Retail marketing over-kill is fuelling mass defections

mobileRetailers are still struggling to master their data-driven marketing, with the vast majority of shoppers hitting the unsubscribe button following claims that some are being bombarded with offers almost by the hour.
That is according to new research commissioned by Engage Hub, which shows that 90% of UK consumers have unsubscribed from communications in the past 12 months, with nearly half (46%) saying this is because they received too many messages from brands.
In addition, a third of respondents said they were unhappy with the frequency they receive offers or updates from retailers; nearly a quarter (24%) revealed they receive at least one a day, while 15% said they receive offers even more frequently than that.
As well as receiving too many messages, nearly a quarter of UK consumers (24%) said they unsubscribed from a retailer because the messages they received were irrelevant to them. In fact, 15% said retailers never send them offers or updates that are relevant to them.
This, the research suggests, has a significant impact for retailers given that one in 10 UK consumers (11%) would consider shopping elsewhere if they continued to receive irrelevant communications from a retailer, while 68% would simply unsubscribe.
Commenting on the findings, Simon Brennan, vice president of sales Europe at Engage Hub, said: “Retailers need to change tact. Poorly targeted, ‘spray and pray’ style marketing campaigns generate the most spam complaints, and the majority of such communications remain unopened. This not only undermines a retailer’s spend on direct marketing ROI but also it also turns customers away as they quickly become disengaged with a brand that doesn’t treat them as an individual.
“Modern marketing is increasingly reliant on harnessing real-time data to drive more meaningful, memorable and effective conversations with customers. Retailers, therefore, need to focus on crafting contextual, highly personalised content that draws the customer in, rather than making them hit the delete button or mark it as spam.
“And this is where leveraging data, from transactions and interactions that customers have already had with a brand, proves invaluable. Having a holistic view of subscribers, by consolidating CRM data and marketing activity across multiple channels, will ensure consumers aren’t bombarded with irrelevant messaging.”
The Engage Hub research also found retailers failing when it comes to personalisation. Nearly half of UK consumers (46%) said they would be more encouraged to click through to purchase if promotional offers were tailored to their likes and dislikes, indicating that there is a level of personal information they are willing to share if asked.
There were a number of other factors that would encourage consumers to click through to purchase on communications, including the timing of a communication (18%) and offers tailored to the consumer’s location.
Nearly a fifth of respondents said they would also be more encouraged to click through to purchase if offers were sent to them via their preferred channel of communication. Yet just 21% said that retailers always deliver offers and promotions to them this way.
Email was considered as the channel of choice for the majority of UK consumers (62%), yet nearly one in five (17%) would most like to receive communications from retailers via social media – making this the second most popular channel for UK consumers.
But there are notable differences for some key demographics, and whereas considerably more (68%) aged 65 or older prefer communications over email, those aged between 18 and 24 (50%). Conversely, social media is the preferred communication channel for 26% of that younger age group, and only 11% of those 65+.
Brennan added: “Messages tailored to a customer’s location alone isn’t enough. Personalisation based on the whole customer profile is essential to maximise real time location-based customer engagement and marketing messages. By bringing real time demographic data, location triggers, channel preferences and behavioural information into one single platform, marketers, customer services and IT teams can work collaboratively to manage information better.”

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