Display adverts preferred during Covid-19 crisis, as many consumers rate email and social ads ‘too overwhelming’

Channel choice and relevance critical during coronavirus as research reveals consumers’ ad preferences

London, 21st April: Consumers are happy with the amount of display ads currently shown by brands but feel overwhelmed by email and social media marketing, research from Epsilon-Conversant and CJ Affiliate has shown.

The study of 4,045 consumers across five regions revealed that the majority (87%) of consumers don’t think they are seeing too many display ads from brands, demonstrating that across every demographic group, display is considered the least obtrusive or overwhelming channel they’ve been exposed to.

In contrast, more than half (47%) of consumers feel they are receiving too many email marketing messages and another third (35%) are overwhelmed by the amount of social media marketing. British consumers in particular are receiving too many social media marketing messages, with this figure rising to 44%. 

It’s not just what you say but also how you say it,” said Elliott Clayton, SVP Epsilon-Conversant. “Many of us will have experienced an influx of email newsletters ‒ perhaps even some we didn’t know we signed up to. If not sent in a relevant and timely fashion, and in a way that is properly aligned to consumers’ needs this could be more of a turn off than showing customers you care. It can be done well, but it takes understanding, thought and time.”

The research also unveiled different demographic advertising preferences, with some groups feeling more overwhelmed by email marketing than others. For example, almost two-thirds (61%) of Gen Z believe they are sent too many marketing emails, alongside those currently looking for work (55%). The opposite is true for those who are retired, with just over a third (34%) stating that they feel overwhelmed by emails.

However, the study did show that email and other channels have their place. More than a third (38%) of consumers do want to receive email marketing from brands during coronavirus. For those living in urban areas, email is their favourite means for receiving brand communications (39%), contrasting with those in suburban or rural areas who favour TV ads (40%).

“This is an opportunity for brands to better reach and communicate with their customers – talking the language they want to hear and also finding and speaking with them when and where it suits them. It’s important that marketers have the right tools to understand this nuance - those marketers who are able to understand and adapt to this will stand a much better chance of success during these difficult times,” concluded Clayton.

About Epsilon-Conversant

Positioned at Publicis Groupe's core, Epsilon-Conversant is a leader in interaction management, empowering brands to transform ordinary customer experiences into meaningful, human experiences. Through a connected suite of products and services, Epsilon-Conversant combines leading-edge identity management, industrial strength data and technology expertise with big brand acumen gained over five decades working with the industry’s top brands. Our human-powered, data-led marketing delivers unmatched depth, breadth and scale to help brands turn meaningful human interactions into exceptional business outcomes.

About CJ Affiliate

With over 20 years of experience, we are the most trusted and established name in affiliate marketing. Located across 14 offices worldwide, our employees are dedicated to delivering innovative solutions and strategies designed to drive big results. We dig deep and tackle the tough questions for our clients. As part of Publicis Groupe, our access to unparalleled data allows us to offer a truly customer-centric approach to affiliate marketing.