Hong Kong Consumers Overwhelmed by Volume of Communication/Information from Marketers

Research highlights that 41 per cent of respondents ignore the emails, direct mail and social media messages sent by brands

Hong Kong Consumers Overwhelmed by Volume of Communication/Information from Marketers

Research highlights that 41 per cent of respondents ignore the emails, direct mail and social media messages sent by brands

Hong Kong, 12 April, 2012 – According to new research from Experian, the global information services company, Hong Kong consumers are suffering from information overload and no longer respond to blanket marketing. As a result of poorly targeted communication, 47 per cent of Hong Kong respondents have stopped engaging with four or more brands. A further impact of this is four out of ten consumers (41 per cent) said they now ignore the emails, direct mail and social media messages they receive from brands.

The research of 1,046 consumers in Hong Kong, which explored how effectively the general population responds to and engages with marketing efforts, reveals a clear disconnect between the communications they want from brands and the way they are being targeted by marketers. Over a third of all respondents have actively taken the upper hand when it comes to managing the consumer-marketer relationship, with 35 per cent creating a separate email address to avoid being personally targeted by brands.

In addition, 55 per cent of consumers cited that they are very selective about what opt-ins, newsletters or updates they sign up for to ensure they are only receiving messages that are relevant to their particular interests. The importance of relevancy is further reinforced by the finding that almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of participants only actually read targeted communications that are personally relevant, with everything else being deleted or thrown away. Over a quarter (26 per cent) of consumers said the ideal frequency of brand communications is once a week while 13 per cent said it is not an issue as long as the communication is relevant.

“We’re clearly hearing from Hong Kong consumers that they feel inundated by marketing communications and as a result the majority of them are becoming more selective about the level of personal information they share and the types of information they sign up to,” said Graeme Beardsell, Experian Asia Pacific’s Chief Customer Development and Marketing Officer. “The current trend of sending undifferentiated email and SMS campaigns to consumers is not generating the impact that marketers desire. In response, marketers must start listening to consumers to drive responsive campaigns, to test and learn, and provide more personalised, one-to-one marketing communications.”

Key findings from the research “The future of multichannel marketing” are:

Consumer frustrations
• 23 per cent of consumers in Hong Kong named “inability to unsubscribe from unwanted communication (email, newsletters, direct mail, SMS alerts, social media messages)” as their number one frustration.

• 19 per cent of respondents think “receiving content that isn’t relevant or helpful” is their biggest annoyance.

• At the same time, 17 per cent of consumers feel that “receiving content that comes through at the wrong time of day” frustrates them most.

Preferred channels – it’s not all about social
• Hong Kong consumers agree that a company website is the most valuable source of information they use to look for information about a brand, with 78 per cent stating that it is a relevant or very relevant source.

• Some 68 per cent of consumers rate print media as a relevant or very relevant channel. However, it has been demoted by marketers to the bottom of the ladder, who ranked it as one of the least important ways (39 percent) that they see consumers getting information about their brand.

• Search engines (62 per cent) and social media (61 per cent) are also valued sources of information, ranking third and fourth respectively.

• Mobile apps (48 per cent) and LinkedIn (26 per cent) are perceived as the least important channels for obtaining brand or company information.

Brand Engagement
• Giveaways and incentives (39 per cent) is the number one way for brands to engage the Hong Kong consumer.

• Brand experiences, stunts and interactive content (18 per cent) are the next favourite means of engagement closely followed by social media (15 per cent).

• The least preferable means of engagement were mobile apps (3 per cent) and telephone marketing (1 per cent).

“Consumers are telling us that print media is still a very relevant channel and a more valuable source of information than some digital channels marketers are turning to,” said Beardsell. “The medium is just as critical as the message when it comes to engagement. Consumers want to have a dialogue with brands and know that a brand values their view and provides an intelligent and timely response via their preferred channel. It’s really important that marketers align the delivery of the message with their desired audience via the most appropriate channel at a relevant time. Only then will they succeed.”


Notes to editors
The research is part of an in-depth whitepaper on “The future of multichannel marketing’,” by Experian Marketing Services. To receive a copy of the whitepaper, please contact enquiry@hk.experian.com  

Experian Marketing Services commissioned independent research with 300 Hong Kong marketing professionals across the retail, financial services, government, technology, digital and travel industries; and 1,046 consumers across all demographics to develop an industry whitepaper on the current state of play in consumer marketing.

The independent research reveals how well marketers’ and consumers’ interests are aligned. It demonstrates where marketers in Hong Kong are investing their dollars and which channels they value most highly in their communication. From a consumer perspective, it explores how effectively the general population in Hong Kong responds to and engage with marketing efforts.

About Experian Marketing Services
Experian Marketing Services delivers best-in-breed data, analytics and platforms into multiple regions around the globe. It is focused on helping marketers more effectively target and engage their best customers through email, digital advertising, customer data management, customer and competitive insight, data enrichment and list rental, modeling and analytics, and strategic consulting. Through these capabilities, Experian Marketing Services enables organizations to encourage brand advocacy, create measurable return on investment and significantly improve the lifetime value of their customers.

About Experian
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.

Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com
For more information on Experian Asia Pacific, visit http://www.experian.com.hk  

Experian and the marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc.

Margaret Lam
Experian Public Relations
+852 2839 5276