Claire Ratushny

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Claire Ratushny



So many brands with so many similarities. Is it any wonder that many brands are struggling? Does it surprise anyone that in every sector there are brands that are subsisting on an ever shrinking sliver of the pie?


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Marketers: Can You Hear Me Now?

Not long ago, Marketing Sherpa, a research institute specializing in tracking what works in all aspects of marketing, published the findings of its 2015 MarketingSherpa Consumer Purchase Preference Survey. Actually, two surveys were taken: one for marketers and one for consumers “to compare what consumers say they want and what marketers actually do”.


The results were eye-opening and let me share them with you directly from the Marketing Sherpa article on this topic because it’s succinct and clear.


Let's look at the top preferences of consumers, and how marketers' practices match up to them (or don't):

  • Consumers' strong preference to receive email at a frequency they chose (49%) was less popular among marketers (14%).
  • Another top choice of customers, receive updates in the mail (54%), was less popular among marketers (19%).
  • Customers' third most preferred method, visiting the company website (38%), was also less popular among marketers. Only 8% of marketers said they posted updates on websites and did not contact customers directly.

Interestingly, some of the most popular tactics among marketers were also not that popular among consumers:

  • Inviting customers to follow their brands on social media was the top choice among marketers (77%). In contrast, only 20% of consumers favored this method.
  • Sending subscribers email at a predetermined frequency was the second top choice of marketers (76%). In comparison, only 24% of consumers favored this method.
  • Attending local events was the third top choice among marketers (36%). In contrast, only 9% of consumers preferred this method.

To sum up, marketers' practices of ways they offer to customers to engage with brands are lagging behind consumers' top choices of ways to receive updates and promotions. People prefer to choose how frequently they receive email from marketers, while marketers overwhelmingly offer to subscribe consumers to email updates at a predetermined frequency. 

People prefer receiving print updates in the mail more than marketers tend to offer. People also prefer to just visit the company website to get updates and promotions, without being contacted by marketers, while marketers are not that willing to use this seemingly laissez-faire method of customer engagement.*

If marketers truly want consumers to engage with their brands. .  .

. . . .they have to listen first and then deliver information to them in the manner and the frequency that customers prefer, otherwise they are going to be turned off, even to brands they truly like. When brand owners and managers speak of aligning themselves with their customers and delivering what they are seeking most; of delivering consistently great brand experiences, we all agree that these are the most important things for which to strive.


So why are marketers faring so poorly in the manner in which they choose to speak to their customers: in the channels they’re using and in the way they’re utilizing them? There’s more pressure than ever on marketers to prove the ROI of their initiatives to the C Suite and this isn’t good. But the good news is that data like this should open marketers’ eyes and prod them into action. They can fix things like this.


First, they need to check in with their own customers and find out which channels they prefer to receive information from the brand, as well as frequency. Then, marketers need to pay attention to their customers when they confirm this information and act upon it. Because if they don’t their customers will simply ignore and delete the emails that they receive. They may even unsubscribe and it’s never good when consumers start to distance themselves from brands they once liked or even loved, is it?


Instead of telling customers how we want to interact with them, let’s listen to what the customers say they want from us. Right?







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