Consumers want to be in control of marketing messages
Most consumers do not like personal marketing messages. Sales phone calls and text messages are considered particularly obtrusive, with consumers preferring marketing in newspapers, catalogues and internet search services as these can be controlled and utilised by the consumer.
The results were published in Kari Elkelä’s (M.Sc.) doctoral dissertation for the Aalto University School of Business. The study looks at which of the marketing communication channels available the consumers prefer, which factors affect their preferences for channels and how the preferences have changed during the last few years.
Obtrusive marketing irritates
According to the study, consumers have a preference for those marketing channels they feel in control of. They want to have the choice of receiving the messages when it suits their timetable or ignoring them altogether if necessary. Consumers also regard it important that marketing is unobtrusive: the messages should not be pushed at them in an irritating manner, nor should they interrupt anything more important the consumer might be in the middle of.
Consumers like to use marketing channels they have grown used to, making changes to their preferences relatively slow. Consumers may favour an old and familiar channel that works moderately well even when a new one might seem better and more useful.
Digital marketing gaining popularity
Consumer preferences vary, with particularly the traditional paper and new digital marketing dividing opinions. In 2006, there was no group that would have exclusively favoured digital marketing, whereas four years on, up to 20 per cent preferred to receive messages mainly in digital form. Paper communications are still, however, more popular.
Some consumers like to remain totally anonymous to sellers. At the other end of the spectrum, there are those whose attitudes to all kinds of marketing are positive and who are happy to make their personal data available to marketers.
The study offers more in-depth information to those companies in the process of selecting their marketing channels. The results are particularly noteworthy because of the revolution in marketing brought on by social media and other new digital marketing channels, which emphasises the importance of the consumer preferences for marketing channels.
Public examination of the doctoral dissertation
The doctoral dissertation of Kari Elkelä (M.Sc.), Consumer preferences for marketing communication channels will be examined on Friday 24 August at 12 pm at the Aalto University School of Business (Main Building, Assembly Hall, Runeberginkatu 14-16, Helsinki).
Research Manager, Docent Anu Raijas will act as opponent (National Consumer Research Center) and Professor Kristian Möller as custos.
Media representatives may request free copies of the dissertation from the Communications Unit of the Aalto University School of Business at viestinta-econ [at] aalto [dot] fi or tel. +358 50 566 5673. The dissertation can be ordered for a charge by email from: toolo [at] ayy [dot] fi. Elkelä’s dissertation is available as a PDF file.
kari.elkela [at] itella [dot] com
tel. +358 400 406 822