Consumer Research Shows Impact of Credit Crunch on Marketing Communications

Over the last few months there have been contrasting views about the state of the marketing industry from the latest Bellweather and DMA reports. However, in a recent consumer survey, EuroDirect have established that the credit crunch is in fact having quite an impact on the B2C marketing industry, but not in quite the way we would have imagined.

In a recent survey across 5,000 consumers using CAMEO with Attitude, EuroDirect have identified that over 30% of consumers have seen a reduction in the overall amount of direct marketing communications that they have received since the credit crunch first started to take hold.

  • The worst hit marketing channel appears to be Direct Mail with 19% of consumers seeing a reduction in the marketing mail that drops through their letterbox.

  • Second in line is telemarketing with 17% of consumers noticing less direct telesales activity to their home.

  • Although deemed a cheaper channel, Email Marketing Communications have also been hit with 10% of consumers having seen a reduction in emails that they receive.

  • SMS marketing is the least hit marketing channel with only 7% of consumers having seen a reduction in the number of marketing text messages they have received to their mobiles.

Interestingly, the reduction in marketing communications seems to have had the most impact on the higher economic groups, whereas consumers in less affluent and poorer neighbourhoods don't appear to have seen much impact in the number of marketing communications they receive.

Those consumers who were more likely to have seen a drop in direct marketing tend to be affluent couples, singles and families living in expensive properties within council tax bands E to I, with those in the most expensive bandings seeing the biggest drop. We can also see that these individuals who have seen the biggest decline are high earners with incomes over £75,000 and as with house price, the more affluent you get the bigger the reduction in DM you receive, suggesting these more affluent groups are either being targeted less, or more intelligently.

The groups which reported no reduction in the amount of direct marketing they receive were concentrated towards the low income end of the spectrum, often characterised as families and single parents earning less than £30,000 a year and often representing an above average credit risk. Typically these consumers live in properties worth less than £150,000 in council tax bands A, B and C. Interesting these consumers also have less access to the internet.

Some of the lower economic groups reported SMS as the only channel they have seen a significant change in and have noticed a distinct reduction in the number of unsolicited text messages that they receive.

John Dobson, Managing Director of EuroDirect adds:
"Despite the apparent decrease in marketing communications that consumers are reporting, as yet we don't seem to be seeing a reciprocal reduction in marketing spend. This can only mean that organisations are taking a more targeted approach to their campaign activities."

"What is worrying however is that those consumers that are getting squeezed the most by the current economic environment are also those that are still being targeted with marketing offers, although if these offers lead to the consumer saving money, this can only be a good thing."