Addressed direct mail has the strongest impact in Switzerland

In a representative online survey, the market research institute Intervista asked 1000 private individuals from German- and French-speaking Switzerland about the impact of advertising. The study clearly shows that personally addressed direct mail plays a key role in the media mix.


The study results just published were collected by the market research institute Intervista. The results initially show that the chosen media or advertising channel depends on the particular activity that Mr. or Mrs. Swiss wants to perform. Food is still preferred to be selected in stores than online; books are also still readily consumed on paper. Product comparisons - for example, in the area of insurance, electronics or the like - on the other hand primarily take place online.


Typical? TV! Effective? Addressed! 

The study also shows that TV advertising is the epitome of what people would imagine to be "typical advertising" for a large majority of people when they first think about it. However, printed media and advertising with a personal address - delivered to the mailbox or e-mail inbox - lead the field in terms of impact in many respects.


In most of the study's questions, addressed mailings perform significantly better than other types of advertising: They are paid attention to most frequently, for the longest time and most fondly. The messages have the longest lasting impact and are passed on frequently. Personally addressed direct mailings attract the most consumers to local retail outlets. In addition, they are considered by a considerable majority of respondents to be the advertising channel that inspires them the most and informs them the best. Last but not least, advertising in personally addressed mailings triggers by far the most buying impulses.


TV advertising, newsletters, advertisements and unaddressed physical mailings are in the midfield in terms of perception and impact. For some questions, these advertising channels even achieve top positions - for example, TV advertising in terms of general awareness or the e-newsletter, which motivates people to visit a provider's website.

Across the entire study, advertising on social networks and websites performed the worst. With demographic development and advancing digitization, the importance of digital channels in the placement of advertising content is probably increasing all the time. Advertising in social media has potential; for example, the youngest target group rates it, together with addressed advertising mailings, as the advertising channel with the most interesting information for them.


In short: physical mailings are relevant for effective marketing. Especially when they are intelligently linked with other channels in the media mix.


"Suitable for those who need to pay attention to advertising francs".

But what about the costs? For SMEs in particular, it is probably crucial to know how expensive or favorable addressed mailings are compared to other advertising measures. And where the keyword "personalization" comes up, there is often the prejudice that prices skyrocket.

This is a prejudice that experts would like to refute. Daniel Schönmann, Head of Research & Communication at Dialog Marketing Solutions at Swiss Post, says: "Physical advertising mailings have a very good cost-income ratio. They ensure high-quality contacts, which in turn lead to more sales and revenue. That's why this form of advertising is particularly popular in industries where advertising dollars need to be put to good use."




"Honestly, I wouldn't have thought that addressed direct mail would do better almost across the board"

Marianne Binggeli is project manager at Intervista in Bern. In an interview with she talks about the methodology of the impact study on various forms of advertising - and about which results surprised her.


Advertisingweek.chYour market research institute studied the impact of various advertising channels. Who was surveyed - and over what period of time? 

Marianne Binggeli: 1000 people were interviewed from our ISO-certified Intervista Online Access Panel. Respondents reside in German- and French-speaking Switzerland and range in age from 18 to 80. The sample was quota-stratified by gender, age, WEMF region and education, so that it is representative of the distribution of the Swiss population. The survey took place from November 5 to 22, 2019.


What methodology did you choose to obtain reliable results? 

We conducted a quantitative online survey and selected different question types (open-ended questions, single choice, multiple choice, matrices and rankings). In addition to the careful questionnaire design, our panel as a high-quality data source, the representative composition of the sample, the meaningful sample size, and the mobile friendliness of the survey software used are important for the reliability of the results.


Does the study differ in effort and subject group from previous studies done at your institute when it came to advertising effects? To put it another way: Was a particularly great deal of effort invested here in order to obtain reliable results? 

Intervista conducts a great many studies on the subject of advertising impact. These studies differ, of course, in terms of their thematic focus and scope - but not in terms of our standards for the robustness of the results. We always invest as much effort as it takes to ensure that the study results provide a valuable and reliable basis for decision-making.


Were there any results that surprised you as the study director? 

To be honest, I wouldn't have thought that addressed direct mail would score better in almost all the assessment criteria than all the other in-home advertising channels surveyed. I was also surprised to see that, even among the youngest respondents (18 to 29 years old), addressed direct mail was roughly on a par with digital advertising channels such as newsletters (e-mail) or advertising on social networks.


Were there any findings that you would have expected a priori? 

I was not surprised, for example, that certain activities continue to be preferred to be performed in analog, while others are preferably regulated digitally. It was also to be expected that television is most often associated with advertising and that advertising on social media appeals particularly to younger people.

Intervista's detailed report with many additional findings can be found at the Knowledge platform DirectPoint of Swiss Post CH be obtained.

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