Consumer Survey Results Reveal Direct Mail Still Preferred

At the same time, roughly a third of U.S. and Canadian survey respondents (33 percent U.S. and 31 percent Canadian) said they don’t find ads on social media sites useful.

The study is based on completed surveys from 2,226 U.S. consumers and 2,574 Canadian consumers. In-depth information from the study is provided in a report—titled “The Formula for Success: Preference and Trust.”

“Consumers use and trust certain communications channels more than others. This means that marketers need to understand which channels resonate most at various points in the consumer purchase cycle and incorporate a cross-channel strategy that leverages data and technology to communicate on a one-to-one basis,” said Warren Storey. “Our study suggests that brands should use a variety of mediums to build relationships, starting with trusted channels like direct mail, then layering the message to re-enforce it through other channels.”

The 2011 Channel Preference Study also found:

  • 37 percent of U.S. consumers and 29 percent of Canadians use TV daily to get consumer product information, down from 43 percent and 35 percent respectively in 2010;
  • the least trustworthy channels are social media and blogs, achieving only 6 percent trust among U.S. consumers and 5 percent among Canadians;
  • the number of U.S. respondents who said internet use “is more anonymous” declined to 8 percent in 2011 from 11 percent in 2010;
  • personally addressed mail is greatly preferred to unaddressed, with numbers in the insurance category showing a 31 percent to 5 percent gap;
  • 34 percent of U.S. consumers who prefer email over mail cited “saving on paper” as the main reason, up strongly from 21 percent in 2010; and
  • in 2011, 39 percent of U.S. consumers claimed awareness of group deal web sites, lagging behind the 53 percent awareness level among Canadian counterparts.

“The key learning from this study is that marketers should recognize consumer preferences and establish a trustworthy relationship across a variety of channels,” said Storey. “Consumers appreciate brands that pay attention to their interests and stated preferences.”

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