Minneapolis, April 21, 2015 – American 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 7 in 10 Americans are closing down accounts and subscriptions, and ‘unfriending’ companies as a result of poorly targeted communications.
The new research shows how consumer attitudes have hardened over the past three years. In 2012 over a third (36%) of respondents were deleting or only reading the title of text messages and emails from companies1. Today they are going one step further, with 59% opting out of email from companies.
This trend of cutting ties may well continue if businesses don’t alter their approach, as 68% of Americans say they receive too many emails from brands, and one sixth (17%) say they can’t handle the current volume.
As a result of this over messaging, over half (57%) of consumers are taking steps to actively avoid companies including:
- Unfollowing brands on social channels (66%)
- Closing accounts and subscriptions because individuals don’t like the communications they are receiving (70%)
- Blocking numbers (57%)
- Opting out from the majority of company email communications (59%)
- Deleting apps because of push notifications (54%)
These behaviors have given rise to a new type of digitally literate consumer, dubbed the ‘Deletist Consumer’. Characterized 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 that deemed to get their communications right, over half (56%) of people willingly share their personal details to receive relevant offers. Amazon, Verizon and Walmart were among those identified as getting their digital communications mix right for their customers.
Gerard Whelan, President, Customer Loyalty, US at Aimia, said: “Brands have a great opportunity today with so much data at their fingertips and an ever-widening number of channels with which to communicate with customers. It is easy to take this for granted and to use these channels and data to suit their own prerogatives, rather than that those of customers. As customers find it increasingly necessary to exercise control over their brand relationships, brands that send poorly targeted, mass, irrelevant messages are increasingly likely to destroy customer relationships.”
The findings show only one third of people say they receive very relevant information from credit card providers, with supermarkets and banks following a close second (29%) and fuel brands trailing with the relevancy of their communications at just 18%2.
Gerard Whelan continued: “It’s important for brands to earn consumers’ trust and therefore the right to initiate and continue 1:1 communications. Businesses must show they understand customers by demonstrating relevancy by using accurate data to personalize communications through the right channels. Getting this right provides businesses with a powerful tool to build deeper, more sustainable relationships. Now more than ever, getting it wrong means brands will find themselves cut off completely.”
The research from the Aimia Institute shows there is a healthy consumer appetite for well-targeted and relevant marketing messages with nearly half (48%) saying they find personalized emails from companies useful.
Aimia Media Contacts
Note to editor
Gerard Whelan, President, Customer Loyalty, US, at Aimia, is available for interview. Please contact media team to arrange.
Infographic depicting the behaviors 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, US, Canada and India, the Digital 2.0 research surveyed over 2,000 American 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 2,170 American respondents aged 18+.
- Aimia ‘Loyalty Lens’ data: Fieldwork conducted on 16 October 2014 among 2,000 American participants aged 18+.
About The Aimia Institute
The Aimia Institute is a global center for marketing thought leadership. We provide advice to marketers through expert opinion, market research, and best practices. Our efforts are powered by Aimia, a data-driven marketing and analytics company, and in partnership with leading marketing experts.
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.
1 The Aimia Institute, May/June 2012, ‘Digital Consumers Research’. Fieldwork conducted between 30 May – 8 June 2012, among 2,170 American respondents aged 18+.
2 Aimia ‘Loyalty Lens’ data: Fieldwork conducted on 16 October 2014 among 2,000 American participants aged 18+.