MELBOURNE: Brands still have more work to do to make personalisation a positive part of the customer experience, according to a new study that found some 70% of Australian consumers regard most forms of personalised marketing as “creepy”.

InMoment, a cloud-based customer experience firm, said this should come as no surprise for brands in Australia since more than a third of them (38%) acknowledge their own marketing is somewhat creepy.

For its 2018 CX Trends Report, InMoment polled 500 consumers and another 500 brands in Australia on customer experience themes, such as memorability, personalisation and the human element to determine areas of alignment and disconnect.

The survey uncovered that a third (34%) of Australian consumers would stop buying a brand that they felt knew too much about them and used information poorly to create a “creepy” experience.

A total of 44% of Aussies are uncomfortable about staff knowing about their personal details, while another 40% are put off by technology that recognises personal information.

Of particular note for brand marketers, more than a quarter (27%) of consumers say they share details of their negative personalisation experience with friends, while a similar proportion (26%) say they would start to look for other options after a creepy experience.

The survey also revealed that Australian consumers are more sensitive to perceived creepiness than their American counterparts, with 34% prepared to stop using a brand compared to just a fifth (20%) of Americans.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed that brands tend to overestimate their ability to deliver positive and memorable customer experiences.

While a third of brands (31%) believe that social media contributes to positive and memorable experiences, just 6.6% of consumers concur – and they are twice as angry as brands realise after a negative customer experience (22% versus 11%).

Commenting on the findings, Claire Fastier, InMoment Australia country manager, said: “The days of treating customers as targets, as one-time transactions, are over. In order to create long-term value, companies must forge authentic bonds – relationships – with customers across touchpoints and time.

“The research clearly highlights how one negative moment, such as receiving a ‘creepy’ email, can affect how the consumer views the whole relationship. Brands need to be responsible for creating stronger, more valuable customer experiences, rather than weakening relationships through unthoughtful or ‘creepy’ marketing.”

Sourced from InMoment; additional content by WARC staff