Multi-channel marketing relies on using as many channels as possible to reach every segment of your audience. If you've been depending more and more on social media as a primary marketing channel, don't throw away your stamps or the phone number of your local printer just yet. A study released by ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting, suggests that 18-34 year olds in the United States and Canada prefer, and trust, offline marketing over social media. In a press release Epsilon stated North American consumers in the 18-34 year-old demographic prefer to learn about marketing offers via postal mail and newspapers rather than online sources such as social media platforms.
The study also suggests the trust pendulum is swinging in the direction of mail for respondents in all age brackets:<
- 36% of US respondents in 2010 said information is more private if sent through the mail vs. email or online, up from 29% in 2008; corresponding responses in Canada were 38% and 35%
- 25% of US respondents in 2010 said a lot of online information can't be trusted, up from 19% in 2008; corresponding responses in Canada were 28% and 24%
- 20% of US respondents in 2010 said they trust information received by mail more than online, up from 12% in 2008; corresponding responses in Canada were 25% and 18%.
Other key findings from ICOM's survey about channel preferences include the following:
- 45% of US men and 35% of Canadian men do not have any social media accounts, 36% of US women and 31% of Canadian women do not have any social media accounts
- 25% of respondents, US and Canadian, said they get more postal mail versus a year ago; 72% US and 66% Canadian said they get more email versus a year ago
- In both the US and Canada, women are more likely than men to prefer addressed or unaddressed mail for many product categories, and men are more likely to prefer the Internet or email as a mode of receiving marketing information.
"A key takeaway from this research is that marketers targeting coveted 18-34 year olds who are tempted to invest solely in social media could be missing a significant portion of their audience," said ICOM Vice President Warren Storey.