January 03, 2017

Marketing Charts: Why the value chain matters to the marketer


Every marketer faces the channel selection challenge — where should I invest my media spend?

Some channels are getting more buzz these days. Some are just easier to track, so it seems like customers use them more. But how do customers really want to hear from companies?

To find out, we asked 2,400 U.S. consumers in October 2016 about which channels they prefer. Read on to see their preferences along with the huge chasm in channel behavior between satisfied and unsatisfied customers that may make some marketers see their roles in the business in a new light.

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute

We split a representative sampling of the American population into two groups of 1,200 each. The first group was asked about companies they were satisfied with. The other group was asked about companies they were unsatisfied with…

Thinking about companies that you are generally [satisfied or unsatisfied] with their products/services, how often do you do the following?

Traditional channels are still popular with consumers

As you can see from the data, traditional channels were the most popular with consumers. For example, the five most popular channels for unsatisfied customers were all traditional channels — the most popular being watch TV ads, read print ads from mail (i.e. direct mail), and read print ads from newspapers and magazines.

Watching TV ads was the most popular overall channel, with 52% of satisfied customers saying they often or always do it, and 29% of unsatisfied customers saying the same.

Email was the most popular digital channel, with half of satisfied customers saying they often or always subscribe to brands’ emails, and 23% of unsatisfied customers saying they do the same.

According to this data, listening to podcasts has not become the mass medium that TV and print has as of yet. In fact, 44% of unsatisfied customers say they never or rarely listen to podcasts, and 59% of unsatisfied customers said the same.

No email marketer is an island

As I discussed above, one discovery from this chart is the channels customers are most and least engaged with. But another discovery is the difference between the preferences of satisfied and unsatisfied customers.

As you might expect, unsatisfied customers are much less likely to engage with messages in every type of media. That probably doesn’t shock you.

However, would you have realized exactly how big that gulf is? For example, satisfied customers are 117% more likely to subscribe to email than unsatisfied customers.

This is why the value chain is important to the email marketer. Following all of the email best practices is not enough — tactics like personalization or emails with big buttons and a lot of white space. The email marketer cannot live alone in a marketing silo, he or she must be actively engaged in the business to help create a satisfied customer.

Satisfied consumers are 79% more likely to watch TV ads

Or what about TV ads?  We’re just weeks away from the Super Bowl of TV advertising — the Super Bowl. But if marketers are only focused on the production value of their TV commercials, they are overlooking an essential way to get the biggest ROI from that huge media buy.

From product development, quality, and delivery to after-sales service, be the voice of the customer within the business and defend your brand.

And think beyond just those email marketing best practices or TV ad production values to the very essence of your marketing organization’s mission: to help the right customer find the right product. How does your overall marketing organization conduct itself? Consumers are much more likely to be satisfied if they feel that your company engages in customer-first marketing — that is, putting the needs of the customer before the needs of the company — another discovery from our customer satisfaction research study.

This is a big ask for most marketers. So I hope you can use the above data as a proof point within your organization to show why marketers should be present and represent the customer when key business decisions are made.

After all, as Milton Hershey, the founder of Hershey Chocolate Company, said, “Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising.”

Related resources

Customer Satisfaction Research Study (download this 55-page report with 28 charts)

Ecommerce Chart: Online shopping behaviors of Millennials versus Baby Boomers

Click here to learn how the MECLABS Institute (parent research organization of MarketingSherpa) is working with the University of Florida to develop their first University-Accredited graduate certificate

View all of the MarketingSherpa Free Resources

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