Real-World Education for Modern Marketers

Join Over 600,000 Marketing Professionals

Start here!
Text:  A A

Marketers Undervalue Email, Overvalue Personalization

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
June 12, 2013

Although marketers are eager to build up social media, blogs, and mobile outlets, email holds more sway in the purchasing process, according to a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit and Lyris.

The report, which was based on a pair of concurrent surveys of consumers and marketing executives in the US and UK, also found that gaps exist in marketers’ perceptions of how consumers want to engage with brands, what influences their purchase decisions, and how they view privacy.

Below, key findings.

Email Preferred Over Social, Blogs

  • Consumers like social media for promotions (62%), but they predominantly prefer to learn about products via company websites (51%), email (19%), and independent websites (19%).
  • Even for younger consumers surveyed, those age 20-30, email ranked second (19%) behind company websites (48%) as the preferred way to engage with a brand—far ahead of social media sites (5%) and blogs (2%). 

Customization Over Personalization

  • Consumers surveyed said the volume of personalized marketing messages they receive has increased over the past five years. 
  • The majority (63%) said personalization is now so common that they have grown numb to it, and 33% of consumers cited superficial personalization as one of their top annoyances. 
  • Only 14% of consumers said they are more likely to read personally addressed messages, yet personalization remains the second most popular marketing strategy of the executives surveyed. 
  • Though consumers are put off by superficial personalization, they do appreciate customized product recommendations. 

'Big Data' Is a Struggle for Marketers

  • Almost half of marketing executives surveyed (45%) indicated that they lack the capacity for analyzing "Big Data." 
  • 50% of marketing executives said they have inadequate budgets for digital marketing/database management. 
  • Only 24% of marketers always use data for actionable insight. This limited competency in data analysis is viewed by 45% of executives as a major obstacle to implementing more effective strategies. 
  • Only 27% of the marketing executives surveyed said they always integrate customer data from different sources into a centralized customer database.

What Consumers Look for on Websites

  • When consumers research purchases online, 77% say they often spend their time comparing product prices and features. They prefer company channels over independent channels to do this research, by a wide margin. 
  • On the other hand, they rate independent channels as more important for subjective information, such as expert and peer reviews. 
  • Even though marketers surveyed were correct in assuming a high level of consumer interest in pricing/promotions, product features, and product reliability/warranties on websites, they attributed more importance than consumers to reliability/reputation, peer reviews, and expert opinion. 

Sign up for free to read the full article.Read the Full Article

Membership is required to access the full version of this how-to marketing article ... don't worry though, it's FREE!


We will never sell or rent your email address to anyone. We value your privacy. (We hate spam as much as you do.) See our privacy policy.

Sign in with one of your preferred accounts below:


Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

Rate this  

Overall rating

  • Not rated yet.

Add a Comment


  • by Tom Borgman Wed Jun 12, 2013 via web

    Hmmm, anything in this report about the use of product/content video Ayaz?

  • by Jim Greenway Wed Jun 12, 2013 via web

    Great information. Have shared it with my marketing team.

  • by Pete Jakob Wed Jun 12, 2013 via web

    Interesting. So email isn't dead after all - no real surprise. As long as email continues to be the main corporate method for distributing tasks, I'm sure it will be the most effective way of delivering marketing impact. Would be great to see a survey of channel approaches by "attention/impact". I think email would win hands down over social since it's difficult to ignore, stays there until you do something with it, and is at the core of your working process. Social channels make their impact only for a few minutes, tend to get ignored when you're busy, etc.

    Oh - and how did I come across this content?? Why, via a marketing profs email digest...
    Of course - several more may visit as a result of me liking it on LinkedIn/Twitter - but only over the next few hours, I suspect.

  • by Ayaz Nanji Wed Jun 12, 2013 via web

    Tom: unfortunately there was nothing in particular in the report about product/content video.

  • by Wed Jun 12, 2013 via web

    For Vahe please. Notice above in the blurp for your "Kill the Chaos of Campaign anagement." I guess it was a typo for sure.

  • by Quez Media Marketing Wed Jun 12, 2013 via web

    Email is still the king for many of the clients we work with. We would imagine that for the next five years, email will still be on top. There is no slowing it down. Here is one of our blogs about marketing with email -

  • by Gracious store Thu Jun 13, 2013 via web

    I'm very slow to believe that a lot of people appreciate email marketing. That they are will to receive personalized email

MarketingProfs uses single
sign-on with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to make subscribing and signing in easier for you. That's it, and nothing more! Rest assured that MarketingProfs: Your data is secure with MarketingProfs SocialSafe!