Teens and young adults most receptive to direct mail

7th Sep 2010

Despite common preconceptions, 15 to 24 year olds are highly receptive to direct mail and are the most likely demographic to purchase goods and services on the high street after having done research online.

These are the findings of a study undertaken by information services firm Experian using its Mosaic TrueTouch consumer classification tool. The research found that, while consumers of more than 65 years old are the most responsive to direct mail, the second most like audience to engage are shoppers aged 15 to 24.

Nigel Wilson, managing director of Experian’s marketing information services unit, said: “At first glance, it might be surprising that in the age of digital interaction, young people are so receptive to a traditional channel like direct mail but, in reality, advances in marketing technologies have increased receptiveness towards this channel.”

This is because, for example, some brands now include 2D discount barcodes in their messages that can be scanned using compatible mobile phones, he added.

People aged between 46 and 64 are the least likely to take direct marketing on board, however, as they have been over-marketed to in the past using this channel and so are the most indifferent to it.

For direct marketing to translate into sales among retired people who are either affluent or live in rural areas, meanwhile, it is important to include face-to-face engagement in the marketing mix as these demographics tend to make purposeful visits to the high street with a specific purchase in mind.

Young consumer groups, particularly well-educated city dwellers and those living in terraced housing in diverse multicultural inner city areas, are, however, the most likely group to buy goods and services in-store, which again indicates that brands should use a mixture of online and offline resources in their marketing mix.

“Younger UK consumers will engage with offline and online channels not only to get the best price, but also to get their hands on the products as quickly as possible after purchase. After researching items and price comparisons on the internet, they will then purchase from the high street rather than wait for delivery,” said Wilson.

The situation was a reflection of the attitude of the ‘I want it now generation’, who used a cross-channel approach to get the most out of their shopping experiences, he added.

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