Commentary

Study Says Marketing Has A Negative Connotation

Study Says Marketing Has A Negative Connotation

In a talk by Yankelovich President J. Walker Smith, at a recent AAAA Conference, he addressed the growing intrusiveness of marketing and advertising that has pushed consumer resistance to an all-time high and caused marketing productivity to plummet, according to a proprietary study by Yankelovich Partners.

Smith identified a number of reasons why marketing productivity is deteriorating, due in large part to consumers drowning in an overabundance of data and information that fails to meet their needs and desires.

According to the Yankelovich study,

  • 60% of consumers have a much more negative opinion of marketing and advertising now than a few years ago
  • 61% feel the amount of marketing and advertising is out of control
  • 65% feel constantly bombarded with too much marketing and advertising

Smith said "(Marketers have) done many things: unwanted spam and telemarketing, guerilla marketing, intrusive ads covering every blank space and less targeted, less informational communications, that create more negative views. The era of consumer resistance and control has begun."

In addition to the findings noted above:

  • 59% feel that most marketing and advertising has very little relevance to them
  • 64% are concerned about practices and motives of marketers and advertisers
  • 61% feel that marketers and advertisers don't treat consumers with respect
  • 65% think there should be more limits and regulations on marketing and advertising
  • 69% are interested in products and services that would help them skip or block marketing
  • 33% would be willing to have a slightly lower standard of living to live in a society without marketing and advertising

In the Yankelovich study,

  • 53% of consumers polled said that spam had turned them off to all forms of marketing and advertising
  • 36% of consumers polled said that the shopping experience is less enjoyable because of pressure to buy
  • 53% said that for the most part, marketing and advertising does not help them shop better.

The key to breaking through consumer resistance, concludes Smith, is to approach marketing practice as a source of competitive advantage itself instead of merely a way to communicate a message about a brand. "If we hold marketing and advertising to this standard, then rapport and respect will put an end to clutter and saturation.

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