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Email vs social: Which is a better form of marketing?

Marketers in the new age advertising are engaged in the buzz around social media marketing strategies. In 2014, marketers in India were seen exploring the new platforms such as LinkedIn and Google+ besides the all-time favourites of Facebook and Twitter. But many have overlooked e-mail marketing which had transformed marketing for brands in India in the early 2000s.

Nevertheless, over the last few years, e-mail marketing has added several innovations to its tally in terms of analytics, reach and effectiveness. At the Third e-Mail Marketing Summit jointly organised by Internet and Mobile Association of India and NetCore, industry experts discussed the role of e-mail marketing in customer acquisition, engagement and retention.

They also focussed on the emerging big data analytics to help improve e-mail marketing. “Big data helps in getting detailed information and helps a marketer in making more sound decision. We can simply say that it squeezes our time and can help us be more productive,” said Vicky Sarin, Business Head and Chief Financial Officer of HT Digital.

Marketing pundits pointed out that it might not be too far in future that big data will provide information not only what types of content recipients are most likely to consume, but when and where they will actually open the message.

Further, tactics around the personalisation and customisation of content as per the consumers needs does not go out of context in e-mail marketing too.

Marketing experts heavily emphasised on the importance of content relevance and agreed that with innovations taking place in the digital arena, e-mail marketing has also reached another level of personalisation.

The focus now is to deal with the challenge of creating a truly personalised e-mail experience. “Every customers has different behaviour. We approach different set of consumers differently. The customer insights are crucial and implementing smart segmentation by device types, trends, attitudes, geography and demography can be very instrumental for pertinent, tailor-made positioning,” said Bhavneet Sekhon, Marketing and Client Experience Leader at Experian.

On the sidelines of the e-mail marketing summit, marketers pointed out that social media marketing and e-mail marketing serve completely two different purposes. Social media marketing guarantees maximum reach in less time but e-mail marketing is helpful if the brand seeks to thoroughly engage the consumer.

Marketers cannot ignore the fad around social media platforms and acknowledge the reach of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, among others, but with further innovation and inclusion of big data analytics, e-mail marketing is not devoid of future in the Indian marketing arena.