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Even millennials suffer digital overload

News, 19 June 2015

MONTREAL: Digital overload is a common complaint among consumers but millennials are most likely to take ruthless action in cutting brands off a new study has found.

Aimia, a marketing and loyalty analytics business surveyed over 2,000 consumers in each of five markets – the UK, France, US, Canada and India – about their digital communications preferences and identified a group it dubbed 'High Volume Sensitive'.

Nearly three in five (59%) High Volume Sensitive consumers indicated that the volume of email communications they receive from brands overwhelms them. The results were similar for SMS messages (60%) and push notifications (62%).

These High Volume Sensitive consumers will only engage if the content they receive by email, for example, is tailored to them. If it is not personalised and too frequent the study said that 84% would simply close accounts and unsubscribe from email lists (84%).

Other actions included deleting apps because of push notifications (82%) and unfollowing brands on social channels (86%).

And the demographic with the greatest likelihood of being High Volume Sensitive consumers were millennials. Generation Y was 44% more likely to fall into this category compared to just 13% of Generation X.

"Millennials are the 'always on' generation, but it is a mistake for marketers to make assumptions about their communications preferences," said Martin Hayward, svp/global digital strategy & futures at Aimia. "Just because a person shares their details with a brand does not mean they want to be inundated with lots of generic messages."

High Volume Sensitive consumers were as willing as any other group to share personal data, but were 2.3 times more likely to disengage when bombarded with large numbers of irrelevant messages.

"Marketers must work harder to listen to individual customer preferences and tailor communications appropriately," Hayward urged.

"Privacy, permissions and preferences are increasingly crucial elements of future customer relationships. Get it wrong, and High Volume Sensitive consumers are ruthless in cutting brands off.".

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff