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Consumer research: Display adverts preferred during Covid-19 crisis

Consumers are happy with the amount of display ads currently shown by brands but feel overwhelmed by excessive and irrelevant email and social media marketing - proving relevance is key - new research from Epsilon-Conversant and CJ Affiliate shows.

The study of 4,045 consumers across five regions reveals 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%.

An issue of relevance

“It’s not just what you say but also how you say it,” explains 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 unveils 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 does 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," continues Clayton.

"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.”