It sounds astonishing, but more than one-third of Australian firms have confessed that some or all of their marketing comes across as being “creepy”.
That is according to customer experience analytics firm InMoment, in a report that compiled the views of 500 businesses and 500 consumers from around Australia.
Some 38 per cent of brands pleaded guilty to having marketing they themselves deemed to be at least somewhat creepy.
Surprisingly, this is despite Australians being much more sensitive to “creepiness” than Amercians — 34 per cent of Aussies would stop buying from a brand they viewed as creepy, compared to only 20 per cent of Americans.
There is also increasing disparity between businesses looking to scoop up personal data in a bid to better understand their customers, and how consumers view such practices.
The survey found that 44 of consumers are creeped out by a firm’s staff knowing their personal details, and 40 per cent are turned off by technology that recognises this information.
“Brands have spent a disproportionate amount of effort and budget attempting to acquire new customers in a race for short-term gain. The days of treating customers as targets, as one-time transactions, are over,” said InMoment’s Australian manager, Claire Fastier.
“In order to create long-term value, companies must forge authentic bonds — relationships — with customers across touchpoints and time.
“Approaching customers and their data from this perspective allows brands to move beyond generating metrics, to discovering meaning that they can use to improve relationships and successfully steer the business toward better outcomes.”
A separate study by Veritas Technologies also found that businesses that fail to safeguard personal information held on their customers are likely to be “punished”, as disgruntled customers take their business elsewhere.
The firm also found that the vast majority would actively dissuade others from using a business that did not properly safeguard data.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.