Marketing spend out of touch with consumer channel preferences: report

Australian marketers are mis-assigning marketing budgets by chasing measurability instead of actual effectiveness, according to a nation-wide survey conducted by Australia Post.

The research asked Australian consumers which communications channels they engage with across a variety of industries and customer type scenarios such as switching, existing or new customers, detailing which channels are best for different objectives.

Overall, the top five preferred communications channels were found to be consistent across the demographic groups, but, worryingly, it was found that three of the top five most effective communication channels have seen a drop in marketing spend over the past several years. The top five were:

  1. Catalogues and flyers,
  2. TV advertising,
  3. newspapers and magazines,
  4. radio advertising, and
  5. personalised direct mail.

 

By demographic:

Figure 1

 

There was greater variation further down the list of preferred channels for each demographic, the report suggesting this is where marketers can target with a multichannel mix more effectively:

Figure 2

The 10 key findings of the report are:

1. Six out of 10 Australians are receptive to advertising messages,

2. The top five channels consumers consider to be most effective for advertising messages are: catalogues and flyers, TV advertising, press (newspapers and magazines), radio advertising and personalised direct mail,

3. Consumers’ top channel preferences are remarkably consistent across demographics. However, variations further down the rankings can help marketers target a multichannel mix most effectively.

4. Current marketing spend doesn’t match the consumer channel preferences reported. Three of the top five most effective channels experienced a drop in advertising spend in the past year.

5. For industries such as banking and finance and utilities, when consumers are evaluating options, they consider websites and TV advertising to be the most useful advertising channels.

6. For the fashion and supermarket sectors, catalogues and flyers are considered the most useful channels for considering new purchases.

7. For industries such as superannuation, utilities and telecommunications, websites, TV advertising and direct mail are considered the three most useful options when making a final purchase decision.

8. For cross-sell, consumers consider websites and direct mail the two most useful channels.

9. As existing customers, consumers view direct mail and email marketing as the two most useful channels through which to be kept informed.

10. When considering their options for switching and making a final decision, consumers consider websites and direct mail as the most useful channels.

 

 

Link to report: http://auspost.com.au/research-oct13-brands.html

Methodology: 

This study was commissioned by Australia Post and conducted by an independent research company, Quality Online Research (QOR).

Initially, nine focus groups were conducted with a wide cross- section of Australians to help uncover prevailing attitudes to advertising and communication channels.

A survey was then used to canvass advertising preferences and gauge information channel usefulness, based on a sample of 9641 Australians nationally. It was conducted online in July 2013.

Sample quotas were used and weightings applied to ensure that the overall sample was representative of the Australian population, based on age, gender and location.

The survey investigated how useful people found various communication channels across 45 different real-life scenarios. These scenarios addressed aspects of product evaluation, purchase decision-making, customer retention, switching, cross-sell, loyalty and rewards communications in the following 10 industry sectors: Banking and finance; Superannuation; Insurance; Telecommunications; Utilities; Fashion retail and department stores; Supermarkets; Automotive; Charities; Public services (local council and political parties).

Each respondent was randomly assigned six of the scenarios, so each one was completed by a sample of at least 1000 respondents.