MELBOURNE: Traditional advertising is still far more effective than digital and social media channels, a new report from Australia has claimed.

After questioning a representative sample of 9,600 Australian consumers about the best communications channels for 45 real-life scenarios, Australia Post found that 62% of respondents thought catalogues and flyers were the most effective compared to just 17% who cited social media advertising.

TV advertising was regarded as the second most effective channel, mentioned by 52%, while press advertising won the support of 40%, radio advertising 32% and personalised direct mail 29%, AdNews reported.

Australia Post, which announced earlier this month that it planned to increase its bulk mail prices by more than 13% and relies on direct mail for some of its income, suggested there is a "mismatch" between the channels consumers find most effective and the ones that attract marketing budgets.

It said the perception that there has been a "migration of eyeballs" from traditional channels to digital channels is a "myth".

Tracey Fellows, executive general manager of communication management services at Australia Post, drew on the findings to urge marketers to take more account of customers' views.

"One of the great advantages of digital channels is their enhanced measurability and the data they can generate," she said.

"However, when marketers are considering open rates, listenership figures or clicks, it can be easy to lose sight of the customer perspective – their view of your business, your messages and the methods you use to stay in touch with them."

Her comments were supported by Jodie Sangster, the CEO of the Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA).

She said: "I am also delighted to see that the research starts to dispel some of the myths that are currently influencing marketing decisions in Australia and around the globe.

"I would like to think that [these] results will challenge marketers to think differently about the channels they use to communicate with customers and how they allocate their marketing budgets to reach their audiences."

Data sourced from AdNews; additional content by Warc staff