Choice and permission are key
Multichannel campaigns will find greater success when marketers are aware of consumer preferences and behaviors. That finding, from a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by ExactTarget, should not come as a surprise. But marketers may be ignoring its implications.
Just 32% of marketing decision-makers surveyed in July 2009 said they knew how their customers behaved across channels, and only 37% were aware of consumers’ channel preferences.
In June, ExactTarget found in its “2009 Channel Preferences Survey” that Americans’ opinions about permission marketing were changing. Respondents’ preference for e-mail and text messaging was greater than the year before, and direct mail was losing ground fast.
Now, consumers choose e-mail at a rate of three-to-one over any other channel for marketing communications.
But permission is key. One-half of consumers said unsolicited messages were unacceptable even from companies they did business with regularly. That was up from about one-quarter in 2008.
Interestingly, as e-mail gained in popularity for marketing messages, Internet users reported using it less for their own written communications, down 10 percentage points year over year.
In spite of Web users’ increased use of social networks for written communication, they were not very open to receiving marketing messages through such sites. ExactTarget found that 70% of monthly Facebook users who were fans of a brand said they had not given companies permission to send them information through the channel—again marking the importance of explicit opt-ins and channel preferences.
“The bottom line is that in an industry where new digital communications make it easier to send a variety of messages, it’s imperative that marketers not only send the right message, to the right person, at the right time, but that they use the right channel as well,” said Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget’s director of research and strategy, in a statement.
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Check out today’s other article, “College Kids Are the Digital Demo.”