Fascinating article in today's Precision Marketing - the UK trade mag for the Direct Marketing industry. Worried that the DM industry might be out of touch with consumers, the magazine did a survey through CCB, asking consumers their views on lots of DM related topics - and asked industry experts to predict what consumers would say.
Unsurprisingly, consumers are pretty hacked off with traditional DM. Unsurprisingly, the experts tended to be way off the mark. The following is paraphrased from the article
- 47% of consumers said they would preferred not to be contacted at all!
- Email is now the preferred method of communication 26% - trad DM came second with 15%. Experts expected DM would still be the lead, which is probably why every DM agency still churns out piles of paper for their clients
- On telemarketing 38% said they hang up straight away and we delighted to see that 4% will leave their phone off the hook to deliberately tie up a call centre.
- Opting out - 82% look for the opt out box when giving information - 22% said they always opted out and 74% said they sometimes did.
- SMS - 91% object to receiving SMS and other marketing messages on their phone
There was some good news - 73% said they opened and read some DM - with 52% saying the key factor was whether the mail was "from a company I know".
This is further evidence that Ad Avoidance is now mainstream - and support for our belief that it's not smart or economical to use old fashioned DM anymore. The only way to make contact with customers is through a permission based relationship where customers are actively engaged with the brand.
We know that, if you develop content that engages with the right people, you can get high levels of permission - and if you use that permission to conduct an ongoing dialogue (that is respectful, relevant and smart) you can increase the value of the brand to the consumer, and of the consumer to the brand.
That's new marketing. And its the only option.
(Copies of the survey can be obtained from CCB by emailing [email protected]. I'm still waiting for a response so I don't know if there is a charge)