A surprising finding came from a whitepaper by the Ball State University Center for Media Design and ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based email marketing company. Their whitepaper “Messaging Behaviors, Preferences and Personas” found that many members of the 18- to 34-year-old age group are more likely to be influenced by email marketing and direct mail than from marketing messages on social networking sites, like MySpace and Facebook.
The research targeted the marketing preferences and consumption habits of six groups:
“Wired” customers – young males, ages 18-34, no kids. This group is employed full time or are self-employed, make at least $35,000 and have a college education.
Young homemakers – women (typical! IMO), ages 18-34 who consider themselves to be homemakers with an annual household income of over $35,000.
Retired – men and women who have retired, although the sample had more male respondents (57 percent); 80 percent of this group had attended college and 41 percent received at the least, a bachelor’s degree.
College students – men and women ages 18-24, although 10 percent of the sample included people slightly older (so why include them in this group? Oh well, it’s not place to critique here).
Teens – girls and boys, ages 15-17. The sample skews slightly higher than the average annual household income for this group.
Established pros – men and women; full-time pros age 35 or more, with annual household incomes over $75,000 per year. A large chunk of this group (65 percent) are between the ages of 35 and 54. Even number of men and women.
So what was found about these distinct groups when it comes down to what they prefer when it comes to media consumption and how they receive marketing messages?
20 percent of wired consumers want to get marketing offers via SMS (short message service).
More than 50 percent of homemakers get on social networking sites and use SMS during the day. But, they say they’d rather get marketing messages through direct mail and email.
Of those in the retired group, 81 percent have made a purchase online and 94 percent have been influenced by direct mail to buy something.
College students say that SMS and social networking sites are no place for marketing messages.
Teens are on social networking sites the most out of any other group (surprise, surprise!), but they are more likely to buy something when influenced by direct mail, with email coming in second. Now that does surprise me. I don’t remember getting direct mail as a teen, but it seems to be working now, so more power to ’em!
In the established pros group, women were more likely to use the newest technology, like IMs, SMS and social networking to communicate with family and friends. Both men and women shop online, with 92 percent of this group having made at least one purchase online.
So what does this tell us? That even though people are embracing online marketing and are going online for just about everything, they still prefer to get their marketing messages offline.