A common belief is that people hate advertising. They hate how they are saturated with advertising everywhere they go. They hate how it interrupts their TV shows, their radio, even their social media streams. They hate how it tries to trick them into buying stuff they don't want for problems they don't actually have. But what if it wasn't that people hated advertising, thy were just a bit picky about it?
Such is the conclusion of a recent survey by marketing firm MarketingSherpa (via Carrie Cummings in Adweek) that actually bothered to ask consumers how they actually wanted to receive ads. And, surprisingly, only 8% said that they flat out didn't want to receive them at all.
Also surprising were the number of consumers who prefer traditional methods of receiving ads, with 54% saying they like to receive updates and promotions in the mail (as in snail mail), which actually makes sense if you think about it. Who doesn't like receiving something tangible like coupons or discounts, instead of some ephemeral promotion by email?
In fact, what seems most striking about the infographic is just the increasing diversity in the number of ways that people can receive information from marketers. Some are more popular than others, but there's mail, email, social media, company websites, texts, apps, and more.
The same is true for consumers' ways of discovering new products, with the tried and true methods of in-store browsing (59%) and word-of-mouth from friends and family (57%) being the most popular, but with twelve other methods of advertising being preferred before we get to "Other" at 5%.
So what does this all tell us? People don't mind advertising, but they want it personalized, and they want to get it in the way they prefer. What does this mean for marketers? Well, the obvious is that targeted marketing is the way to go, but less obvious is the compact they need to make with their audience.
People want options. They want some measure of control. They want to decide how often they get ads and what form they take. And any one consumer might not have the same taste as another. In other words, for marketers, things are just going to get more and more complicated. Marketing can't be through saturation any more. It should be a tap on the shoulder, a polite reminder, a "don't mean to bother you, but we're having a sale this weekend" email. That's what people want, marketers just have to provide it in the right way.
Check out all the survey results in the infographic below: