75% of consumers find many forms of marketing personalization creepy, new study says
- Seventy-five percent of consumers find many forms of marketing personalization at least somewhat creepy and 40% of brands admit to being creepy, according to new research by customer experience intelligence platform InMoment made available to Marketing Dive.
- About half of consumers surveyed for the group's "2018 CX Trends Report" said they keep shopping with brands after a creepy experience, but 22% reported leaving for other brands. Millennials reported experiencing creepy marketing strategies from banks (56%), healthcare companies (52%) and technology companies (51%).
- After a bad experience with a brand, 20% of consumers reported being angry, while brands assumed the number is only 10%. One in five consumers tell friends about marketing experiences that they consider creepy, and one in 10 share "Big Brother-type experiences" on social media. Nearly half of consumers, or 46%, say they hesitate to give away information because they feel like they don't receive value from disclosing the information.
As consumers demand relevant, high-quality marketing in the digital age, true one-to-one personalization is one of the goals brands are striving toward. While certain levels of personalization are essential in driving consumer engagement online, it's easy — and clearly common — to take things too far. At the same time, a lack of personalization cost businesses $756 billion, collectively, in 2016, according to Accenture, underpinning the fine line marketers must walk when targeting customers.
The InMoment report also shows the disconnect between the experiences marketers think they're delivering and how consumers actually feel about them. When it comes to positive brand experiences, 68% of consumers reported having had them in the past year while brands said that 84% of their customers had positive experiences. In terms of what delivers those positive experiences, respondents valued personalization in the forms of exclusive content or a VIP treatment but seemed to care less when it only made interactions easier or when they received personalized recommendations.
Some of the creepy experiences that consumers reported from brands include invasiveness, being stalked or watched and being asked for personal information that seemed irrelevant to the campaign. Creepy brand experiences are having a strong impact on millennials, in particular, 22% of whom reported having had a creepy brand experience, per InMoment. Millennials care about where they share their personal data, so marketers that are transparent about how data will be used will have the best luck connecting with the age segment.
Another key takeaway from the InMoment report is that consumers, especially millennials, want a choice in how they engage with a brand, and that can include digital or in-person experiences. Marketers are always looking for the next new thing to grab consumers' attention, such as virtual reality or video, but consumers are most appreciative of the basics, like delivering on promises, providing memorable and emotional experiences and making them feel valued.
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