Among the digital channels, social media represented a relevant platform for businesses’ online presence, especially in the accommodation and publishing sectors. Unsurprisingly, more than half of Italian communication professionals regularly monitored social media for their clients in 2018. On one hand, businesses promoted their products and services through advertised posts on social networks. In 2018, 35 percent of sponsored content on social networks was posted by clothing companies, while beauty-related posts made up 22 percent of total advertised posts. On the other hand, companies’ digital marketing would also involve the partnership of influencers, more often for full campaigns rather than in one-shot initiatives.
Additionally, Italian businesses reached and engaged consumers through e-mail marketing, either in the form of a newsletter or as a message of direct-e-mail-marketing, i.e. targeted advertising. In general, initiatives of direct e-mail marketing proved to be more successful among B2C-only companies, KPIs from 2018 showed. Furthermore, a 2018 poll indicated that one third of Italian companies was willing to invest in content marketing and blogging tools in the following twelve months. While the quality and accurate planning of the content release were key factors in successful campaigns, some Italian companies started loyalty marketing actions, too. Loyalty marketing refers to strategies put in place to retain acquired customers, such as rewarding systems, loyalty cards, customer intelligence tools, and so on. A survey showed that 33 percent of Italian non-food retailers provided loyalty services, while 25 percent of them even offered customized loyalty services.