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The ‘silent majority’ have a beef with brands. Here’s why

Customers are becoming increasingly irritated by what they perceive to be aggressive sales approaches in digital marketing communications. 

According to a report from Customology, dubbed The Unspoken Customer, many consumers do not trust brands or their communications, therefore overly enthusiastic customer campaigns could be detrimental to businesses. Consumer mistrust is frequently brought up by the use of unsuitable marketing content and frequent emailing. 

In the survey, 71 per cent of consumers believe that sales tactics employed by brands are overly aggressive. More than half (58 per cent) think they get irrelevant messages that are not related to their needs or interests, and that has further eroded their trust in businesses.

“Many brands are unaware of the customer trust crisis in Australia,” said Customology founder and CEO Mark James. 

“This year’s report builds on our 2020 report and the key figures reveal that lack of trust is a problem that is rapidly getting worse.”

He said the report stands out because it measures the psyche of so-called “silent consumers” – shoppers who do not post reviews online, provide feedback or typically participate in brand surveys.

In a forward, professor of marketing at the University of NSW Tania Bucic wrote that the report’s findings were based on a survey of an independent panel of 2500 Australians.

Analysing the responses, Customology concluded that customers are not always treated as well as they should be by brands. More than three-quarters (77 per cent) say they get better value as new customers because companies prioritise new customer acquisition above rewarding existing consumers. As a result, customers are feeling unrewarded with 55 per cent of those surveyed saying their loyalty is not being recognised.

The report also found that customers are concerned about dishonest communication, with 48 per cent saying that companies intentionally mislead consumers in their advertising. And a sizable majority of surveyed participants said they were receiving too many emails – 37 per cent reported receiving more than 20 emails each week. 

Further reading: Shoppers set to splurge $9.3 billion in mid-year sales

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