57% of consumers actively avoid brands who bombard with marketing messages

Over half (57 per cent) of consumers are actively taking steps to avoid brands which bombard them with poorly targeted communications, according to research from the Aimia Insititute, owner of Sainsbury's Nectar loyalty programme.

Three in four (74 per cent) of the 2,000 Britons surveyed said they receive too many emails from brands, and one fifth (19 per cent) say they can’t handle the current volume.

Only one in five (20 per cent) of people say they receive very relevant information from supermarket brands, and significantly less say the same about communications from banks (13 per cent), food and drink brands (11 per cent) and technology brands (12 per cent).

To combat this, 69 per cent have unfollowed brands on social channels, closed accounts and cancelled subscriptions while 59 per cent have been forced to block numbers to curb unwanted texts and calls.

With the rise of branded apps there has been an increase in the level of push notifications mobile shoppers receive, and 55 per cent have opted to delete apps entirely as a result.

Martin Hayward, senior vice president of global digital strategy and futures at Aimia, said the volume of data available to brands coupled with the increasing number of channels through which they can be reached has seen brands fall victim to over messaging.

“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,” he said.

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.

“Brands must earn the right to contact their customers,” continued Hayward. “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”.

Brands identified by consumers as getting their digital communications right included Amazon, Sainsbury’s, Nationwide, John Lewis, M&S, Virgin, Lloyds TSB, and eBay.

Jennifer Faull

The Drum senior reporter Jen Faull provides news and insight on the latest developments in retail and FMCG.

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