3 Factors That Underlie Channel Preferences
Trying to decipher which channel customers prefer can be difficult, and it's coveted knowledge for direct marketers. Recently, ExactTarget-an on-demand e-mail marketing and one-to-one digital communication platform-unveiled a 2008 Channel Preference Survey whitepaper to address how consumer preferences affect marketing success.
Inside the dense whitepaper, three main factors were revealed that appear to drive consumer attitudes toward communications channels.
Obviously, none of those three words describe a desirable effect, yet phone, instant messaging and text messaging all operate as interruptive modes of communication. As a result, they are viewed less favorably as marketing channels. Direct mail, e-mail and RSS? That's a different story. Because they can be processed when the consumer so chooses, they are more acceptable. It's about giving consumers a greater feeling of control over how they interact with marketing messages.
2. Too Close for Comfort
Direct mail and e-mail can be relatively anonymous, thus they don't tend to make consumers feel like their personal space has been violated. But if marketing messages come through consumers' phones or social networking sites they frequent, such an unpleasant mental association may begin.
3. How Long the Mode of Communication Has Been Around
Social networking sites, text messaging and even cell phones are relatively new forms of communication technology, and it simply takes time for consumers to get used to the idea of marketing messages coming through them. Conversely, e-mail-and especially direct mail-has existed for much longer, therefore people are very comfortable seeing marketing efforts come down that channel.