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WEE-paper

WELCOMEWe’re really excited to share the results of this researchwith you – it delivers some valuable insights for marketersand those interested in digital.We commissioned this survey because we recognise thatthe opportunities presented by digital marketing – and theresulting changes to customer expectations – are changingthe way brands interact with their customers.We brought in the research house OnePoll/72Point who surveyed a sample of 2,000 consumers and workers todiscover their views on social media, online branding, what makes them want to purchase online and more…The emerging insights can help marketers to better understand the changing expectations of the digitalconsumer-worker and how that can – and should – impact their own marketing activities. Because, as everymarketer knows, to plan effectively we need accurate information.We hope that the insights emerging from this research will help you to develop your own online strategies andto tailor your digital marketing in order to meet these new customer expectations and benefit from theopportunities they present.Happy marketing!The team at The Wee Agencywww.theweeagency.co.uk


CONTENTSOUR CHANGING WORLD 2THE LEADERS AND THE LOSERS 4HOW DOES THE DIGITAL CONSUMER- 12WORKER PREFER TO INTERACT?HOW YOUR WEBSITE REFLECTS YOUR BRAND 16CONVERTING WEB TRAFFIC TO WEB PURCHASES 20THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA 22THE PERILS OF GETTING IT WRONG 26CONCLUSION 27ABOUT THE WEE AGENCY 28www.theweeagency.co.uk 1


OUR CHANGING WORLDThe way we communicate ischanging. We live in atechnological age and thesingle biggest area whereconsumers are recognisingand embracing newtechnologies is in personalcommunication.This is affecting our working lives andbusiness environment too. Our love for thelatest personal communication devices isdriving the ‘consumerisation of IT’ and hasspawned the growing ‘bring your own device’(BYOD) trend. This is when people take theirown devices into the workplace.We love technology, and see it as a greatenabler for business growth, so we werekeen to find out what people love and wherethey have gripes. When we asked our surveyrespondents to name the three besttechnological advances in modern life all topthree answers were advances in the field ofpersonal communication.49%Of survey respondentsnamed the smartphoneas one of the besttechnological advancesin modern life.2 www.theweeagency.co.uk


• Almost half (49%) named the smartphone asone of the best technological advancesin modern life.• This was followed by wi-fi with 33%• Then tablets/iPads came third on the listwith 21% of the vote.It is fascinating to think that none of thesetechnologies existed 20 years ago. Personalcommunication has changed rapidly in thistime – presenting some interesting and diverseopportunities for marketers.However, our expectations have changed too.When we asked our survey respondents to name thethree most irritating innovations in modern life, thetop three were also in the field of communication.• Automated telephone services came out on top,with 42% of respondents naming them as themost irritating innovation in modern life.• Call centres made it to second place with 29%• And, in third place, email spam was named by25% of respondents1st1st2nd3rdMarketers be warned:it’s easy to get communication wrong!It’s also interesting to note that the characteristicshared by the three innovations which toppedour ‘poll of the worst’ is the lack of ‘thepersonal touch’.Furthermore, in fourth place, self-servicesupermarket check-outs were also voted anirritation, with 21% of respondents naming them.Although outside the field of communication,they also represent a move away from‘the personal touch’.This supports the view that, while we may beembracing the opportunities for closer and moreimmediate communication that technologicalinnovation has brought us, we still want thatcommunication to feel human.Technological innovation or technological efficiencycannot replace good customer service. Thechallenge for marketers, then, is to leverage theopportunities for closer communication thattechnological innovation is bringing while stillmaintaining the personal touch.www.theweeagency.co.uk 3


THE LEADERS AND THE LOSERSWhich sectors are best at digital communication?When we asked our survey respondents to name thetop five business sectors they thought were best atdigital communication (including everything fromtheir website to social media profiles to emailnewsletters to blogs)• Retail came out on top, gaining a vote from 43%of respondents.• Food and drink came second, named by 33%of respondents• Technology was named by 32% of respondents• Finance got 31% of the vote• 25% of respondents named the tourism sector asbest at digital communication50%SPECIAL%SALES4 www.theweeagency.co.uk


Which types of businesses do you think are the best at digitalcommunication with consumers?Agriculture3.55%Food and drink33.30%Construction6.10%Health13.35%Finance31.40%Legal8.00%leisureManufacturingRetail25.60%5.70%42.65%Renewable energy Technology Telecoms3.00% 31.90% 18.85%Tourism24.85%Other1.75%Utilities29.35%None/dont know14.65%Voluntary sector3.50%43%Retail wasvoted the sectorbest at digitalcommunication.Food anddrink camesecond with33%www.theweeagency.co.uk 5


THE LEADERS AND THE LOSERS...contTHE POWER OF GETTING IT RIGHTA quarter of respondents said thattravel was one of the top fivesectors in digital communication.This high rating is borne out by thebehaviour of our sample.When we asked ‘How did you research your lasthotel stay?’ offline sources totalled just 10%* ofrespondents. Trip Advisor came top with 45% ofour sample using it to research their last hotel stay.38% checked the hotel’s website, while 36% carriedout a Google search.It isn’t hard to conclude that by being good at digitalcommunication, businesses are able to drive a largeproportion of enquiries online. Digital tools andresources can quickly replace traditional businessand communication models when they are done well.* This is made up of ‘asked friends for recommendations offline’at 8% and ‘other offline research’ at 2%Holy Cow!Agriculture wasperceived asthe worst with:of whoidentifiedthis sector as poorin digital communication40%When we asked which business sectors are worst at digital communication, our survey ranked the worstoffenders as follows:• Agriculture was perceived as the worst; it was named by 40%** of people respondents• Construction came second with 33%** of the vote• The voluntary sector was named by 28%** of people who answered.• Healthcare was perceived as one of the worst by 24%** of our sample• Closely followed by the legal sector with 23%**** Slightly smaller sample because 25% of our sample said they didn’t know or answered ‘none’ to this question.6 www.theweeagency.co.uk


Trip Advisor came top45%Tourism was voted one of the topfive sectors in digital communicationwww.theweeagency.co.uk 7


THE LEADERS AND THE LOSERS...contHOW DID YOU RESEARCH YOUR LAST HOTEL STAY?Trip Advisor44.90%Google search35.95%Checked hotel websites38.20%Checked hotel’s social media pages8.00%Asked friends forrecommendations online8.15%Asked friends forrecommendations offline7.85%Went back to somewherewe’ve visited before7.65%Looked for deals on group dealsite such as Groupon, Itison7.45%Emailed to requestinformation4.40%Other offline (not on the internet)1.75%None/not applicable2.80%8 www.theweeagency.co.uk


THE WORST AT DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONWhich types of businesses do you think are the worst at digitalcommunication with consumers?AgricultureHospitalityRenewable energyVoluntary sector29.70%6.85%2.95%21.00%Construction24.85%Legal16.90%Technology3.85%Other1.50%Finance13.35%Leisure5.70%Telecoms8.90%None/dont know25.20%Food and drinkManufacturingTourism17.90%14.45%4.60%Healthcare17.75%Retail3.85%Utilities18.20%www.theweeagency.co.uk 9


THE LEADERS AND THE LOSERS...contPOOR DIGITAL PERFORMANCEIt’s interesting that ‘legal’ should rank among the worst five sectorsat digital communication.This presents significant opportunity forcompanies in this sector to gain a competitiveadvantage. Especially when one considers thechanging way consumers are researchingprofessional services providers.Of course, the traditional way to find a solicitor oraccountant would have been by personalrecommendation and 49% of respondents saidthey would seek recommendations this way.However, digital marketing is taking on greatersignificance:• 41% of respondents said they wouldresearch the professional services providers’websites.• 43% said they’d use a search engine.Indeed, social media is now a more importantsource when looking for a new professionalservices provider than the Yellow Pages.The trend here is that people tend to use acombination of online and offline sources ofinformation, so whereas previously arecommendation from a trusted contact wouldwin a firm the business, these days it needs to bebacked up with a positive web presence aspotential customers draw up shortlists fromrecommendations, then do online research tomake the ultimate decision.Based on these results, legal and otherprofessional services firms may wish toreconsider the importance they attach to digitalcommunication. There is an opportunity here forprofessional services/businesses to conductresearch into what customers want and expectfrom them online and adapt their digitalmarketing accordingly. There is evidence tosuggest that, by doing this, they could securesignificant competitive advantage.How would you research finding a professional services(accountant, solicitor, etc.) provider?Linkedin8.55%Browsing social media pages12.20%Recommendations in person48.90%Recommendations over social media/online14.80%Researching their website41.15%Using a search engine42.75%Directories such as The Yellow Pages10.05%Other6.30%10 www.theweeagency.co.uk


AN INTERESTING CORRELATION?We can certainly see a correlation between those sectorsperceived to have good digital communication and a greaterreliance on online sources to find suppliers.Similarly, there is also a correlation with thosesectors perceived to have poor digitalcommunication and a greater reliance onoffline sources to find suppliers.If this is the case, then there are interestingopportunities for marketers in the sectorsperceived as the worst at digital communication.Improving digital communication could helpbusinesses to gain significant competitiveadvantage and also help to drive business online.This is, potentially, good news for new entrants insectors perceived as being poor at digitalcommunication. An effective digitalcommunications strategy could help these newentrants to carve out a valuable niche in thesector with clear differentiation based onimproved digital communication. Because ofthe relatively low cost of digital communications,new entrants could establish this positioning withrelatively low capital expenditure.There is evidence to suggest that, by doingthis, they could secure significant competitiveadvantage.@SMSwww.theweeagency.co.uk 11


HOW DOES THE DIGITAL CONSUMER/WORKER PREFER TO INTERACT?££ £££12 www.theweeagency.co.uk


How important is digital communication to the consumer?We asked our survey respondents how they preferred to interact with a company when buying for apersonal need and when buying to meet a business need. Their responses highlighted someimportant differences between business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C)communication.How do you prefer to interact with a company when buying a product for a personal need?• In person/ in store 32%• Online via email 31%• Online forms and ecommerce 16%How do you prefer to interact with the company when buying a product for a business need?• Email 35%*• In person/ in store 26%*• Telephone 15%*• Online forms / ecommerce 14%* ~* These results are based on a slightly smaller sample – 26% said this question wasn’t applicable to them/ they don’t buy for business needs.32%In person31%Online via emailPreferred route to interact with a company whenbuying a product for a personal needwww.theweeagency.co.uk 13


HOW DOES THE DIGITAL CONSUMER/WORKER PREFER TO INTERACT?...contWhen buying a product or obtaining a quote for a personal need,how do you prefer to interact with a company?In person/in store31.50%Online via forms and e-commerce15.15%Online via social media8.00%Online via email31.00%By telephone10.6%By post1.35%Other2.40%When buying a product or obtaining a quote for a business need,how do you prefer to interact with a company?In person/in store18.80%Online via email25.60%Other0.90%Online via forms and e-commerce10.25%By telephone10.95%Online via social media6.00%By post1.05%14 www.theweeagency.co.uk


£@35%of respondents involved withpurchasing to meet businessneeds prefer to interactwith a company via email.Here, we begin to see differences between theindividual’s preferences in their different roles ofconsumer and worker. When buying a product for apersonal need, the highest ranking type of interactionis in store or in person, favoured by 32% ofrespondents. But when buying a product or obtaininga quote for a business need, the largest group of ourrespondents preferred to use email (35%).For both groups, both email and in store ratehighly – they are the top two methods of interaction inboth cases. For retailers – whether they are selling tobusinesses or consumers – the strongest promotionalstrategy, then, would be to augment in-store activitywith email. By integrating in- store campaigns andpromotions with digital marketing (in particular email)retailers can create the strongest possible engagementwith consumers.Augment in-store activitywith email for the bestpossible engagement.Given our earlier findings, it’s likely that the immediacy of interactingin store or via email is a significant factor in this order of preferences.These results also strengthen the notion that ‘the personal touch’ is animportant influencer in consumer attitudes and buyer behaviour.These results are also a warning for B2B marketers not to think that statisticsabout consumer preferences in digital marketing can necessarily be directlytranslated into a B2B context.www.theweeagency.co.uk 1 5


HOW YOUR WEBSITE REFLECTS YOUR BRANDOur survey also found that there are some key differences in theexpectations the digital consumer-worker has of websites forpersonal versus business use.We found that the best way for B2C marketers to improve the users’ experience is to ensure that thewebsite is fast to load, but for B2B marketers a much more complex set of factors come into play:• Lack of information was the most common reason for not choosing a supplier; it was cited by52%* of people who answered this question.• 41%* of people are turned off if a website is poorly designed and doesn’t look professional.• A difficult to navigate website annoys 30%* of our sample.• 29%* found a lack of information about a company when searching online a real turnoff.• Slow to load was cited as a turnoff by 26%* of people.• No case studies on the website could also count against you; this was cited as a problem by22%* of people who answered the question.• Team profiles on the website are also important. 18%* of people who answered the questionsaid a lack of team profiles would prevent them from choosing a supplier in a work context.• No links to social media pages was cited by 12%* of our sample as a reason not to selecta supplier.• Finally, difficult to access via tablet or smartphone got 6%* of the vote.* These results are based on a slightly smaller sample - 23.65% of respondents said this question wasn’t applicable to thembecause they don’t source suppliers at work.What would prevent you from choosing a supplier at workwhen researching online?Website is poorly designedand doesn't look professional31.18%Lack of information39.85%No case studies on website16.65%No team profileson website13.38%No links to social media pages8.75%Difficult to navigate website22.97%Lack of information aboutcompany when searching online4.26%Other1.67%22.21%Slow to loadSlow to load20.08%16 www.theweeagency.co.uk


TAKE-AWAY FOR B2B MARKETERSMuch of the data about digital marketing in the news relates to B2Cattitudes and engagement – be wary when trying to apply this to B2Bdigital campaign planning or strategy.For instance, B2B purchasers are much less likely toaccept online shops and ecommerce than they arewhen purchasing to meet personal needs.Given this reluctance, B2B marketers must beprepared to adapt online activity and content.It appears that in a B2B context, online has a greaterrole to play in driving enquiries, capturing prospectcontact details, lead generation, and answering FAQs.Online content therefore needs to be shaped andcreated to support these activities.To enhance conversion rates, one solution might beto augment B2B online shops with massaging orvideo massaging tools, so that B2B customers canget the immediate responses and personal service oradvice they are looking for.These preferences take on even greater importance,when one considers that in our survey, of the 34% ofrespondents involved in researching suppliers in abusiness context, only 19% didn’t use the internet.The remaining 81% of respondents involved insourcing suppliers at work used online tools of onesort or another to find a supplier.Do you use the internet at work when researching potentialsuppliers for your business?No, my job doesn't need me toresearch suppliers30.65%Yes, on my business tablet/smartphone8.75%Not applicable / I don't know -this is not my role35.05%My job does require me toresearch suppliers, but I don'tuse the internet to do so16.65%Yes, on my business desktopcomputer/laptop22.95%Yes, on my personal tablet/smartphone5.55%I research businesssuppliers outside officehours when at home2.80%If the majority of business sales are being researched and sourced through digital channels, B2B marketers needto ensure their online offering meets – or exceeds – customer expectations.www.theweeagency.co.uk 17


HOW YOUR WEBSITE REFLECTS YOUR BRAND...contB2B MARKETERS’ CHECK LIST FOR YOUR BRAND’S ONLINE PRESENCEIn order of importance:• Populate your website with plenty of (relevant!) information.• Ensure your website looks professional and is well designed.• Think about how users will use the website and ensure it is easy to navigate.• Make sure your business has coverage on other online sources – whether these are listings sites,directory sites, news sites or paid-for PR: back up your website with other online content.• Is the technology fit for purpose? Are you using images at the right resolution? Make sure the site is not slow to load.• Include customer case studies on your own website.• Include team profiles on your own website.• Include links to your own social media pages from your own website.• Ensure your website has a responsive layout, or consider developing a mobile site so that the web site is easily usedby tablet and smartphone users.• Treat your digital presence and digital marketing as a long term investment into your business.• Don’t assume that “If you build it, they will come…” a plan covering content, social media, pay per click, searchengine optimisation, email marketing and online PR will drive crucial traffic to your website.In contrast to the complex combination of factors thatinfluence B2B buyer behaviour, the results of our surveysuggest that, when purchasing for a personal need,consumers have a much more straightforward set ofrequirements from a website.When we asked consumers what three things annoy themmost about a website ‘slow to load’ was our standoutresponse: 58% cited it as an irritation.The next batch of complaints included difficult to navigate(39% of respondents cited this as annoying);a lack of contact details (which annoyed 40% of ourrespondents); and a lack of information annoyed 35%of our respondents.These were followed by doesn’t look trustworthy (24%)and if a website hasn’t been updated for a long time thisannoys 22% of our respondents.Design features were low on users’ list of annoyances:suggesting that getting the user experience right on awebsite matters more than what it looks like – surprisingfor such a graphic medium.Standing out with a massive percentagewas loading time on website58%Slow load timeLoading...18 www.theweeagency.co.uk


What annoys you most about a website?(Please pick your top 3 things)Slow to load57.95%Lack of information35.15%No contact details39.80%Too many different colours5.70%Difficult to navigate39.35%Doesn't look trustworthy24.25%Hasn't been updatedfor a long time8.20%Other0.65%22.45%Website doesn't work wellon mobile or tabletDoesn't look attractive11.35%Too much information4.90%B2C MARKETERS’CHECK LIST FORYOUR WEBSITEIn order of importance, make sure that:• The website is fast to load.• Contact details are clearlystated and easy to find.• I’ve thought about the userjourney and the website iseasy to navigate.• The site contains plenty of(relevant!) information.• It looks trustworthy.• It is updated regularly.• It looks attractive.• It works well on a tablet orsmartphone.• It sticks to a few key colours– not too many.• It doesn’t have too much, ortoo little, information on it.www.theweeagency.co.uk 19


CONVERTING WEB TRAFFIC TO WEB PURCHASESOnce a visitor to your site has decided to stay on your site, wefound a range of factors can make the difference between thatindividual remaining a visitor or becoming a customer.Again, here our survey revealed a surprise stand-out answer: 54%* of our respondents (56% of ourrespondents who make online purchases) cited low postage charges as a key factor in whether theybought or not from a website.Other significant factors included:• The website is easy to navigate was cited as a factor by 37%* of respondents whomake online purchases• Information about products needs to be clearly displayed, according to 29%* of ourrespondents who make purchases online• 26%* of our respondents said it is important that the site offers online customer service• Finally, not having to create an account when purchasing was cited by 23% ofour respondents.* smaller sample size because 4.9% of our respondents said they don’t buy goods for personal use online.What makes you want to buy online from a company?Online customer service24.45%Low postage charges53.55%No contact details/seeing a photoof who you are dealing with8.40%Website is easy to use on tabletand smartphone20.40%Don't need to create an accountwhen purchasing21.55%Clearly displayed informationon the products27.65%Website is easy to navigate35.40%Quick response to enquiries15.85%Strange or very long URL/web address0.85%Good interaction on social media7.00%Nicely designed website14.50%None - I don't buy online4.90%Other3.55%20 www.theweeagency.co.uk


YOUR CONVERSION MAXIMISER CHECK LISTWant to turn more of your site visitors into customers?Test these approaches on your site to see how they affect conversion rates.1Postage ChargeReduce or wave postage charges,perhaps building them into thetopline costs that products areadvertised at.2NavigationImprove on-site navigation, withdifferent devices in mind.34SupportOffer instant massaging and video massagingcustomer service orcustomer support tools alongside yourusual email or phone enquiries.5Shopping CheckoutOffer visitors a ‘fast checkout’option where they don’t need tocreate an account to purchase.6InformationInclude detailed productinformation so that customerscan access it if they need to.AnalyticsUse analytics to review customerbehaviour and identify anypotential issues.www.theweeagency.co.uk 21


THE GROWING IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIAWhen we consider the role social media plays in so many of ourlives today, it is astounding to think that Facebook celebrated onlyits tenth birthday earlier this year.There has been a huge shift in the waywe communicate, the way we shop, the waywe interact with brands, and the amount ofinformation available to marketers about the waywe behave and buy online in those ten years.Social media offers exciting opportunities to testout campaigns in a meaningful way: marketershave access to metrics like never before.When we asked our survey respondents whatengaged them most on social media we wereconscious of the fact that these results willhopefully be of the most practical use. Theyare easy to test and verify with minimumfinancial outlay.Perhaps it is for these reasons that theanswers to this question are among theleast surprising.What engages you the best with brands on social media?Interesting content relevant to me31.95%News on the latest products16.95%When my friends are engagingwith the brand5.20%Videos9.10%Sharing funny photos9.00%Other3.20%Quick response to enquires27.10%Friendly tone15.25%None - Not applicable -24.85%Offers and discounts39.45%When brands ask questionsor for opinions6.70%22 www.theweeagency.co.uk


Offers and discounts are mostly likely to engageour audience according to 39.45% of our totalsurvey. 52.43% of our survey respondents whouse social media cited offers and discounts as akey factor in their engagement with brands onsocial media. However, beware of purely usingoffers to engage with your audience, often thepeople who enter competitions aren’t alwaysthose who would be interested in buying yourproducts or services at full price.Other high-scoring factors included:• Interesting and revelent content 42%*• A quick response to enquiries 42%*• News on the latest products 23%*• Friendly tone 20%** smaller sample because 24.85% do not use social media, or don’t followbrands on social media.TAKE-AWAY FOR B2C MARKETERSOffers anddiscountsas a keyfactor57%Given our findings about what makes consumers want to buy online from acompany, which placed high emphasis on low postage charges, it wouldmake sense to try out free postage offers on your social media accountsand monitor conversion rates.If you aren’t doing this already, initiate a trial social media campaign offeringfree postage as your first actionable change based on this research.www.theweeagency.co.uk 23


THE PERILS OF GETTING IT WRONGWhen we asked consumers what they didn’t like brands doing on social media their top were:• Too much spam annoys 46% of our sample.• Being too slow to respond to enquiries irritates 40% of our sample.• 38% don’t like irrelevant posts.• 34% don’t like uninteresting posts.• And 33% of our sample are unhappy when digital communication is too sales led.What don't you like brands doing on social media?Slow to respond to enquiries39.92%Lack of updates27.08%Irrelevant posts38.46%Too sales led32.73%Too focused on the brand/product4.59%Other1.13%Uninteresting posts33.93%Too much spam46.31%Looking at these responses, it is not hard to seewhy ‘content marketing’ is such a buzz-phrase inmodern marketing. Marketers must ensurecontent is valuable to its recipients. The goodnews is that social media offers unparalleledopportunities to segment audiences, trackbehaviours and target messages and content in atruly personalised way. Social media can becomea really positive force for engagement for thosebrands which do this.It is also clear that it is worth investing in qualitycontent if you want to ensure that your socialmedia engages your customers rather thanannoying them.These findings are also consistent with thefindings from our questions about our surveyrespondents’ views about the technologicaladvances of modern life. As we saw there,automated communications are unpopular; thehuman touch is important.The human touch is important when respondingto enquiries – and is easy to get wrong.The second biggest complaint, of course, wasbeing too slow to respond to enquiries on socialmedia. This presents a new challenge to brandsto be ‘always on’; monitoring social mediaenquiries, responding and being active on allsocial media accounts. This will includeresponding to crises quickly – and postponing allpre-scheduled posts and tweets until the issueis resolved to focus on communicating aboutany issues.24 www.theweeagency.co.uk


Less than1 / 3of employees aware of theirorganisations’ social mediaguidelines.Only 12% of companies whereour respondents work have adedicated social media managerThere are obvious pitfalls brands must avoid, then, in the new social media world. And yet, our surveyfound that only 12% of respondents’ businesses had a dedicated social media manager.Who is most responsible for corporate social media updates atthe company you work for?The marketing team23.15%A dedicated social media manager12.00%The management team7.90%The PR team16.70%An unexperienced intern4.45%I don't know18.75%The product team9.50%Everyone shares responsibilityfor social media5.45%None - we don'thave social media24.80%Even more worrying, 32% of respondents didn’t know their company’s social media guidelinesfor employees. Less than a third said they knew and fully understood their company’s socialmedia guidelines.www.theweeagency.co.uk 25


THE PERILS OF GETTING IT WRONG...contDo you know your company's social media guidelinesfor employees?We don't have social mediaguidelines for employees20.10%We have social media guidelines,but I don't know what they areI do know our social mediaguidelines and understand fullywhat I am and am not allowed to do30.25%I don't know17.60% 32.05%It’s unclear whether the lack of resourcesdevoted to social media reflects a lack of internalskills, a lack of confidence in the benefits to begained from these emerging channels, or simply alack of understanding of the changing skills setthese new channels demand from marketers.It’s clear that some businesses are expectingother departments to pick up social mediamarketing tasks. This may explain the lack ofinternal awareness of social media policies ifthose departments are lacking the skills, time orresources that digital marketing requires.Given the increasing importance of social mediaas a communication tool, there are significantopportunities for brands to gain competitiveadvantage through the better management andleveraging of their social media accounts.26 www.theweeagency.co.uk


CONCLUSIONDigital communication is a potentialsource of real competitive advantage.The new digital consumer-worker values new personalcommunication technologies highly.This presents exciting new opportunities formarketers to communicate with their customers,particularly in sectors where existing attempts atdigital communication are perceived as poor.However, it is also clear that new personalcommunication technologies are also a sourceof great annoyance to the new digitalconsumer-worker when brands getcommunication wrong.Therefore the new technologies also presentsignificant challenges to marketers, and placefurther demands on marketers as consumerexpectations change. Those businesses that arealready doing digital communication well aresetting the agenda for customer expectationsand helping to drive commerce online.Digital communication is a potential source of realcompetitive advantage, particularly in thosesectors where existing digital communicationperformance is perceived as poor.Given this potential, it is surprising that so fewbusinesses are investing in dedicated socialmedia managers and ensuring that digitalcommunication strategies and policies are clearlycommunicated throughout the business. Iforganisations have largely been slow to recognisethe potential of digital marketing, then therewards for those brands that do exploit theopportunities it presents are evident.Our research suggests the best way to maximisethe potential of digital communication is to:• Provide personalised and relevant to theindividual• Offer immediate resolution to enquiries andcomplaints• Retain a human voice and thepersonal touch in all communicationwww.theweeagency.co.uk 27


ABOUT THE WEE AGENCYThe Wee Agency is an award-winning full-service marketing agencywhich brings together specialist expertise in every aspect of design,digital, PR and marketing.The agency was established in response to thenew opportunities digital communicationspresent as well as a gap in the market for afull-service offering for clients seeking to briefone team on a business challenge and receive ajoined-up, full service response with a creativeidea at the centre.From website design and build to social mediastrategy and international PR campaigns, TheWee Agency can provide a wide range of servicesto support clients from multiple sectors.28 www.theweeagency.co.uk


The Wee Agency36 South Gyle CrescentSouth Gyle Business ParkEdinburghEH12 9EBFirst FloorThe ERG Building12-14 Seafield RoadInverness IV1 1SG01463 214 995www.theweeagency.co.uk11


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