Executive Summary

In the coming years, digital channels are expected to command a greater share of marketing budgets, with mobile and social channels expected to outpace all other channels in terms of growth. As a result the challenges of this proliferation of media channels, changes in consumer behaviour and performance expectations means that marketers and retailers need to intensify their efforts across all existing platforms.

As the centre of excellence for doordrop media, ELMA commissioned a global and independent market research agency in order to benchmark how European consumers perceive the media in comparison to other channels and how it impacts their behaviour in terms of advertising consumption and shopping experience.

ELMA was very pleased to learn that across each of the 22 markets, our panel of consumer households echoed overwhelmingly the fact that their preferred media for learning about retail offers was doordrops. Although they come from different backgrounds and countries, consumers were loud and clear in their consensus on a number of themes:

  • Media Preference: More than 60% of the panellists said that their preferred way to receive retail offers was via their letterbox, followed closely by TV and newspapers. The response was even more enthusiastic in the Netherlands where a staggering 80% of Dutch households stated their clear preference for doordrop media whereas only 30% of UK and Irish respondents indicated that this was the case. Across the rest of the markets, panellists embraced the media as their clear preferred channel which was particularly significant as the research was conducted online so was addressed to a multi-channel audience
  • Integration Offline / Online: Across all 22 markets, panellists were consistent in their footprints both online and offline i.e in fact 89% of consumers go online after receiving retail ads and it prompts them to search for a particular retailer or shop, however instead of typing the short URL or scanning the QR Code from the communication piece, they prefer to go through a search engine. As a result, retailers cannot truly leverage the digital integration and audience analytics.
  • Positive Attitude: More than half of respondents (55%) said that they have a positive attitude towards letterbox advertising, 84% do use it and 50% keep it for future use.
  • Increased Foot Traffic: On a European scale and within the same household up to 3 people read retail offers and 75% of panellists are prompted to visit specific shops, which converts to increased footfall for retailers.
  • Retail Ad Consumption: The challenges of consumers navigating across more and more complex media channels highlighted a great disparity in terms of Ad Consumption, whereby UK, Irish and Italian consumers showed a clear addiction to TV, whereas Hungarian and Czech consumers clearly preferred online or leaflet platforms.
  • Better Shopping Experience: Close to half of the panellists i.e 47% of households said that if retail brochures offer added value in the form of coupons and vouchers it significantly improves their shopping experience.
  • Recycling: Although European panellists were of various opinions when asked about recycling, a significant number of respondents (59%) said that they are very conscious about the environment and do recycle letterbox offers they receive. This percentage exceeded 80% in Scandinavia and DACH countries