US consumers find new marketing techniques less acceptable than traditional ones

MUMBAI: Companies that heavily promote their products would do well to heed this piece of information.

A survey, conducted in the US, shows that traditional marketing methods are acceptable practices over non-traditional techniques.

Traditional methods such as paid advertising (74 per cent to 93 per cent), corporate sponsorships (70 per cent to 89 per cent) and paid spokespersons (64% to 87%) are acceptable practices. Newer methods such as paying private citizens to promote products

(45 per cent to 57 per cent), Internet pop-up ads (16 per cent to 30 per cent) and text messaging (17 per cent to 23 per cent) are seen as acceptable marketing practices by fewer respondents.

The survey is called Executive, Congressional and Consumer Attitudes Toward Media, Marketing and the Public Relations Profession was conducted by Harris Interactive and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Foundation. The general public, Fortune 1000 business executives and congressional staffers participated.

In terms of product placements, respondents within each group surveyed expressed a range of opinions largely based on the venue for where the product is being promoted. Fewer general consumers (38 per cent), executives (24 per cent) and congressional staffers (34 per cent ) say that product placement in schools (such as vending machines) is acceptable, while much larger percentages (55 per cent to 73 per cent) say that it is acceptable to market products through paid placement in movies and TV shows.

From 50 to 65 per cent of respondents in each of the three groups surveyed think it's acceptable for companies to secure news coverage for products, services and issues. That said, vast majorities (71 per cent to 89 per cent) in each group believe that the government should require TV news programmes to identify video news stories that are produced by companies or organisations.

PRSA president and CEO, Judith T. Phair, says, "The survey supports the position that PRSA and others took in the past two years that there is no groundswell for government regulation of marketing practices. Majorities of general consumers (64 per cent), executives (87 per cent) and congressional staffers (69 per cent) think the government does about the right amount of regulation or that it should do less to regulate marketing practices."

Harris Interactive's,Katherine Binns, says, "Consumers, executives and Capitol Hill staff pay close attention to how companies market their products and services. And, there seems to be general agreement as to what an acceptable marketing practice is. These findings can serve as a guide post for companies - a list of 'dos and don'ts - for developing promotional strategies so companies don't turn away the key constituencies that they are trying to connect with."

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