Building Brand Trust in the Age of Information Overload

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By Published On: June 11, 20240 Comments

Intuit Mailchimp has shared insights from its new research report, revealing the way consumers receive marketing, and how to cut through the noise.

New research has revealed that Australian consumers have a low tolerance for poor marketing communications, prioritising trust and connection (and free delivery!) above all else with retailers.

Global financial technology platform Intuit, the platform behind TurboTax, Credit Karma, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp, has released a new report, Brand Trust In the Age of Information Overload, which reveals how businesses can best connect with customers in today’s climate. 

Brand trust and connection is a top factor that drives sales with 46 percent of Australian shoppers.

On top of that, forty-seven percent predictively look for free delivery, 45 percent seek out regular discount codes and rewards, 41 percent value excellent customer service, and both free returns and quick shipping entice 38 percent of shoppers.

When breaking it down to a generational level, for those aged over 65, the key purchase drivers were trust (60 percent) and excellent customer service (55 percent); while those aged 18 to 24 were also led by trust (40 percent), they were driven by other characteristics such as discounts (39 percent) and environmental impact (36 percent). 

Personalised marketing is especially well-received among 18-to-34 year-olds, too. Over half of this group in Australia (61 percent for 18-to-24s and 64 percent for 25-to-34s) believe that the future of personalisation means they won’t be searching for products and services, but the right products and services will be coming to them.

“As businesses continue to grapple with a challenging economic environment, it’s never been more important for Australian brands to build trust and engage with their customers. When brands deliver personalised messaging and targeted product recommendations, they demonstrate that they understand their customers on a deeper level—and our data says consumers increasingly see these kinds of tailor-made brand interactions as the future,” said Adam Anger, Chief Sales Officer at Intuit Mailchimp. “By embracing authenticity, transparency, and advanced personalisation, marketers can forge the kinds of deep relationships that transcend passing trends.”

Australian consumers will unsubscribe if a brand sends more than three emails per week, the lowest number of all countries surveyed.  

Some of the top reasons that lead Australian consumers to unsubscribe from brand emails include repetitive or unimaginative emails (49 percent), unsubstantiated claims about brand purpose (43 percent), not being able to view an email properly on their device (43 percent) and interestingly, biassed/partisan commentary on social or political issues (35 percent).

Despite trust coming out top, nearly a third (34 percent) of shoppers have started trusting in brands less amidst the rise of misinformation. 

Intuit has shared the following advice to marketers for building trust and driving sales:

Focus on quality service: A proven track record of excellent customer service ranks highly as a driver for both purchases and engagement. This ranked higher in importance for older generations, with over half (55 percent) of those aged over 65 versus one in three aged 18 to 24 saying it was a primary purchasing factor.

Ask for data and provide value: While four in five shoppers need to be assured by brands that they’re using their data responsibly, nearly half (43 percent) are happy to share it with brands they trust. However, more than three-fifths (62 percent) want to see more value and greater personalisation in exchange for sharing data, and only just over a third (35 percent) feel they’re currently seeing the value of doing so. So while personalisation has some way to go it’s encouraging to hear that more than one in three mention it’s currently stopping them from “missing out on products” and that they are being shared information “they’re genuinely interested in”.

Galvanise brand advocates: The report revealed word-of-mouth recommendations via friends and family are the most trusted endorsements (55 percent), followed by customer testimonials and reviews (33 percent) – both much higher than content creators and influencers (10 percent). These findings underline the real value of brand advocates—true unbiased, unpaid fans. Not only will the brand benefit from the fan’s repeat purchases but also from their authentic following’s purchases (and perhaps advocacy) too. A marketing-savvy way to harness this push power and incentivise and reward can be through recommend-a-friend schemes. It’s worth underlining that a key way to restore brand trust when lost is through customer testimonials, as well (41 percent ).

Communicate transparently: For Australian consumers, the primary way to rebuild brand trust when lost is through transparency of company actions (62 percent). Notably, in the face of inflation, 53 percent stayed loyal to a brand that raised its prices transparently.

Live up to brand promise: The report reveals the most important factor that significantly impacts purchasing decisions for shoppers is “a company with values to match my own” (36 percent), so spending time on brand-building content to underline company ethics can quite literally pay off. Findings show that on the whole, customers care more about sustainability than affordability. 26 percent said they were more inclined to buy from a brand that has a positive impact on the environment, versus 16 percent who said they were more inclined to buy from a brand that is affordable but less sustainable.

Leverage smart discount strategies: Discount codes are an unequivocal sales driver. Nearly half of Australian consumers (49 percent) will look for a discount code before making any online purchase and nearly a quarter (22 percent) will delay purchases over $190 until they can get money off. But while discount codes support customer purchases and engagement, they eat away at a company’s profit. The Mailchimp report reveals the discount sweet spot for Australian shoppers: 15 percent. This is the lowest site-wide discount that would entice shoppers to click through to the website to explore potential purchases.

“It’s crucial for marketers to align with Australian customers’  evolving preferences and needs, shaping strategies that foster enduring relationships. Brands dedicated to understanding their customers and maintaining brand integrity are poised to not only earn trust but reap rewards,” concludes Adam.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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