Three experts explain how brands can stop being creepy in the eyes of their customers


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It seems that every brand I talk to these days is doing their utmost to deliver a more personalised experience to their customers.

That’s great news as it is something that research shows that customers consistently say that they want and value.

However, new research from InMoment via their “2018 CX Trends Report”, finds that 75% of consumers find that most personalisation efforts are, at the very least, rated as being ‘somewhat creepy’.

Moreover, the research captured comments from customers and these shed some light on what it is about brands’ marketing efforts that they found ‘creepy’.

Here’s some of the comments that stood out for me:

“[The experience] was intrusive and too personal, and also presumptive about me and my wants and likes.”

“I didn’t like being emailed about a product I had left in a cart on a website, or emailed about products I have recently searched. Also, I do not like targeted ads on websites. It feels like I’m being stalked.”

“When I have been shopping online and a product I was looking at appears publicly on an unrelated page some time later… This makes me feel like I’m being watched and could also cause trouble if I was shopping for gifts for my family and the gifts appear on my screen at random times!”

Now, with the plethora of new technology and data that is now available to Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and marketers, mixed in with ever increasing competition and the threat of disruption from new entrants, it’s easy to see how some brands might ‘push the envelope’ over what is and what isn’t considered ‘creepy’ by their customers.

But, InMoment also found that 40% of the brands that they surveyed admitted to finding elements of their own marketing efforts ‘creepy’

That’s astonishing and runs counter to assertions, by many of these brands, that they care about their customers and that customer experience is a top priority for them.

Reputation and trust are hard earned.

But, more importantly, it is also easily lost.

Therefore, to maximize the positive impact of their personalisation efforts and stave off alienating their customers, brands should:

    1. Be asking questions like: “What is my end purpose, what is the absolute best journey my customer can take and is my personalisation efforts making that journey better?” according to Tara Kelly, President & CEO of SPLICE Software;
    2. Be taking a ‘lean’ approach to their data, where they should not be collecting data that they cannot use and that is not aligned with their overall purpose, according to Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, CMO of Mozilla; and
    3. Be willing to consider a broader set of marketing other than re-targeting, according to Jan Jensen, former CMO at Cxense, who laments that “It’s funny how creepy some of the re-targeting marketing has become. Wouldn’t it be better to maybe send someone an email saying “Hey, we noticed that you were interested in these things….” rather than stalking them through re-targeting.”

This is all good advice for brands, CMOs and marketers.

Here’s hoping that this advice is heeded and we see less and less creepiness in marketing in the coming year.

This post was originally published on here.

Thanks to Pixabay for the image.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adrian Swinscoe
Adrian Swinscoe brings over 25 years experience to focusing on helping companies large and small develop and implement customer focused, sustainable growth strategies.


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