Young consumers trust offline pitches more than online: Epsilon

Young consumers may live their lives online, but they trust offline marketing pitches more than web-based ones, according to a survey.

Eighteen-to-34-year-old consumers say offline sources are more trustworthy for a variety of product information, according to a poll by marketing services firm Epsilon. The ratio of consumers in that age group who prefer offline information to online was 3-to-1 for categories such as personal care (62% to 22%), food (66% to 23%) and cleaning products (66% to 20%). The only category where young consumers preferred online sources was travel, where 42% preferred web-based sources to 35% who preferred online information.

“A key takeaway from this research is that marketers targeting coveted 18-to-34-year-olds who are tempted to invest solely in social media could be missing a significant portion of their audience,” said Warren Storey, EVP of ICOM, the data and analytics division of Epsilon that conducted the survey.

The survey of 2,569 households in the US and 2,209 in Canada found respondents of all ages rated friends and family as the most trustworthy source of product information, followed by newspapers and company websites.

The poll also found privacy is a concern for all age groups. Thirty-six percent of US households and 38% of Canadians said mail information is more private than e-mail, compared to 29% of US respondents and 35% of Canadians in 2008. 

However, the study noted that only 25% of respondents are getting more postal mail now than a year ago, while 72% of US households and 66% of Canadians say they’re getting more e-mail.

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