Irrelevant marketing drives growth of ‘Deletist Consumer’
Friday March 13, 2015 at 11:58am
UK consumers have developed a tough set of coping mechanisms to deal with a growing volume of irrelevant messages from retailers, according to new research. The findings, from the Aimia Institute, show that 69% of Britons are closing down accounts and subscriptions and ‘unfriending’ companies as a result of poorly targeted communications. The research shows how consumer attitudes have hardened over the past three years. In 2012, over a third (35%) of people were deleting or only reading the title of text messages and emails from companies. Today, they are going one step further, with over half (58%) of individuals opting out of the majority of email communications completely. This trend of cutting ties may well continue if businesses don’t alter their approach, as three-quarters (74%) of those surveyed say they receive too many emails from brands, with 19% saying they can’t handle the current volume. As a result of this over messaging, 57% of consumers are already taking steps to actively avoid companies, 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%) .These behaviours have given rise to a new type of digitally literate consumer, which Aimia has dubbed the ‘Deletist Consumer’. Characterised by their unforgiving attitude to brands, they will pull the plug on receiving communications entirely if they receive irrelevant, impersonal marketing messages. However, for brands that are seen to get their communications right, over half (52%) of people willingly share their personal details to receive relevant offers. Sainsbury’s, eBay and Nationwide were among those identified as getting their digital communications mix right for their customers. Martin Hayward (pictured), senior vice president, global digital strategy and futures at Aimia, says: “Retailers have never had so much data at their fingertips, nor have they had so many channels available to them to communicate with their customers. 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”. The Aimia research shows that only one in five (20%) people say they receive very relevant information from supermarket brands, and significantly less say the same about communications from banks (13%), food and drink brands (11%) and technology brands (12%). Hayward continues: “Brands must earn the right to contact their customers. 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.” The Aimia Institute (www.aimiainstitute.com) is the marketing thought leadership centre for data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company Aimia Inc. Aimia Inc. has 4,000 employees in 20 countries and partners with groups of companies (coalitions) and individual companies to help generate, collect and analyze customer data and build actionable insights. It operates through its own coalition loyalty programs such as Aeroplan in Canada and Nectar in the UK, and through provision of loyalty strategy, program development, implementation and management services to a range of clients in industries including fast-moving consumer goods, retail, financial services and travel and airlines.