Consumers reportedly have a very cynical view of the longevity of certain communications channels, according to new research. The study conducted by email service provider, Mailjet reveals that consumers in the UK and France believe Facebook will be one of the only platforms to last through the next decade.
Only 11 per cent of people are think Pinterest and LinkedIn will be used in a decade and only 14 per cent are confident that Snapchat will still exist, even though its parent company IPOed earlier this year.
The findings reveal that email is the platform most people think we will definitely still be using in ten years’ time (41 per cent), followed by Facebook and private messaging apps like WhatsApp (26 per cent). Over 60s are now just as confident we’ll be using Facebook in 10 years’ time as young adults.
“Whilst new platforms like Snapchat are creating buzz amongst certain demographics at the moment, email endures as a channel that consumers look to,” says Mailjet marketing manager, Josie Scotchmer. “As email evolves to suit the needs of consumers through responsive design and personalisation techniques, it is allowing brands to innovate to reach consumer audiences directly and with highly targeted, relevant messages.”
More than a third of the surveyed consumers haven’t noticed a single major update on most communication platforms. Only 6 per cent noticed Instagram’s ‘buy button’ and only 8 per cent saw the platform’s Explore page change. In addition, 15 per cent find brand videos on Snapchat or Facebook intrusive and only 14 per cent want to use live streams.
With GDPR on the horizon, shopping site Lyst’s CRM director, Chris Pook believes that brands will need to reinforce its strategies in the near future. “GDPR will increase data protection, enforce stricter data privacy rules and introduce double opt-in, meaning brands will have to be far more careful with their communications. While we have never had an ‘opt-in’ for brand ads on social, channels can learn from one another,” he explains. Email, for example, has responded to the way consumers use websites by building more interactive content with microsite style layouts, making emails shop-able, he adds. “As a steadily evolving format which consumers are acclimatised to, there’s a lot the giants of the social realm can learn from email as it continues to innovate and mature.”
Personalised marketing: brands still have a long way to go
While consumers may not notice changes in brand communications immediately, they do realise when communication isn’t tailored to them, which is the biggest pain point according to the study. In the UK, one in four said that brands still need to focus on getting personalisation right. More than half want communication that focuses on the product, rather than features that detract from the product.
“Personalisation isn’t something the modern shopper is daunted by anymore. Consumers are calling for brands to use technology in ways that make their experiences more relevant. Increasingly we will see brands building saliency through personalised design elements that are guided by behavioural data insights,” Pook adds.
Currently, grocery brands connect with consumers best according to 42 per cent of those surveyed, followed by tech brands. In the UK, auto brands, beauty brands and fashion brands are rated as less effective in their marketing efforts than the NHS and political parties, suggesting a lot of room for improvement for consumer brands. Even with brands like Dove and BMW often being praised for its branding campaigns and e-commerce strategies, this study suggests that consumers are now more than ever interested in getting to the point.
Email is still king
Consumers in both UK and France want brands to use real-time and location-based emails, as well as emails tailored to the products consumers have researched or purchased. Nearly a third of those surveyed are also looking for the ability to shop or checkout directly within an email to make the experience easier. The look and feel of those messages is also important; 41 per cent want to receive emails that navigate or scroll well and a third value attractive email design.
Over a third want to see brands communicate with them using videos of products. This is most important for the younger audience, with 52 per cent of 16 to 29 years old demanding video content compared to 21 per cent of over 60s. Similarly, the younger demographic demand interactive ads to keep them engaged with products on offer.
Mailjet’s Scotchmer believes that the study gives brands insight into how to appeal to an ever-changing and time-poor demographic. “Brands must stay up to speed with consumer behaviour and often this means experimenting with new techniques and tech that enables this, such as real-time or location-based services, or responding to the fact that younger people have shorter attention spans and therefore require digestible, snappy content,” she says. “Ultimately, brands need to create communications that makes the customers’ experiences better. People want convenient experiences in email that make it easier to purchase; our findings show that relevancy is critical above all else.”