Integrated but differential: an analysis of the preferences of marketing communication channels of consumers in Ireland

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Khandelwal, Nikhil
Issue Date
MSc Marketing with Digital Media
Dublin Business School
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Marketing communications are one of the most difficult but fundamentally vital components of modern marketing. With the explosion of new digital media options in the recent years, this challenge has been made even more complicated. These options offer new capabilities and hold much promise for marketers but at the same time, also bring great complexity to managerial decision making. With various new modern and traditional communication options available—and so many different ways to integrate those options - marketers struggle with how to make good marketing communication decisions. In particular, for most companies the issue is not whether to communicate, but rather what to say, where, to whom, and when. Although there are numerous studies conducted in this area, there is still uncertainty with regards to the views of the consumer towards various marketing communication channels. This is particularly the case in Ireland, where little research has been done in this area to date. Hence, this research explores through a quantitative analysis the question of where companies can deliver effective messages to prospective and current consumers. The goal is to bridge the knowledge gap pertaining to how the various communication channels are perceived by consumers belonging to different age groups residing in Ireland and, identifying the ones they prefer to receive marketing communications via. The results of the primary data displayed the surge in adoption of digital channels among almost all age groups and the stark downfall of traditional channels within some age groups. Even though digital channels were perceived to be providing useful and entertaining information, the traditional channels of TV and radio retained their attributes of providing trustworthy and reliable messages. The overall preferred channels to receive marketing communications by consumers residing in Ireland are Social Media, Email, Radio and Television. Additionally, the study also finds that consumers enjoy discount and coupon codes, updates about new products from their favourite brands and marketing communications that provide useful information. Furthermore, respondents in the first three age groups said email was their preferred channel to contact a company while respondents in the age group of 45 and above chose telephone number. Armed with results of this study, marketers can effectively reach the right consumers in the right way with the right message at the right time.