Friday, July 26, 2024

Brand trust biggest problem for Aussie consumers, Customology

Customology has released ‘The Unspoken Customer’, a report that offers new insights into the psyche of silent consumers, the shoppers who do not post reviews online, provide feedback or participate in brand surveys.

With a foreword written by University of New South Wales Professor of Marketing Tania Bucic, the report’s findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 2500 Australians and analysed by Customology. They reveal that overzealous customer communications may be backfiring for brands, because a large proportion of consumers simply do not trust brands, or their communications. Common reasons for consumer mistrust include irrelevant marketing content and high email frequency.

Customology found that customers are increasingly annoyed by what they perceive to be a pushy sales stance often taken in marketing communications: 71% find the approach to sales by brands too aggressive. This figure is up 10% from Customology’s 2020 ‘The Unspoken Customer’ report.

Perceived brand aggressiveness may also be linked to the volume of marketing emails that consumers receive: Customology’s findings show that 60% of customers believe they are being emailed too often and that brands are not sufficiently utilising other communication channels.

With access to so much customer data, brands have opportunities to customise campaigns for specific target markets. Customers, however, do not believe that their personal information is being used effectively. Over half (58%) feel they are receiving irrelevant communications that are not targeted to them or their needs. This situation has contributed to customers’ distrust in brands: 69% of customers reported that they do not trust brands with their personal information – up from 53% in Customology’s 2020 report.

Customology founder and CEO Mark James says: “Many brands are unaware of the customer trust crisis in Australia. 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 advises brands not to rush their customer: “Timing is key when reaching out to customers. When you do send communications, know exactly who your audience is and ensure the content is limited to what is necessary. Also, customers expect brands to use their data to personalise offers in meaningful ways, so focus on this and avoid sending generic messages with their names inserted. Using a mix of communication channels is important for reaching the right customers too. Some people prefer email, others might prefer social media platforms, or even print mail.”

Customology found that customers do not always feel as valued by brands as they perhaps should be. Over three-quarters (77%) believe they get better value when they are new customers because brands tend to prioritise new customer acquisition over rewarding loyal customers. This has left customers feeling unrewarded: 55% of those surveyed don’t believe they are rewarded for their loyalty.

The report found that other areas of concern for customers are dishonest communication, with 48% believing brands are untruthful in their campaigns. Equally, a large proportion of survey respondents felt they were receiving too many emails, with 37% receiving over 20 emails each week, much of which are irrelevant.

“We hope this report offers new insights about current market sentiment that is important for brands to know. The insights will help businesses to revisit and realign their marketing strategies to more effectively reach customers. The ultimate goal is to help build and maintain trust based on rewarding relationships with customers,” Mr James said.

For Customology’s ‘The Unspoken Customer’ report, visit

The Unspoken Customer reveals top customer gripes with brands:  

Complaint % of respondents
Brands are too aggressive in their sales approach 71%
New customers are offered better value 77%
Don’t trust what brands do with their personal information 69%
Receive irrelevant communication not targeted to them 58%
Customers are not rewarded for their loyalty 55%
Brands are dishonest in their marketing communications 48%
Customers are being emailed too often 48%

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