Brands are still struggling to strike the right balance in their marketing activity during the Covid-19 crisis, with consumers backing brands over online display ads but branding email and social media ads “too overwhelming”.
A new study of 4,045 consumers across five regions, carried out by Publicis-owned companies Epsilon-Conversant and CJ Affiliate, reveals that channel choice and relevance are even more critical in these turbulent times than in the “normal” world.
Display is considered the least obtrusive channel across every demographic group, with the vast majority (87%) of consumers insisting there are not seeing too many display ads from brands.
In sharp contrast, nearly half (47%) of consumers feel they are receiving too many email marketing messages and another third (35%) are overwhelmed by the amount of social media marketing. British consumers in particular feel they are receiving too many social media marketing messages, with this figure rising to 44%.
The research also unveiled different demographic advertising preferences. For example, almost two-thirds (61%) of Generation Z believe they are sent too many marketing emails, alongside those currently looking for work (55%). The opposite is true for those who are retired, with just over a third (34%) stating that they feel overwhelmed by emails.
However, the study did show that email and other channels do have their place. More than a third (38%) still want to receive email marketing from brands during coronavirus, and, for those living in urban areas, email is their favourite means for receiving brand communications (39%), contrasting with those in suburban or rural areas who favour TV ads (40%).
Epsilon-Conversant senior vice-president Elliott Clayton said: “It’s not just what you say but also how you say it. Many of us will have experienced an influx of email newsletters ‒ perhaps even some we didn’t know we signed up to.
“If not sent in a relevant and timely fashion, and in a way that is properly aligned to consumers’ needs this could be more of a turn off than showing customers you care. It can be done well, but it takes understanding, thought and time.
“This is an opportunity for brands to better reach and communicate with their customers – talking the language they want to hear and also finding and speaking with them when and where it suits them. It’s important that marketers have the right tools to understand this nuance – those marketers who are able to understand and adapt to this will stand a much better chance of success during these difficult times.”
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