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Australian and New Zealand businesses are spending a paltry amount of their digital marketing budgets on optimisation, despite evidence showing those who optimise are reaping thousands of dollars return for every dollar spent.

Retailers, banks, insurers, travels sites and other transactional businesses participated in AN Australian / New Zealand study, conducted by dgm and Adobe, that looked into what types of optimisation were being used and the effects. The study was conducted globally for Adobe just prior to the local version.

Tom Edmonds, head of strategic development at dgm, said the local results compared favourably to the global responses, showing that Australia is just as sophisticated as digital marketers in more mature markets such as the US and UK.

“However, despite the availability of new tools and technologies designed for optimisation, few businesses have invested the time and money to implement ongoing optimisation initiatives,” he said.

“We are seeing among our clients – and the results of the survey certainly support this – those companies who invest in optimisation gain a competitive advantage as well as significant new revenue as a results of continuous incremental improvements.”

While web analytics is the most popular tactic for optimisation, the results show that the use of testing – which should form the backbone of any optimisation strategy – is falling far short of the mark.

Kevin Lindsay, director of targeting and optimisation solutions at Adobe said: “While testing currently appears to be a lower priority compared to other digital investments, the results that optimisation-focused companies are experiencing are extremely promising.”

Local businesses are spending a little more of their budgets on optimisation than the global respondents. The 12% of local respondents who are spending more than a quarter of their budget on ontimisation are also receiving substantially higher conversion rates than the total sample.

Mobile is sluggish, with 44% of respondents saying they still don’t have a mobile optimised site and more than half don’t know their mobile conversion rate.

Edmonds said: “The momentum is slowly building in the demand for optimisation strategies and we predict more businesses will adopt a culture of continuous improvement this year.”

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