As the continued migration away from cookie-based advertising is pushing marketers towards new, rich media channels, Rakuten Marketing’s latest research revealed that UK marketers are still not tailoring their content to specific consumers, with only one in three advertising campaigns being personalised.

Although marketers are exploring new channels that make use of GDPR-compliant first-party data, such as video advertising (29% and in-app advertising (26%), 32% of respondents place ‘consumer fatigue with online ads’ among the greatest threats to marketing in 2020.

Rakuten Marketing’s research was conducted among 600 marketers in the UK, France and Germany.

Seasonal peaks

With the shift in campaign approach, nine in 10 marketers are already responding to this need for better engagement by opting to create more relevant campaigns orientated around major sales moments in the calendar. These include season peaks such as Christmas (51%) and Cyber Weekend (32%) which are now joined by Prime Day (18%) and Chinese New Year (15%).

In the travel vertical, particularly in France and Germany, days including Chinese New Year and Singles’ Day, is a growing focus for marketers. A quarter (25%) of travel businesses in France and 20% in Germany will launch Singles’ Day campaigns, while 21% of travel companies in France and 20% in Germany have planned campaigns around Chinese New Year.

Cross-border experiences

The number of campaigns aimed at international shoppers by UK marketers has grown by 35% over the last two years, with the highest growth reported by luxury fashion marketers at 42%. Furthermore, one in ten UK marketers are now working in regions such as Singapore, Brazil, China, Japan and the Middle East.

In France, Germany and the UK, marketers estimate at least a third of their company’s sales are now generated by overseas shoppers.

“Marketers are increasingly struggling to reach their entire target audience across all channels at all times. The truth is it’s unsustainable. Marketers have to rationalise their approach, making data-led decisions about who it makes sense to speak to, when and via which channels,” said Nick Fletcher, country manager UK at Rakuten Marketing.

“Going international with marketing campaigns means making fundamental alterations – from language to pricing and messaging. In some cases, price competition and discounts are essential to driving cross-border commerce, but they should not be seen as a substitute for great customer experiences. To ensure brands can replicate their success in new markets, experiences that feel personal are a must,” Fletcher concluded.