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Channel preference study_2011_final_12_1_11

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  • 1. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYTHE FORmuLA FOR SuCCESS:PREFERENCE AND TRuSTConsumer Channel Preference StudyDecember 2011epsilontargeting.com
  • 2. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYINTRODuCTIONDIRECT FROm THE SOuRCE: THE CONSumERAn envelope from a national bank highlighting attractive interest-free checking arrives inyour mailbox one morning. While skimming the newspaper over breakfast, you notice an adfor that same checking offer in the local paper. Later that afternoon, you log into your emailto find that the bank has sent you a message pre-qualifying you for the checking account.As you browse the internet you continue to see web display ads with the bank’s featuresand benefits. In the evening, you pick up your cell phone to make dinner plans and see atext message from, guess who—the bank.This marketer has reached you over five different communication channels throughout theday. Which one captured your undivided attention: the envelope in the mail, the newspaperad, the email message, online advertising or the SMS text?If you chose the envelope in the mailbox you’re not alone. According to Epsilon Targeting’s2011 Channel Preference Study, 36% of U.S. consumers and 40% of Canadian consumersagree that direct mail is the preferred channel to receive financial services information.Interestingly, U.S. consumers report anemotional boost from receiving direct Attitudes Toward Postal mail and Emailmail, with 60% agreeing they “enjoy Get a lot more emails that I do not openchecking the mail box for postal mail.” 61% 75% Enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products 59% 66%Not only are consumers receiving Postal mail gets more attention 50% 48%marketing information via multiple Receive too many emails in one day 65%channels, they increasingly are 52% Enjoy checking postal mail boxdeluged with information, leading 60% 64%to greater selectivity in determining Enjoy getting email from brands on new products 43% 55%what merits attention. Capturing the Spend time searching online for new products 43% 51%attention of today’s consumer demands Receiving postal mail makes me feel valued 36%more relevance than ever before. 42% U.S. 2011 Postal mail information is more trustworthy CAN 2011Effective marketers apply custom- 26% 30%designed research approaches to Percent of population agreeing based on top two selections on a five point scalebetter understand and leverageconsumer relevance when spending their communications dollars.The 2011 study highlights the latest national survey results from Epsilon Targeting onpreferred communications channels for consumers to receive marketing messages.Epsilon Targeting survey results from August 2011 show direct mail continues to serve as thechannel of choice and most trusted for receipt of marketing information in many categories. 2
  • 3. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYHowever, there are exceptions, such as travel. When asked about travel communications,32% of U.S. consumers prefer the Internet, though 21%, which is not an insignificantpopulation, prefer direct mail.Notably, the preference for direct mail extends to the 18-34 year old demographic in boththe United States and Canada. This key demographic finding underscores the importanceof avoiding assumptions on age and instead capitalizing on research that enables marketersto understand what consumers want and where consumers are going to find the informationthat eventually will be culled down to a purchase decision.Armed with research-based information marketers will be equipped to reach each consumerwith relevant communications through the channel in which they are most engaged.Epsilon Targeting’s August 2011 Channel Preference Study is based on completed surveysfrom 2,226 U.S. consumers and 2,574 Canadian consumers. Epsilon Targeting has nowcompleted three surveys on the topic of consumer channel preference to generate trendingdata. The August 2011 research was preceded by an initial study in February 2008 as well as asurvey in February 2010.RESEARCH INSIGHTSExTEND YOuR REACHConsumers today have access to and are using an increasingly wide range of media togather and receive information. Just a few years ago the key channels included TV, radio,newspapers, direct mail and email. Now the range of choices extends to mobile, third-partywebsites, social media and location-based services.Given the proliferation of channels, marketers need to leverage a multichannel approachin order to engage their key audiences. The savviest marketers seek insights into their bestcustomers’ preferred media to maximize the impact of their communications investmentand drive business results.For this reason successful marketers utilize a multi-pronged approach. Marketers do so forthree logical reasons:1. Consumers vary in the channels they use REGuLARLY • In the U.S., 37% of consumers use TV daily to get information about consumer product categories, down from 43% in 2010. • In Canada, 29% claim they use TV daily to learn about consumer product categories, down from 35% in 2010. • 36% of U.S. consumers use print newspapers for consumer product information on a weekly basis, up from 34% in 2010.epsilontargeting.com 3
  • 4. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTY • Similar to the U.S., Canadian consumers rely on newspapers for information on consumer products, with 33% using this source on a weekly basis. • Facebook and mobile phones were the only channels showing growth among U.S. consumers in the survey, with Facebook increasing to 10% (versus 6% in 2010), and mobile phones steady at 6% in 2011 (versus 5% in 2010). Consumer Channel Preference By Cateogry Postal Mail Email U.S. CANADA 41% Financial services 40% Sensitive health 8% 10% Prescription 37% Insurance 38% 9% 10% Insurance 36% Prescription 32% 9% 11% Financial services 36% Mail order shopping 30% 8% 13% Mail order shopping 34% Food product 30% 13% 13% General health 33% Personal care 30% 9% 13% Food product 31% General health 29% 10% 12% Charitable causes / donations 30% 29% 9% Over the counter medication 11% Over-the-counter medication 30% 28% 9% Cleaning product 12% Personal care 30% 28% 9% Charitable causes / donations 10% Cleaning product 27% 8% Household services 24% 8% Retail information 25% 12% Travel 21% 17% Household services 25% 7% Hobbies or interests 21% 21% 15% Travel 13% 20% Retail information 15%2. Consumers vary in the channels they PREFER • Across the board, U.S. and Canadian consumers prefer receiving sensitive or general health information from a trusted health care professional. • For insurance information for example, 36% of U.S. consumers and 38% of Canadians prefer traditional mail over other channels. • Consumers similarly prefer mail over other channels for information about financial services, with 36% of U.S. consumers and 40% of Canadians preferring mail over other channels (including email, newspaper inserts, and internet).3. Consumers vary in the channels they TRuST • U.S. and Canadian consumers place the highest levels of trust in their health care providers (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist). 80% of U.S. consumers place their highest level of trust in their health care provider, while 84% of Canadians feel the same. These high trust levels are reflected in consumer preference to receive health- oriented information from a health care professional they know. • The least trustworthy channels are social media and blogs, each garnering only a 6% trust level among U.S. consumers and 5% among Canadians, and only 6% of U.S. and 5% of Canadian consumers expressed trust of online forums.epsilontargeting.com 4
  • 5. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTY Channel/media Trustworthiness 21% 21% U.S. 21% CANADA 15% 16% 16% 15% 13% 10% 8% 8% 6% 6% 6% 6% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% Percent of responders who said media is trustworthy, based on top three box score on a 10-point scaleIn the age of information overload, consumers prioritize what they read based on theirlevel of trust in the source. The 2011 Epsilon Targeting survey shows that across categories,direct mail, brochures or flyers continues to be a trusted source of information, with socialmedia currently the least trusted in the United States and Canada.Exceptions to note are health care, where U.S. consumers place the most trust in theirhealth care professionals (74%), and in family and friends (47%), a decrease from 2010 (55%).Another personal filter impacting channel preference is the perceived maintenance of privacy.For example, when comparing email and traditional direct mail, 37% of U.S. consumers feeltraditional mail is more private than email. Supporting this view is data showing a decreasein the perception of maintaining anonymity. Specifically, fewer U.S. respondents, 8%, feelthat the Internet “is more anonymous,” compared to 11% in 2010.EmPOwER YOuR CONSumERSWith the omnipresence of Internet access in 96% of the U.S. households surveyed, why don’tconsumers prefer email more? U.S. consumers cite the following main reasons: • “I already get too much email” (32%). • “A lot of online information can’t be trusted” (24%).In contrast, traditional direct mail retains consumer appeal for a variety of reasons: • “It is more private if sent through the mail than sent by email or online” (main reason for 37% of U.S. consumers). • “I pay more attention to information I receive by postal mail than if it was received by email” (50% of U.S. consumers strongly or somewhat agree). • “I enjoy checking the mailbox for postal mail” (60% of U.S. consumers strongly or somewhat agree).epsilontargeting.com 5
  • 6. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYThe idea that checking the mailbox is a source of enjoyment may provide a powerfulemotional hook for consumers.In addition, personally addressed mail is greatly preferred over unaddressed traditionalmail in all categories. In the insurance category, the numbers show that 31% prefer personallyaddressed compared to 5% for unaddressed among U.S. consumers. That’s a significantdifference that could greatly impact whether the message reaches the desired target.“Current occupant” doesn’t seem to have the emotional pull of a personally addressedpiece of mail.The 2011 Channel Preference Study also shows that marketers are doing a better job oftargeting the right consumers with the right information. Thirty percent of U.S. consumerssaid, “I now receive more mail that interests me,” compared to 20% a year ago. 50% report-ed, “I find there is more information being sent to me in the mail,” compared to 63% in 2010.Less clutter in the mailbox and more targeted pieces are reasons why consumers payattention to traditional mail.CREATE A BALANCED APPROACHThere are a number of good reasons to continue the use of email as an effective marketingcommunications tool. Key among these is the ability of the consumer to receive email ontheir own terms including: • Choosing to receive or not receive (main reason for 42% of U.S. consumers). • Deciding to print or not to print (main reason for 41% of U.S. consumers). • Saving on paper (main reason for 34% of U.S. consumers, considerably greener than 2010, when 21% chose this as the main reason - for Canadians, saving on paper is the main reason why 42% prefer email). • Easily forwarding the information (main reason for 23% of U.S. consumers).However, email communications should not be overused. 65% of U.S. consumers stronglyor somewhat agree that “I am getting too many emails in one day, and a whopping 75%admit “I get a lot of emails that I don’t open.”An interesting shift is occurring with the perception that reading email saves time. Theperception that “reading email is faster” declined slightly among U.S. email account holdersin 2011 to 45% (versus 47% in 2010), suggesting that our clogged inboxes are still taking moreof our time.epsilontargeting.com 6
  • 7. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYIn 2011, 50% of Canadians perceive that “reading email is faster,” is consistent with 49% fromthe previous year. Top Reasons For u.S. Channel Preference Postal mail EmailAlready get too much email 32% I can print the info to keep if I want 41%Would prefer not to have to print the info 30 Can read the info when it is convenient for me 39It is more private if sent through the mailthan sent by email or online 37 Can choose which info I want sent to me 42A lot of online info can’t be trusted 24 Can more easily share the info with others 23I don’t have a computer at home 2 To save on paper 34ACROSS THE wEBThe Internet remains an important resource when searching for new products and ideas,with 53% of U.S. consumers using the Internet weekly to do so - including company andother websites, forums, blogs, and search engines, but excluding social media sites (whichare addressed later in this paper). 28% of U.S. consumers claim to use the internet daily forthese purposes.We know that trusting the source is very important to consumers. The study looked at vari-ous sources that consumers access via the Internet and found that company websites are themost trusted, with more U.S. consumers trusting company websites (21%) compared to otherwebsites, email, online forums, blogs, You Tube, search engines, and social media sites.Social media sites currently evoke the least amount of trust from consumers, with only 8%placing a high trust level in Facebook, and even fewer users (6%) highly trusting the othersocial media sites. Trust Levels in Online Channels and mediums u.S. CANADAInternet Source 2010 2011 2010 2011Company websites 21% 21% 18% 16%Email 12 10 11 8Other online sites 11 10 6 7Online forums 8 6 5 5Facebook 7 8 5 5Blogs 6 6 5 5YouTube 6 6 5 5Twitter 6 6 5 5Other social media 6 6 5 5Search engines n/a 18 n/a 16 Based on percent of respondents who rated their trust level 8, 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10, where 1 means not at all trustworthy and 10 means very trustworthyepsilontargeting.com 7
  • 8. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYThe last year has seen a rapid increase in the number of Facebook users, with an impressive61% of respondents having a Facebook account, compared to 47% a year ago. Canadianconsumers report a similar trend, with Facebook accounts now held by 62% of respondents,compared to 56% in 2010.Just 5% of respondents report relying on Facebook ads for any sort of household servicedaily, and only 2% for general health information. Additionally, the study found that athird of consumers don’t find ads on social media sites useful (31% U.S., and 33% ofCanadian consumers). usefulness of Advertising on Social media Sites U.S. CANADA 35% 33% 32% 31% 16% 13% Very/ Not very/ Do not use Very/ Not very/ Do not use somewhat not useful any social somewhat not useful any social useful (Bottom 2 media sites useful (Bottom 2 media sites (Top 2 box) box) (Top 2 box) box) Percent of responders who answered based on a 10-point scaleTHE YEAR OF GROuP DEALSOver the past year, a new marketing strategy has emerged—the group deal website ande-newsletter. These providers offer a daily deal that becomes active once a certain numberof people purchase the offer. This year, 39% of U.S. respondents claimed awareness of agroup deal website (such as Groupon or Living Social). Canadians have greater awarenessat 53%.Of those U.S. respondents aware of group deal sites, an impressive 34% receive a deal everyday by email. Another 10% check the group deal website on a daily basis to see what’s new,providing an ideal channel for timely, late-breaking communications with consumers.Every day an additional 6% visit a group deal consolidation website that includes deals froma variety of providers. Every few weeks, 8% of consumers purchase a deal, and 6% pass ondeals to family or friends.epsilontargeting.com 8
  • 9. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTY Frequency of usage with Group Deal Sites U.S. CANADA Receive info Receive info on on group deal 8% group deal 7% from 6% from 6% family/friends 4% Every Few Weeks family/friends 4% Every Few Weeks Send info on Weekly Send info on Weekly group deal to 6% group deal to 8% Daily Daily family/friends 4% family/friends 5% 2% 1% Purchase a Purchase a group deal 8% group deal 9% 3% 2% 1% 1% Receive email Receive email with group 6% with group 5% deals 12% deals 11% 34% 42% Check website Check website 8% that has info 10% that has info on multiple 6% on multiple 7% group deal… 6% group deal… 6% Check group Check group 11% 10% deal website deal website 11% 11% 13% 10% Based on usage frequency of 879 U.S. and 1,272 Canadian respondersmOBILE PHONES: THE NEw VIRTuAL COuPON wALLET?When was the last time you left the house without your mobile phone and went back for it?If you are like most U.S. consumers, you rely heavily on your cell phone.In 2011, the first year Epsilon Targeting collected this data, on a daily basis 60% of U.S. consumersuse their phone for local calls; 31% send or receive text messages; 29% receive or access voicemail;14% receive or send email; 8% surf the web and 3% receive group deals daily.Canadian usage is similar, with the exception Prominent Daily uses For Cell Phonesof only 43% reporting daily local calls and u.S. Daily Canada Daily15% checking voicemail daily. Local calls 60% 43% Text messaging - locally 31 31In addition to using mobile devices proactively Receive/check voicemail 29 15to make calls, check voicemail or email, or send Receiving/sending email 14 15a text, some U.S. consumers have started usingtheir cell phones to access coupons. Quick Web browsing/surfing 8 6Response (QR) codes, also known as data matrix Group deals 3 3codes, are becoming more prevalent daily and Get coupons 2 1can be used to share discounts. Responses based on percentage of those who use cell phones dailyEssentially a 2-dimensional bar code that is readable by mobile device cameras, these QR codesprovide a high-touch, point-of-purchase communication opportunity that savvy marketers havebegun to explore.While only 2% of U.S. consumers surveyed are currently using their cell phone for coupons,the potential for this highly targeted, consumer-empowered channel to increase POP salesis significant.epsilontargeting.com 9
  • 10. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYKEY RECOmmENDATIONS FOR u.S. AND CANADIAN mARKETERS1. Utilize and adjust messaging to a variety of channels that reach consumers through mediathey prefer to use, use regularly, and trust highly.2. Use personally addressed direct mail to provide information as well as an emotional liftfor consumers. Recognize that more targeted communications are becoming the norm forconsumers as they are engaging media on terms they prefer. Every opportunity to expressmore knowledge of the consumer in the channels they prefer is essential to building arelationship and driving action.3. Continue to employ email as a consumer-empowered communications channel, whereconsumers can opt in or out as time and email account storage space allows. Support theconsumer’s desire for control or “greening” by enabling them to control what they receiveand print.4. Understand and leverage current trends in the use of mobile phones to retrieve couponsand point-of-purchase information to maximize the upside potential of this powerful,ubiquitous tool.5. Utilize online channels (email, social media, and group deals) to reinforce information sharedthrough offline channels.6. (Bonus for Canadian Marketers) Leverage the higher awareness and usage of group dealwebsites in Canada by using them to be in touch with consumers, and encourage purchasesmore regularly.CONCLuSIONSHIFTING STRATEGIES TO mEET CONSumER PREFERENCESIn today’s information-rich, multichannel marketplace, marketers must understand andleverage the sources that consumers trust and prefer. To make sure the message reachesits target, it’s all about location, location, location! And the channels used to get there.By using channel-specific metrics and advanced analytics, successful marketers can not onlyfine-tune the content of their marketing messages, but also leverage the most effectivedelivery routes to their key audiences. The consumer is in charge and must feel empoweredby having choices about how to receive information and how to interact with it. Consumersmust have the power to customize what they receive and to act on what is compelling in themost convenient, least time-consuming way.epsilontargeting.com 10
  • 11. STRATEGY AND ANALYTICS / TARGETING / CREATIVE / TECHNOLOGY / DIGITAL / LOYALTYMake the consumer the center of your marketing strategy. Listen to the voice of theconsumer. They have very clear preferences and strong reasons for making certain channelchoices. Some will prefer direct mail with supporting messages delivered by social media ormobile. Others may want email backed by a robust company website, with the intermittentdelivery of mail for certain types of communications.Regardless of the formula, the marketer’s task is to ensure the right distribution of channelsso that consumers are communicated with in the manner that they prefer and trust.By adopting the right consumer-centric approach, you will be able to implement a winningintegrated marketing campaign.ABOuT THE mETHODOLOGYThis report on channel preferences for the receipt of marketing information is based onthe completed responses of 2,226 U.S. and 2,574 Canadian consumers to an online surveyconducted in August 2011. The survey is a representative sampling of U.S. and Canadianconsumers. A 15-minute questionnaire was presented to respondents 18+ years of age.Statistical significance is calculated at the 95% confidence level. Epsilon Targeting has nowcompleted three surveys on the topic of consumer channel preference to generate trendingdata. The August 2011 research was preceded by an initial study in February 2008. That effortwas updated in February 2010.ABOuT EPSILON TARGETINGEpsilon Targeting is the data services division of Epsilon ,the industry’s leading market-ing services firm, and provides the most comprehensive view of consumer marketing andpurchasing data in North America. Epsilon Targeting has been providing target marketerswith precision data and predictive analytics on prospects and customers for over 30 yearsin both the United States and Canada. Epsilon is the world’s largest permission-based emailmarketer and is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit www.epsilon.com orcall 1-800-309-0505.epsilontargeting.com 11
  • 12. 1-800-603-4555info@epsilontargeting.comepsilontargeting.com 11.11.MEDIAPR.W

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