Nine in ten (90%) of Brits always tick the opt out box on marketing communications to prevent their data from being passed to third party, according to a new survey. The study, from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), shows that marketers are continuing to underestimate the percentage of consumers who readily welcome items of direct marketing.
The 2009 Marketing-GAP Tracking Study, conducted by online market research company fast.MAP, found that 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. The study looked into consumer attitudes to marketing has revealed that email is consumers’ favourite direct marketing channel.
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.
Commenting of the findings of the report, Robert Keitch, chief of Membership & Brand for the DMA, said: “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.
“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.”
For five years, the Marketing-GAP study has been tracking consumer attitudes towards direct marketing and the assumptions marketers and fundraisers make about consumer beliefs and behaviour, to help marketers to sharpen their practices
Each year, the same questions are asked of similarly-constructed, online consumer and marketer panels.
However, to ensure the survey stays abreast of technological advances over the years, new questions are occasionally added, as emerging media have moved into the marketing mainstream, for example, the internet, mobile phones and SMS messaging.
Each panel responded to a separate survey.
Both surveys contain the same questions, but while consumers are asked to express their own views, the marketers are asked to use their experience and judgement to predict how the consumers will have respond to that question.
The consumer panel
28 questions were submitted into a fast.MAP online self completion survey despatched on November 6, 2009.
The consumer panel comprised 4,000 adults recruited from the 30,000 fast.MAP wholly-owned, closed panel whose profile echoes that of the UK’s population profile in age and gender.
The marketer panel
The marketer panel comprised 300 marketers (made up of DMA members and the fast.MAP Marketer Panel)