The way to engage with consumers is through real-time, hyper-personalized experiences, reveals a new report from eConsultancy, in partnership with Cheetah Digital. The report, ‘Digital Consumer Trends Index 2022: Consumer Attitudes and Trends in Personalization, Privacy, Messaging, Advertising and Brand Loyalty’ indicates that consumers across the UK interact with a brand across multiple channels, often unpredictably.
Speaking with Paula Thomas on her weekly “Let’s Talk Loyalty” podcast, Cheetah Digital’s Vice President of Content and Data Tim Glomb broke down the key takeaways from the report, delving into consumer attitudes towards personalization, privacy, messaging and brand loyalty in the UK.
Tim, who spearheads the global report each year, says consumer insights have long been an important factor in their marketing strategies. “You can have a great marketing team and a lot of smart people in a room, but if you don’t really listen to the audience and get their feelings and attitudes, then you’re not going to hit the mark,” he says.
The ROI of Personalization
It turns out that increased personalization produces long-term return on investment (ROI) and consumer excitement. But it’s important to get it right. “If you can customize at scale, you’re not really doing what consumers expect,” says Tim. “Our report shows a 110% increase in people wanting to be treated as individuals, which really cements Cheetah Digital’s strategy and investment in personalization engines.”
“As a vendor, that’s something you can’t sleep with anymore. Not after COVID. People want to have a voice. They want to be recognized and they want to be recognized for their brand loyalty. The data speaks for itself: I am not the one who says that you have to personalize; there are almost 5,000 people telling you that.”
Before anything else, marketers need to create a strategy that involves getting closer to their customers. Customers say: ‘We are happy to provide our details and enroll in your marketing program in exchange for relevant offers sent directly to me.’
Unpacking the bad and the ugly of cookie-based tactics
In the report, incognito browsing soared 50% this year compared to last. “It’s kind of like a riot,” says Tim. “For years, marketers grew fat on cookie technology. We embraced the technology that made us lazy salespeople, neglecting creativity and focusing solely on sales goals. And consumers have outgrown it. They are ready. They don’t care about your marketing plan.”
He believes the sooner marketers understand that and start building relationships, the better. “Relationship marketing needs a kick in the pants this year,” he says. “It is time for us to go back to the way we communicate as humans and build relationships. We need to start doing that with our audiences at scale.”
As browsers like Google solidify their plans to comprehensively reduce third-party cookie tracking, and consumers become more proactive in protecting their privacy online, marketers must shift to a strategy of first-party and third-party data to power your advertising and marketing initiatives. They must get permission from their customers or risk being labeled “creepy.”
Paula says that there is a fine line between what is okay and what is simply unacceptable. “Recently she was talking to a friend about a cold sore she had. And immediately, I started receiving advertisements for herpes creams on my mobile phone. It was agonizing,” she shares.
Tim says that kind of thing happens too often. Cheetah Digital’s report revealed that more than half of UK consumers (64%) believe cookie tracking is creepy. “There is a better way and that is permission-based marketing. It’s not rocket science. In fact, it should be common sense,” he says.
“But the data continues to show that, year after year, people are getting more and more frustrated with those kinds of tactics,” he says. “Marketers need to take note and leave those tactics to the real spies of the world. They need to keep building better relationships.”
Recognition is key
This year’s report also highlighted that consumers want to feel part of a community. In the value sharing economy, UK consumers are rewarding brands that make personalization a priority with more than half (54%) saying they will exchange personal and preference data to feel part of a company’s community. brand.
“For a brand, that means creating a forum for customers to engage and meet,” says Tim. “Brands can create value in more ways than just points. Updates are great, but they’re not enough if you don’t provide a sense of community and acknowledge individual actions as well.”
Paula agrees and adds the importance of innovative loyalty. “With more of that, the whole industry will flourish,” she says. “Consumers will increase their engagement levels once they have the opportunity to connect with a brand.”
Tim says that Cheetah Digital rewards itself for having a strong, personalized, emotional engagement solution. “We don’t sell a one-size-fits-all solution. It is tailored; each brand is completely unique. We get excited when brands ask us to invent something different that goes beyond points, rewards and transactions,” he says.
Email still reigns supreme
As the third-party cookie continues to crumble, one of the biggest revelations for marketers has been the fact that relationship marketing doesn’t have to break the bank. Contests and sweepstakes, for example, are profitable methods of participation.
However, to get the most out of your investment, Tim says embracing technology is a must. “When brands start using technology to continue the conversation and meaningfully listen to consumers, their loyalty and product offerings become much more aligned with their audience. Technology enables marketers to deliver the right offer to the right person at the right time,” he says.
Email also continues to be an incredibly effective tool for marketers to take advantage of. When it comes to
driving sales, report found email outperforms paid social media and display advertising
up to 128% in the UK.
“Email is still the biggest factor,” says Tim. “It goes beyond banner ads, social media posts, and other channels to drive commerce. And it has been around forever. Email is a staple and is something every brand must have in order to have a strong strategy.”
One of the reasons email remains effective year after year is its ability to personalize. “You can personalize email beyond just a name in a database,” says Tim. “Now, we can inject keywords into subject lines to influence open rate.”
Relationship marketing to win
Experts agree that 2022 is the year of relationship marketing. At Cheetah Digital, we want to push brand marketers to reevaluate. Are they really building true relationships or are they just serving their own needs and reaching their own goals?”
It’s also worth noting, as Tim says, that it’s okay to learn, to be humble, and to admit that you don’t have it all figured out. The secret? No one has everything in order.
“Don’t be alarmed if you don’t have your strategy fully mapped out,” says Tim. “Find resources, download our report, go to Cheetah Digital or other platforms like ours that have resources, and do your homework so you can make the best decisions for your brand.”
Food to go? Keep the consumer at the center of your efforts, build a relationship with them and you will win. Your brand will win.
About Digital Cheetah
Cheetah Digital is a provider of cross-channel customer engagement solutions for the modern marketer. Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite enables marketers to create personalized experiences, cross-channel messaging and engagement strategies, backed by an engagement data platform that can scale to meet the changing demands of today’s consumer. Many of the world’s best brands, including Starbucks, Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Levi’s, and Williams-Sonoma, trust Cheetah Digital to help them generate revenue, build lasting customer relationships, and deliver a unique exchange of value throughout the world. customer life cycle. For more information, visit www.cheetahdigital.com.
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