According to a study by Bredin Business Information (BBI) (from an article in Marketing Charts), marketers are spending too much on channels that their audience doesn’t care about, and not enough on channels they like.
The article says that marketers are putting their most of their eggs in the online basket, but the way SMBs want their communication is in a more passive form. From the article:
BBI, which surveyed both marketers and small businesses about their online and offline media preferences, top concerns and brand ratings, found that marketers are most interested in using online tactics such as microsites/resource centers, webinars and webcasts, and social networking. Offline, tactics such as PR and telemarketing are most appealing to marketers, while interest in direct mail, print advertising and trade shows all declined.
These efforts are at odds with what SMBs say they prefer, according to BBI. As a source of information about products and services, SMBs rely most on newspaper and magazine articles (43.6%) and direct mail, including letters, postcards and catalogs (43.5%)
It is perfectly reasonable that marketing agencies and enterprise marketers are moving toward the online channels. The benefits (to the marketer) are critical: more touches for less cost, theoretically better targeting, online methods are significantly easier and faster to deploy, and marketers can track response accurately and quickly.
But, if your audience prefers to get their communication in a magazine, newspaper, or direct mail, isn’t it a big waste of time and money if you choose to ignore that preference?
I think that there is are important differences between the online and offline channels that marketers should try to understand. First, with print marketing, the recipient is in control, they have the choice about where, when and how they want to read. They can carry it around, put it in the briefcase until the time is appropriate for them. A much when the reader chooses, and controls his environment for doing that, he’s going to be a lot more receptive to the information. At least that’s what I’ve found in my own world. On the other hand, online marketing is typically pushed at the reader, and even if the recipient is in a state where he’s receptive to the message, as soon as he answers his next email or visits the next website, he’s gone. And, possibly gone forever. It’s easy to attract a buyer, and just as easy to lose a buyer.
Like the say on South Park: I think we learned something today. Buy some printing if you want your ads to actually work.