. Amazon, Yelp)
- 60% trust communities of like-minded individuals (e.g. chat rooms, forums and user groups)
- 50% trust company/manufacturer web sites
- 43% trust social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter)
- 26% trust advertising