We’ve talked about this subject a little before on our blog before and featured Ted Rubin on our podcast who talked about the importance of it, but new research released by Wunderkind confirms what we’ve been saying. Customers prefer less frequent but more meaningful customer engagement.

In their research of over 2000 UK shoppers, they found that 43% of consumers preferred more personalised and less frequent engagement when it came to how they wanted retailers and brands to communicate with them.

 

It’s about Building Relationships

The research discovered that 40% wanted tailored offers and promotions based on a one-to-one understanding of them, selecting it as their preferred means of customer engagement.

As Ted put it, “If you’re only focused on the money, you risk completely overlooking the people, don’t make that mistake. If you don’t know who your people are, and invest in those relationships, you might as well toss your branding, marketing, and prospecting money down the drain.”

And it appears that this is exactly what is happening. 51% of the respondents claimed that they receive impersonalised communications far too frequently suggesting that the old technique of throwing people into a group, if not taking the entire mailing list and just blasting them with a message is still alive and well.

“Retailers and brands have known for some time that the ‘spray and pray’ approach to customer engagement doesn’t pay off. It’s a short-termist strategy that will only ever deliver mediocre results at best, leads to poor ROI, and creates deeply unsatisfying shopping experiences for customers,” Wunderkind general manager Wulfric Light-Wilkinson said.

 

So How do we Fix It

We just need to listen as a starting point. 27% of people surveyed said they expect to receive engagements that add value to their shopping journeys and are considered useful.

18% also said they want to receive more varied interactions that go beyond simply offering product recommendations. Customers are crying out for brands to establish deeper relationships with them, we just need to pay attention.

When we asked Ted what he suggests Marketing teams can do he said “I try to get them to look at it from their own perspective, to be a customer of their own brand. You know, I look at a CMO and I go, are you subscribing to your own emails? Are you visiting your brand and then surfing the web anonymously, not as your CMO, not as who you are. And when I say anonymously, I don’t mean to hide it from your employees? I mean, to hide it from the tracking that’s going on in the web? Are you experiencing what your customers are experiencing? I mean, I look at marketers all the time and ask them to behave more like customers, to think more like a customer. What works for you, you know, how do you feel about bright red subject lines with total nonsense that really isn’t about anything contained within the email. How do you feel when you get to the offer that is not what you saw in the subject line of your email, like, um, it’s immediate delete”

Once we’ve had this reflection and realised, we’re missing a trick, we need to understand the data we have, figure out what we can do with it to develop truly personalised engagements and then develop a strategy that works not only for your customers but for your brand too.

 

Getting the Support you Need

You don’t have to go it alone on this journey. There are plenty of people out there, like our very own experience team, that can help you develop the strategy and implement the tooling required to make it work for you.

The importance of using the first-party data you have to create a unique experience is priority one. The tools can be used to turn it into a reality and collect more data along the way, but you can’t start from a position of zero.

You also need to think bigger than email or personalised ads on Facebook. True personalisation takes the experience you want to create and delivers it to the digital shopping experience, turning your website into personalised store for each one of your customers.

For years high end brands have prided themselves on knowing their best customers when they came into stores with sales teams knowing birthdays and anniversaries, remembering what they bought in the past and what will work with it, remembering what might go onto a wish list and making sure they don’t miss out on a chance to buy it or when it goes on sale and a bargain can be had. This is what you need to be recreating on your websites at a much larger scale, but no less personalised.

These are the things that are not only expected but make you stand out in a busy crowd. Everybody wants to be treated as an individual and it is only our fault if we’re not taking the time to do that resulting in our customers leaving us.

Our experience team work with brands every day to facilitate incredibly personalised experiences ensuring they can develop relationships with their customers, create a solid return on their investment and drive continued business.

If you’re looking for some help or would just like to talk to someone about what might be possible, reach out to us and we’ll see what we can do for you.