Young Adults Still Prefer Offline Marketing Offers
By Tom Ryan
Despite the popularity of Facebook with the demographic, by a wide margin
18- to 34-year-olds still prefer to learn about marketing offers
via postal mail and newspapers rather than online sources such as social media
platforms, according to national survey from ICOM, a division of Epsilon Targeting.
survey found that across a number of household, health and food products, the
preference for 18- to 34-year-old Americans to receive marketing information
from offline sources, led by mail and newspapers, is two to three times greater
than online sources, such as social media. The one exception was travel, where
online information was preferred to offline by a 42 percent to 35 percent margin.
Moreover, comparing results of
the survey to one done two years ago, online sources are becoming
even less trusted for information. Among respondents across all ages in the
- Thirty-six percent of U.S. respondents in 2010 said information is more
private if sent through the mail vs. e-mail or online, up from 29 percent
- A quarter said a lot of online information can’t be trusted, up from
19 percent in 2008;
- For general products, 57 percent of U.S. respondents ranked friends and
family as the "most trustworthy" sources of information. Newspapers
ranked second, 26 percent; company websites, 22 percent; television, 20 percent;
and brochures and flyers, 18 percent. Among social media sites, Facebook
ranked as 8 percent while both YouTube and Twitter came in at 7 percent.
"A key takeaway from this research is that marketers targeting coveted
18-34 year olds who are tempted to invest solely in social media could be missing
a significant portion of their audience," said Warren Storey, ICOM VP,
in a statement. "For example, a consumer goods company that relies heavily
on a female audience, especially moms, could fall short of expectations if it
uses only the social media channel. Companies need to employ a multi-channel
approach to gain maximum engagement with their customers."
The 2010 study
covered 2,569 U.S. households and 2,209 Canadian households.
Discussion Questions: Are online marketing campaigns, particularly those
tapping social media, being negatively affected by privacy and trust issues?
Is the marketing community generally overestimating the capabilities of reaching
consumers through social media now and even in the future?
- Young Adults
Strongly Prefer Offline to Online Sources for Marketing Offers, Research
Reveals – Epsilon