A study into consumer attitudes to marketing has revealed that email is consumers’ favourite direct marketing channel.
The 2009 Marketing-GAP Tracking Study, conducted by online market research company fast.MAP and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), shows that marketers are continuing to underestimate the percentage of consumers who readily welcome items of direct marketing.
Of the 1,367 panel members (whose demographics reflect those of the UK), 51 per cent expressed an interest in receiving marketing emails about companies they know.
However, a panel of 300 marketers* predicted that just 28 per cent would be happy to do so.
A further 38 per cent of consumers were happy to receive items of direct mail, though marketers assumed only 30 per cent would be.
Marketers are also failing to keep up with growing consumer awareness of data protection; the expert panel expected 57 per cent of consumers to always tick the ‘opt-out’ box on marketing communications to prevent their data from being passed to third party, when in fact 90 per cent of consumers always do so.
“In spite of ever-improving tools, practices and research, it’s clear that marketing practitioners are failing to keep up to date with what consumers really think about direct marketing,” said chief of Membership & Brand for the DMA, Robert Keitch.
“Consumers are largely receptive to direct marketing, but only under the right circumstances. If marketing is going to be a key revenue driver for companies and pull them out of the recession, then marketing practitioners must up their game to produce more effective direct marketing campaigns.”
The study also indicates that consumers are more receptive than ever before to the direct marketing of products and services which interest them or come from trusted brands. 95 per cent of consumers “are happy to receive” information from their favoured supermarkets and stores through one or more marketing channels and 73 per cent are happy to receive information on local restaurants.
However, the financial services industry receives short shrift, with only 27 per cent of adults being happy to hear from them.
“Although people favour email, the best message for the DM industry in this year’s Marketing-GAP research is that, as in 2008, 86 per cent of consumers opened mail packs - although in both years, 37 per cent of them only opened ones from a company with which they already had a relationship,” said David Cole, MD of fast.MAP.
“Marketers underestimated people’s willingness to received mailed promotions.”
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