According to a recent survey from CMO Council and Worldwide Partners of more than 350 global marketing leaders, only one-fifth of brands say they are prepared to meet the demands and needs of the modern customer. Another 73% stated they are only partially prepared.
So what exactly is top of mind for today’s consumers? According to marketing leaders, the top five demands of consumers include:
- Data security – 57%
- Always-on customer support – 51%
- Relevant experiences based on language or culture – 46%
- Unified experiences across channels – 45%
- Strong brand advocacy and purpose – 39%
When it comes to data security, data breaches have made consumers much more aware of their online footprint. They will stop purchasing from companies whose personalization practices are crossing the border into creepy, they delete search history, or stop buying online altogether.
Personalized Communications and Journeys
Consumers demand personalized interactions with brands. As marketers, we have heard this for some time and are constantly adjusting our strategies to add more data to the mix, more choices and more options to appeal to a consumer’s preferences.
However, have we come to the point of offering too much as we try to appeal to every consumer need? According to research from the 2018 Accenture Interactive Personalization Pulse Report, 45 percent of customers have abandoned a site because it was too overwhelming, up from 40 percent last year.
Yes, personalization is key but it needs to be tailored to the consumer. According to the research, 80% of consumers say that no retailer or service provider has ever communicated with them in a way that felt too personalized or invasive. Of the 20 percent who have felt it was too personal, half said this was because they didn’t knowingly provide the data the brand used.
The importance of personalization is echoed in study after study, and the age of irrelevant communications and advertising is quickly coming to an end. In another study by Adlucent, 7 of 10 consumers said they prefer content that is tailored to their preferences and shopping habits. 44% of consumer stated that they are willing to provide their personal information in order to receive content and ads personalized to their preferences.
Additionally, among the research findings:
- 58% of consumers said personalized ads and content improve their perception of a brand. are 38% percent more likely to click on an ad for a brand they already know if it’s tailored to their preferences and shopping habits
- Consumers are 16% more likely to click on an ad that is tailored to their preferences and shopping habits, even if they’re unfamiliar with the brand.
Transparency is Key
Consumers want to take part in the choices they are offered. In addition to be offered choices based on past purchases, 75% of consumers stated that they would be willing to co-create profiles based on their own preferences. For example, they may create a fashion profile based on their preferences in color, style, fabric and so forth. This interactive communication with brands drives better personalization and more satisfying brand experiences.
In a report by Sprout Social, 86% of consumers think it’s more important than ever before for businesses to be transparent. Consumers defined transparency as being open (59 percent), clear (53 percent) and honest (49 percent).
Consumers are more willing to give their loyalty to brands who are transparent. In fact, 89% would give transparent brands a second chance after a bad experience, and 85% would stay with them through a crisis.
When it comes to social media 53% of consumers say that they are likely to consider a brand that’s transparent on social for their next purchase. However, not being transparent will cause 86% to take their business elsewhere.
Consumers are clearly seeking relationships with brands based on trust and openness. By being transparent, consumers are much more willing to give up their personal information to brands they trust in exchange for more relevant communications. When this first party data is used in conjunction with other rich, third-party data assets such as demographics and purchase intent, brands can go above and beyond by delivering the one-to-one personalized experiences consumers crave, and in turn, create loyal customers who will purchase time and again.
Learn how Porch Group Media can help you get to know your customers better and reach them across channels to boost your marketing success. Contact us to get started!