‘Be loved not needed, for personalisation to hit home’

shopping 1Marketers seeking the seemingly elusive holy grail of personalisation have been urged to wake up to the fact that it is better to be loved than needed, with double the number of consumers engaging with marketing because they know and like a brand than because they need the product.

That is according to The Push and Pull of Personalisation study from Publicis-owned data-driven marketing giant Epsilon, which reveals consumers’ feelings about a brand drive stronger engagement.

The study found that 60% of respondents engage with a marketing message because they are “familiar with and like the brand” while 56% interact because they want to know more about a new brand or product. By comparison, 37% of respondents indicated their engagement is driven by need.

The report, which includes responses from 600 consumers between 18 and 65 years of age, goes on to reveal several insights into how marketing can be helpful and additive for consumers, or when it may detract from the brand experience.

It finds that, while brands are getting better at personalised advertising, there is still room to grow: nearly two-thirds (65%) of consumers say brands have become better at personalising advertising and marketing in the past few years, but 91% see at least one irrelevant ad every single day.

Consumers also have a negative reaction when advertisers appear not to know them: over three-quarters (76%) of shoppers say they view brands negatively when they include inaccurate information about them in their advertising.

Rather more worryingly, less than half (45%) of consumers feel they have some control over how brands engage with them.

Epsilon chief marketing officer Jeff Smith said: “These findings remind marketers of the importance of creating relationships with consumers that are not just transactional, given ‘brand’ is the context in which all purchase decisions are made.

“The implication is that marketers need to stop thinking of ‘branding’ or ‘performance’ as separate and disconnected initiatives. Effective marketing and media not only capture sales in the moment, but also build relationships with your brand that drive more purchases over time.”

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