Do retailers really understand or listen to the customer? According to a report from Customology, there is a lot to learn, and ways to improve.
In the survey of Australian consumers, the report found that 74 percent of shoppers believe that brands lie to them with marketing campaigns.
“Brands invest so much in acquiring new customers,” explained Mark James, the CEO of Customology. “Yet, they treat them like transactions and a marketing database. Customers are feeling lied to and over-marketed to. Brands are not sending authentic messages to their customers which prevents them from activating the path to re-purchase. The irony is that their most profitable customer is a returning customer.”
While it may come as no surprise to brands, customers are becoming aware of the marketing fibs they’re being told. The report found that 82 percent of Australian customers can be tempered by a direct competitor.
Furthermore, 55 percent of Aussie shoppers believe they’re not being rewarded for their loyalty. While this may raise some concerns, 64 percent of shoppers said they are loyal to a brand that doesn’t offer a loyalty program.
“Brands are missing out on significant opportunities by alienating their most profitable customers. It costs a lot more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. It’s ludicrous that brands today are still offering new customers a better deal,” James said.
Marketing Strategies and Their Downfall
While marketing, remarketing, and other forms of communication are essential parts of the business strategy in an overly developed e-commerce space, it can become too much for a customer to bear.
The report found that a whopping 61 percent of Australian shoppers believe that retailers are ‘too pushy’ with their marketing campaigns, with a further 51 percent saying they’re being remarketed too often.
A further 46 percent say they are being emailed too often, with non-targeted emails filling their inboxes daily. “It’s like the customer is invisible,” said James. “Customers feel that when brands do speak to them, it’s a half-truth. We were really surprised to hear just how vocal these customers were about how brands engage with them.”
Global marketer, Joe Talcott, explained that these recent findings may ‘shock’ marketers, as they find out what makes the customer tick.
“However, I believe it’s a shock that is desperately needed,” he explained. “Customer loyalty cannot be purchased. And customers’ lives and interests reach far beyond the relationship they have with any brand. This research is a wake-up call to brands that have allowed customer communications to become rote, predictable and annoying; which I am sure is the opposite of their intended purpose.”
Is this really a shock to retailers? While it’s imperative for retailers to better understand how their customer acts, thinks and purchases, there are only so many ways to reach them without becoming a pain.
The solution can be simple, Customology explained. “The most important aspect of communication is to make all the messages relevant and tailored to the customer, and not to bombard them,” Mark James said.
“There are so many opportunities to continue the conversation; but it has to be an authentic message, sent at the right time and via the right channel.
“Smart competitors are looking for every opportunity to acquire more customers. Brands with bad customer retention strategies are most at risk. Talking ‘to’ customers, not ‘at’ them like transactions is the key to building long-term success and trust between the customer and the brand,” he said.
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