Is a tablet not something you take for a headache?

by Graham Dodd on 05/10/2012

This week Neal and I attended the launch of the 2012 fast.MAP Marketing Gap report and once again it was a scary experience, in more ways that one.

If you are not familiar with the survey, it compares the answers of 1,140 adults recruited from fast.MAP’s 30,000 closed panel whose profile echoes that of the UK’s population on age and profile, with those of 353 marketers drawn from fast.MAP’s marketing professionals’ panel and the membership of both the IPM and IDM.

And boy are there some differences!

What’s really scary, given that the Gap is now in its 8th year, is that year on year, marketers do not appear to have learned very much from the findings of previous reports!

The report is comprehensive and covers a wide range of topics and issues.

Our eyes naturally gravitate towards sections which affect our door drop business; directly or indirectly.

Bearing in mind the recent Valassis coupon redemption trends report, which particularly from a door drop perspective showed the popularity of coupons with consumers is increasing as they redeem more and more, the coupon section was always going to be of primary interest to us.

A question about the redemption of different valued coupons confirms the significant, growing trend to redeem, but one which is vastly under estimated by marketers.

When you read statements like “since 2006, marketers have persistently and massively under estimated the power of a relatively small value to motivate the use of a coupon and this year is no exception” don’t you have to worry?

If you are not worried yet, consider the follow up statements that “oddly, marketers expect only half as many people to occasionally redeem coupons as the 62% who do. They also over estimated the number who never redeem by an incredible 350%!”

When we talk to clients including agencies, about marketing spend, there has inevitably in recent years been evidence of huge swathes of budget being switched from traditional media (often print) into all things digital/online/social.

I don’t think I’m the only old dinosaur who in recent times has bemoaned the number of marketers seemingly seduced by these ‘new’ opportunities, so I was interested in what the report had to say these seemingly popular methods.


“Marketers over estimated the percentage who “often follow on Facebook” by 250% and under estimated the number who would never do so by 110%, but they were almost correct in judging those who would sometimes do so”.

“Marketers under and over estimated the Twitter percentages in the same way, though by even greater margins of error”.

“Marketers (as has emerged as a common theme throughout) massively over estimate the power of social networks. They also over value the power of demonstrations by 600%”.

If you have yet to read the report we would urge you to do so. I will happily send you the report – please request your copy here.

It covers a wide range of subjects; direct mail, SMS and social media, data protection, TPS and fundraising all with fascinating results and many with scary comparisons.

In truth, on the day, we also found ourselves questioning some of the speakers’ contributions.

The phrase “as marketers we know” was repeatedly and almost condescendingly used, but as marketers do we?

The report seriously questions how out of touch marketers are with consumer attitudes and we thought some speakers were making too many assumptions, but perhaps based upon the report we should not really be surprised.

One speaker even suggested that as marketers “we” were perhaps a cut above the average consumer which came across as slightly arrogant, but another balanced that by emphasising the need for marketers to get in touch with their consumer side, which was probably the best piece of advice all morning.

We left with a report full of fascinating detail and scary facts, but a feeling that some of the speakers had not read it.

We will be making sure as many of our clients read it as possible though!

Well done to fast.MAP.

This article was written by...

– who has written 83 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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