SYDNEY: Marketers in Australia are increasing their use of social media and mobile to engage consumers, a study has revealed.

Responsys, the digital services provider, surveyed 350 senior Australian executives, alongside analysing data from 1bn email, mobile and social media messages sent between July 2010 and June 2011.

It found 77% of firms employ social media for marketing purposes, with 89% making more use of Twitter, 87% using Facebook, and 63% "significantly increasing" their overall activity.

Primarily, these sites are deployed both to spread information and as a method of distributing special offers or other types of sales promotion.

Turning to mobile, 30% of the companies represented use SMS or MMS to reach consumers, typically transmitting reminders or confirmations.

During the course of 2010 as a whole, the number of emails opened via a mobile device leapt 300% on an annual basis, suggesting there is increasing integration between handsets and personal computers.

While the volume of emails sent rose by 33% last year, the amount of campaigns climbed by 115%, suggesting that advertisers are apparently taking a more targeted approach to this communications tool.

Elsewhere, 62% of companies are choosing which channels to send messages through depending on the specific content they contain, measured against 16% typically utilising all the available alternatives.

Only 14% send messages using a route selected by customers, although this is partly because a relatively small number of organisations have actually asked for such information thus far.

When assessing their targeting capabilities, 20% of firms generally send messages in "bulk", as if the web was a "broadcast medium", while 18.2% have achieved "some personalisation"

A further 40% had conducted "some" segmentation and personalisation, 16.4% had pursued more rigorous analysis here, and 5.5% believed they had mastered "one-to-one content based on customer data".

Simon O'Day, Asia Pacific vice president for Responsys, said: "This coming year we expect a growing shift from email to cross-channel campaigns that leverage mobile, social and the web."

Data sourced from Responsys; additional content by Warc staff