London, 11 March 2015 – UK consumers have developed a tough set of coping mechanisms to deal with a growing volume of irrelevant messages from retailers. New findings from the Aimia Institute show seven in ten (69%) Britons are closing down accounts and subscriptions, and ‘unfriending’ companies as a result of poorly targeted communications.
The research shows how consumer attitudes have hardened over the past three years. In 2012 over a third (35%) of people were deleting or only reading the title of text messages and emails from companies1. Today they are going one step further, with over half (58%) of individuals opting out of the majority of email communications completely.
This trend of cutting ties may well continue if businesses don’t alter their approach, as three in four (74%) Britons say they receive too many emails from brands, and one fifth (19%) say they can’t handle the current volume.
As a result of this over messaging, over half (57%) of consumers are already taking steps to actively avoid companies including:
- Unfollowing brands on social channels (69%);
- Closing accounts and subscriptions because individuals don’t like the communications they are receiving (69%);
- Blocking numbers (59%);
- Opting out from the majority of company email communications (58%);
- Deleting apps because of push notifications (55%).
These behaviours have given rise to a new type of digitally literate consumer, dubbed the ‘Deletist Consumer’. Characterised by their unforgiving attitude to brands, they will pull the plug on receiving communications entirely if they receive irrelevant, impersonal marketing messages.
However, for brands deemed to get their communications right, over half (52%) of people willingly share their personal details to receive relevant offers. Sainsbury’s, eBay and Nationwide were among those identified as getting their digital communications mix right for their customers.
Martin Hayward, Senior Vice President Global Digital Strategy and Futures at Aimia, said: “Retailers have never had so much data at their fingertips, nor have they had so many channels available to them to communicate with their customers. However, some brands fall into a trap of assuming permission to use these channels whenever and however they see fit. As consumers opt to take control of the communications they receive, companies that send badly targeted messages risk losing many of their customer relationships completely”.
The findings show only one in five (20%) people say they receive very relevant information from supermarket brands, and significantly less say the same about communications from banks (13%), food and drink brands (11%) and technology brands (12%)2.
Martin Hayward continued: “Brands must earn the right to contact their customers. They must show relevance by using data to personalise and tailor communications, and they need to select the most appropriate channel for delivery. Get these ingredients right and customer communications can be a powerful tool to build deep and long lasting relationships. Get it wrong though, and brands will find themselves cut off”.
The research from the Aimia Institute shows there is a healthy consumer appetite for well-targeted and relevant marketing messages, with over a third (39%) saying they find personalised emails from companies useful. Brands identified by consumers as getting their digital communications right were: Amazon; Sainsbury’s; Nationwide; John Lewis; M&S, Virgin; Lloyds TSB; and eBay.
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Note to editor
Martin Hayward, Senior Vice President Global Digital Strategy and Futures, at Aimia, is available for interview. Please contact media team to arrange.
Infographic depicting the behaviours of a ‘Deletist Consumer’ available
Video content on the ‘Deletist Consumer’ available
All research is sourced from Digital 2.0 Research, unless otherwise stated
About Digital 2.0 2014 Research:
Conducted in November 2014 in five markets including the UK, France, USA, Canada and India, the Digital 2.0 research surveyed over 2,000 UK consumers about their digital communications preferences. The research aims to identify how businesses should leverage technology to establish the optimal communications approach and avoid message overload for their customers. You can find more on the research at www.aimiainstitute.com.
Additional research sources used (as indicated in footnotes) are as follows:
- The Aimia Institute, May/June 2012, Digital Consumers Research. Fieldwork conducted between 30 May – 8 June 2012, among 2,011 UK respondents aged 18+.
- Aimia Loyalty Lens data: Fieldwork conducted on 16 October 2014 among 2,001 UK participants aged 18+.
About The Aimia Institute
The Aimia Institute is the marketing thought leadership centre for Aimia, a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company. We provide leading advice to global marketers by combining data analysis, expert opinion, market research and best practices.
At aimiainstitute.com marketers can access published views on the news, editorial opinion, primary and secondary research, insights and analysis, infographics and webinars to make them better informed on how to build long term customer relationships.
We welcome you to join in the conversation at www.aimiainstitute.com
Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM) is a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company. We provide our clients with the customer insights they need to make smarter business decisions and build relevant, rewarding and long-term one-to-one relationships, evolving the value exchange to the mutual benefit of both our clients and consumers.
With close to 4,000 employees in 20 countries, Aimia partners with groups of companies (coalitions) and individual companies to help generate, collect and analyze customer data and build actionable insights.
We do this through our own coalition loyalty programs such as Aeroplan in Canada and Nectar in the UK, and through provision of loyalty strategy, program development, implementation and management services underpinned by leading products and technology platforms such as the Aimia Loyalty Platform and SmartButton, and through our analytics and insights business, including Intelligent Shopper Solutions. In other markets, we own stakes in loyalty programs, such as Club Premier in Mexico, Air Miles Middle East and Think Big, a partnership with Air Asia and Tune Group. Our clients are diverse, and we have industry-leading expertise in the fast-moving consumer goods, retail, financial services, and travel and airline industries globally to deliver against their unique needs.
For a full list of our partnerships and investments, and more information about Aimia, visit www.aimia.com.
1The Aimia Institute, May/June 2012, ‘Digital Consumers Research’. Fieldwork conducted between 30 May – 8 June 2012, among 2,011 UK respondents aged 18+.
2Aimia ‘Loyalty Lens’ data: Fieldwork conducted on 16 October 2014 among 2,001 UK participants aged 18+.