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What communications close the sale?

In our “Personalized Marketing…” post from a few days ago I referenced the 2024 Global Trends Index from Marigold. This paper reports findings from a global survey of more than 10,000 consumers. That post focused on privacy and personalized marketing. But the Marigold study included other interesting consumer insights and I am going to write a few blog posts that dig into different aspects of the study.

As you read these findings, keep in mind the methodology of the study as it includes a range of consumers from around the world. The description of the methodology in the report: “For the 2024 Global iteration, Marigold, in conjunction with Econsultancy, surveyed a total of 10,394 consumers from the following regions: Australia and New Zealand, the Benelux Region, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”

The terminology used in this study might be confusing, at least compared to how we use key terms in Essentials of Marketing. You will see that pages 12-18 of this study are titled “Marketing Channels,” but we would call these different media (or possibly communication channels). The survey asks respondents, “Have you made a purchase from any of the following in the last 12 months?” with five options: a) email, b) social media ad, c) social media post, d) SMS/MMS (text message), and e) banner ad. The best way to interpret these results in our textbook may be to consider which of these Promotion methods leads to a purchase (see Chapter 13, purchase funnel). An instructor might want to post the Purchase Funnel exhibit from the textbook and then slide 15 from this report.

The results are compared across generations (see report page 15); these kinds of findings allow me to remind my students the importance of knowing their target market. For example, while only 33% of Gen Z consumers answered “email,” 62% of Boomers selected this option. Alternatively, relatively fewer Boomers responded “social media ad” or “social media post” (33% and 23% respectively) compared to Gen Zs (51% and 48%) and Millennials (56% and 53%). Text messages and banner ads seem to perform similarly (poorly) for all generations (~20-25%).

Another lesson to drive home with these findings is to keep in mind Promotion objectives (Chapter 13) and trust of the source (Chapter 16). In Chapter 15, we note that banner ads can be useful to build brand image, which happens at an earlier place in the purchase funnel than where the questions on this survey are referring. And in Chapter 16, we share findings from a study that shows text ads on mobile phones are the least trusted sources of information about a brand (although banner ads and ads on social networks are not a whole lot better on that score).

While these insights appear to be a most useful supplement to your coverage of Promotion, generations (Chapter 3), segmentation and targeting (Chapter 4) and consumer behavior (Chapter 5) might also benefit from some of these current insights.

Note that the image in this post was generated using ChatGPT and DALL-E3.

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