Home' The Channel Magazine : National Newsagent February 2012 Contents National Newsagent February 2012
For many, the staple diet of statistics
in the mass media about the growing
presence and influence of online channels
of communication and supply is both
intimidating and overwhelming. Equally,
that data can be misleading or incomplete,
not revealing the full story.
Take for example the fact that up
to 67% of people now go online when
intending to buy or are buying a wide
range of products and services. Seldom
reported is the fact that the fastest
growing sector of online contact for
purchases is mobile – that is, via mobile
phone and tablets.
The latter factors represent opportunity
for bricks and mortar retailers. They
establish and reinforce the reality that
many consumers are going online when
actually out in the marketplace, in retail
precincts, shopping centres and in
stores. Understandably, they are cross-
referencing the comparative values and
prices available in-store and online.
Effective, courteous and professional
customer service, complemented by the
appeal of convenience and immediacy –
an imperative for ‘now’ consumers – are
compelling reasons for consumers to
conclude the sales in store immediately.
Such advantages need to be promoted and
exploited. Indeed, astute service providers
involve themselves in the practice of
consumers going online by providing
comments, background information and
making informed value statements. It is
imperative, and is impressive to many
At present some 37% of the 24 million
mobile phones that operate in Australia
are smart phones. It is estimated that this
figure will increase to over 50% by June,
The very best of businesses are also
utilising online channels to personalise
messages to discrete target audiences
and individuals. It is now the most
effective and efficient means to reach out,
connect with and engage consumers.
2010 was a benchmark year in
marketing and commerce. For the first
time ever in Australia, investments in
below-the-line advertising (emails, text,
telephone, direct mail etc) exceeded
those of above-the-line advertising, which
include the mass media of television,
radio, print and outdoor signage. Again,
the market leaders of the latter group
are embracing and utilising on-line to
complement and enhance their value
packaging. Television New Zealand is at
the forefront of the movement.
A NEW SHOP FRONT
It seems ironic that many shopping
leases which are signed and, albeit
often reluctantly, accepted by business
owners, stipulate that at the expiration
of each three or five year term lessees
are legally obliged to outlay from $30,000
to $1 million for store, layout and fitting
This stands in stark contrast to the
standards and outdated presentations of
many websites and online presentations
(our own included). The internet has
become the new shopfront. First
impressions are influential in image
building, revenue generating and
relationship development. Tokenism is not
For the 47% of Australia’s 2.3 million
operating businesses which do not have a
website, a simple message: Get one, and
DON’T OVERDO IT!
Many online communicators lose
appeal, relevance and business by
testing the tolerance of their targeted
prospective, existing and past clients.
Daily transmissions are seldom
responded to daily. That surely is
making a definitive statement. Weekly
transmissions too can be testing.
Therefore, to be effective in marketing,
one will need to ignore the advice of
health professionals. That is, be irregular.
Communicate when you need to and when
you have a compelling offer, often with a
time limitation. Such missives will have
impact, will resonate with recipients and
will generate additional revenue.
Extensive attitudinal research has
consistently concluded that graphics in
email transmissions are often deemed to
be irritating distractions or some simply
overwhelm the message. Often it is the
graphic that is recalled rather than the
essence of the message/offer, the product
the service or the company itself.
Moreover, graphics consume a lot of
computer capacity and time.
Therefore, good graphics are like
good fashion - understated. They can and
should make a definitive statement.
“67% of people now go
online when intending to buy”
on Side with
Online communications and statistics should be, and are, the friends of those in business.
However, one needs to look behind the statistics for understanding, value and worth.
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