New survey data suggests that marketers are disconnected from the attitudes of their targeted consumers. About 60% of consumers have ended engagement with several brands due to poorly targeted communication.

This data comes from Experian, an information services firm, which surveyed 1000 consumers and 330 Australian marketing professionals from government, technology, retail, digital, travel and financial service industries.

At the top of the list of consumers’ most preferred way to engage with brands was through giveaways and incentives. In fact, 70% placed this method in their top three ways to receive information from brands.

Regarding brand websites, marketers and consumers were in agreement, with about 91% and 85% claiming websites were the most important source of information on brands and product services.

There was however, a disconnection found in attitudes regarding print and social media. 70% of consumers seem to value print media, and 60% value direct mail more than social media, while marketers see print media as one of the least important sources of information. Only 28% of markers felt print media was an important channel for communicating.

The survey also found that in looking at consumer trust of marketing channels, surprisingly, consumers aren’t as trustful of newer channels like social media and SMS for communicating with brands. About 30% of consumers placed social media at the bottom three trusted channels, with only 4% claiming social media was the channel they trusted the most.

General manager of Experian Marketing Solutions, Matt Glasner, feels this distrust may come from the relative infancy of social media’s use in marketing, along with the fact that while 89% of Australian marketers now utilize a customer segmentation strategy in general, this strategy may not be applied to newer communication channels, like social media.

Glasner also claims that this is comparable to examining where email and EDM marketing was five years ago. “The challenges uncovered by the research are similar to the barriers we saw five or so years ago when customers lacked trust in emails and EDMs. Yet, for many brands, these are now common place communication channels which are highly valued by customers.”

In the year to come, most marketers plan to increase investment in social media advertising. “Marketers are working hard to ensure their messages are heard. However, our research highlights that there is still a huge opportunity for marketers to further understand how and when consumers want to engage across all channels, including social media,” says Glasner.

Glasner thinks there’s opportunity in bringing the level of consumer segmentation seen in traditional channels to social media campaigns, and worries that the age of multichannel marketing comes with the challenge of information overload, therefore marketers must be more selective than ever in their choices of communication!

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