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Never focus solely on digital media if you want to keep consumers on board

8th January 2013

If you want to keep your customers happy there are some marketing strategies you should avoid. Research carried out by fast.MAP among consumers found that some PR and sales tactics will keep them away. For example, if you want to cause maximum brand damage among customers, charge for printed information. Charging for printed brochures would alienate more than three in five of both customers and prospects.

Two other big no-nos are:

1. Releasing product information and offers via social media alone. This will alienate half of both customers and prospects.

2. Failing to provide offline versions of invoices and statements. Two in five customers and almost half of prospects think less of a company which refuses to offer this service.

One surprising finding is that despite the immense popularity of social media sites, fewer than one in ten customers and prospects think less of a company because it doesn’t have a social media presence.

Thinking of a company that you currently deal with or buy from, which of the following would make you think less of that company?

Source: fast.MAP Marketing-GAP Report

Discussing the implications of the study for PROs and marketing professionals, David Cole, MD of research company fast.MAP says: “The study revealed that marketers hugely underestimate the brand damage caused by charging for printed information and massively overvalue the popularity of the digital media communication. It’s surprising that those with brand responsibility don’t know these basic facts about the people they are creating communication strategies to reach.”

For a company that you don't use, but might in the future, which of the following would make you think less of that company?

Source: fast.MAP Marketing-GAP Report

Cole advises making sure in advance that a particular type of communication is welcome: “PROs could easily test all aspects of communication to avoid devaluing their most valuable asset – the brand – and simultaneously check the effectiveness of the message, communication route and targeting to maximise return on investment.”


Data and analysis is from the eighth (2012) fast.MAP Marketing-GAP Report, launched by fast.MAP in 2005 and tracking annually since then. The report is sponsored by Market Reach, part of Royal Mail; and produced in partnership with the Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) and Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM). The questionnaire was broadcast during July/ August 2012 and completed by more than 1,000 consumers on the fast.MAP panel which mirrors the UK’s demographic profile.

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