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Over half of consumers now “taking steps to actively avoid brands”

17th Mar 2015
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Gone are the days when brands could get away with producing a new marketing campaign for the masses, hoping that it might appeal to a segment of people large enough to justify its delivery.

According to findings from the Aimia Institute, the data company that oversees customer loyalty schemes including Sainsbury’s Nectar card, UK consumers are now actively closing off their interactions with brands that fail to provide targeted communications.

Over half (57%) of consumers are already taking steps to actively avoid companies, with a variety of methods including:

  • Unfollowing brands on social channels (69%);
  • Closing accounts and subscriptions because individuals don't like the communications they are receiving (69%);
  • Blocking numbers (59%);
  • Opting out from the majority of company email communications (58%);
  • Deleting apps because of push notifications (55%).

The research also shows that in 2012, over a third (35%) of people were deleting or only reading the title of text messages and emails from companies. Today, over half (58%) of individuals opting out of the majority of email communications completely.

“[Brands] have never had so much data at their fingertips, nor have they had so many channels available to them to communicate with their customers,” says Martin Hayward, senior vice president of global digital strategy and futures at Aimia.

“However, some brands fall into a trap of assuming permission to use these channels whenever and however they see fit. As consumers opt to take control of the communications they receive, companies that send badly targeted messages risk losing many of their customer relationships completely”.

And perhaps justifying a recent prediction from Planet Retail’s global research director, Natalie Berg, who said supermarket loyalty schemes were set to die out, Aimia’s research also found that only one in five (20%) people say they now receive relevant information from supermarket brands.

However, significantly less say the same about communications from banks (13%), while food and drink brands (11%) and technology brands (12%) fair even worse.

“Brands must earn the right to contact their customers,” Hayward adds. “They must show relevance by using data to personalise and tailor communications, and they need to select the most appropriate channel for delivery. Get these ingredients right and customer communications can be a powerful tool to build deep and long lasting relationships. Get it wrong though, and brands will find themselves cut off.”

Research from Conlumino recently calculated that more effective on and offline personalisation strategies could enhance sales by 7.8%, for retailers with an average turnover of £850m or more, equating to as much as £66 million per retailer, per year.

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