PrimeResponse has released the first set of results from a research study* and cites the world of finance - banking, credit card and insurance organisations - as the worst purveyor of junk mail.
The study revealed that the buying public believes financial services organisations, in an effort to gain more business and grow their bottom line, have forgotten how to treat consumers as individuals – and are jeopardising customer relationships.
For the first findings, PrimeResponse focused on the sectors within the financial services industry that distributed the most unwanted direct mail as well as the channel most often used for contacting the consumer (eg direct mail, telemarketing and email). It also analysed the extent to which the public is prepared to reveal information about themselves to these organisations based on different scenarios, both with and without incentives.
The most compelling results from the study were reported in the US, where respondents cited credit card companies as the worst junk mail offenders, pushing 64% of all unwanted direct mail.
Similar results were also reported in the UK, where people received most of their unwanted direct mail from credit card companies, who were responsible for more than 50% of all consumer junk mail. In France, Germany, the Netherlands and Australia – banks, building societies and credit card companies were all highlighted as the worst offenders for distributing unwanted direct mail to consumers.
Financial Services companies account for the most junk mail sent to consumers, with the exception of Germany and The Netherlands. However, in both of these cases, banks still received the second highest score.
Highest scores for countries
US – credit card companies – 64%
UK – credit card companies – 38%
France – building societies – 19%
Germany – telephone companies (fixed line) – 12%
Netherlands – charities – 24%
Australia – banks – 19%
Traditional channels, such as direct mail and telesales, are used equally for males and females. However, newer, electronic channels are focused primarily toward males. This is especially true for email, but also for text messaging and the web.
Percentage Male / Female divide
US – 60 / 64
UK – 79 / 21
France – 62 / 38
Germany – 87 / 13
Netherlands – 92 / 8
Australia – 75 / 25
“This research, which will be benchmarked in the coming years, demonstrates that companies need to listen to their customers and deliver a more personalized service, which in turn will inspire customer loyalty,” said Peter J. Boni, CEO of PrimeResponse. “Financial service organisations that are serious about excelling in this new economy must look to leaders like Chase Manhattan Bank, E*Trade, Allianz, Credit Suisse and others that continuously test their people and all available technologies to maximise every customer interaction.”
* Junk Mail Offenders in the New Economy The initial findings are from the first in a four-part global research study that gathered feedback from consumers in Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK and USA. To conduct this study, PrimeResponse commissioned the services of Ipsos-RSL Ltd., a subsidiary of the Ipsos-RSL group and one of Britain’s original market research agencies. The results are being released in four parts over the next four months, with the first part now available for $600, and the full report available March 2001 for $2,000.
In September 2000, PrimeResponse commissioned Ipsos-RSL to conduct the research for the study. Ipsos-RSL is the UK branch of the Ipsos group, one of the world’s largest international market research suppliers. The survey was conducted using an omnibus methodology in Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, U.K. and US In France and Germany, Ipsos-RSL used their Capibus Europe omnibus methodology, a harmonised CAPI (computer-aided personal interviewing) omnibus service, which offers a consistent methodology and collection of demographic profile information across European countries. In the remaining four markets, Ipsos-RSL used preferred suppliers to collect the data.
Sample size and details
The base sample for the study was 1,000 adults aged 15+ in all markets except Germany and Australia, where the population surveyed was age 14+, and in the United States, where the adults contacted were aged 18+.
The following demographics were collected in all countries surveyed: sex, age, region, occupation, household income, ownership of new technology, lifestage, number of individuals in the household, children in the household, age of children, marital status and Internet access.
PrimeResponse customers maximise their return on marketing investment using the [email protected] relationship marketing suite. This integrated solution helps marketers to easily create, execute and refine sophisticated direct marketing initiatives that span traditional channels (direct mail, call centers and advertising) as well as the latest electronic channels (web, email and wireless).
Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices around the globe, PrimeResponse works with many of the world’s leading companies, including 1-800-flowers.com; Allianz; AXA; AT&T Broadband; Banca Popolare di Novara; British Telecom; Chase Manhattan Bank; CIBC; CVS; Deutsche Bank; DLJdirect; E*Trade; Priceline.com; Principal Financial; Quick & Reilly; The Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia. Partners include Andersen Consulting; Business Objects; Chordiant; Clarify; DataMentors; eBusiness Advantage; Fair, Isaac; HP; IBM; MarketSoft; MarketSwitch; McCann Relationship Marketing Worldwide; Mphasis-BFL; NetGenesis; Quadstone; Quaero; SPSS, Sun Microsystems; and Viador.