Consumers Are Marketing Saturated: Yankelovich

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Consumer resistance to marketing is at an all-time high, causing marketing productivity to plummet, according to a recent study by Yankelovich Partners.

Consumers are drowning in an overabundance of data and information that doesn’t meet their needs and desires, Yankelovich President J. Walker Smith said during a speech at the American Association of Advertising Agencies conference in Miami on Thursday.

Marketers need to reverse this trend by moving away from the current pattern of marketing saturation, clutter and intrusiveness and creating a model where companies focus more on what consumers really want, he said.

According to the Yankelovich study, 60% of consumers have a more negative opinion of marketing and advertising now than a few years ago; 61% feel the amount of marketing and advertising is out of control; and 65% feel constantly bombarded with too much marketing and advertising.

“Marketers haven’t done a lot to create positive views of their industry,” said Smith. “But they’ve done many things — unwanted spam and telemarketing, guerilla marketing, intrusive ads covering every blank space and less targeted, less informational communications — that create more negative views. It’s time for marketers to focus their business models on how to better deliver the kind of marketing that consumers really want, instead of assuming consumers are happy with fending off a daily deluge of marketing.”

The survey also found that 59% feel most marketing and advertising has very little relevance to them, and 61% feel most marketers and advertisers don’t treat consumers with respect. Sixty-five percent think there should be more limits and regulations on marketing and advertising, while 69% are interested in products and services that would help them skip or block marketing.

One third of respondents said they would be willing to have a slightly lower standard of living to live in a society without marketing and advertising.

“Marketing saturation models only work when more marketing creates a noticeable breakthrough that consumers welcome,” Smith said. “The traditional assumption that consumers can deal with clutter by self-selecting what to watch ignores the evidence to the contrary – that choosing from a super-abundance of options makes consumers less likely to choose at all.”

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