Consumers don’t want overly personalised content, new survey finds

April 9, 2018 by Aimee

Personalisation and brand values are two trends that content experts have trumpeted regularly during the last 12 months, but new research published by mobile location data company, Blis, suggests they are not valued greatly by the public.

The survey of 2,000 consumers in the US highlights just how difficult it is for marketers and brands to strike exactly the right tone and message with their content to engage with audiences and drive positive actions. There appears to be a very fine line between content being well received by consumers and ads, videos and articles that annoy them.

The good news is that most respondents said they were more loyal to brands now compared to 2013, so there is a great opportunity for marketers to strengthen these bonds with engaging written content and infographics in the coming months.

However, for those eager to add a political edge to their content campaigns, there was a stark warning, as consumers currently place “brand morals” last in the “Consumer Hierarchy of Brand Needs.” It is perhaps no surprise that product quality is the most important factor, ahead of price and ease of obtaining products and availability.

Brand safety has been an issue in the industry during the last 18 months, and there is solace for those that have been affected, as many consumers forgive mistakes if they already “liked the brand.” However, women are less brand loyal than men by a significant margin. Consumers also believe over-personalisation is a turn-off, as it can imply that a brand is keeping too close tabs on audiences’ whereabouts in the digital realm.

Therefore, brands must attempt to walk the fine line between personalisation and tailored content without it coming off as “too intrusive.” While this is arguably an easier concept for organic formats, such as articles and videos, creating ads that do so is more challenging and should be a focus for marketers in 2018 as they look to retain the trust of consumers amid growing concerns about access to personal information.

Moving to the need for better organic results, social media analytics company, Socialbakers, has revealed that Instagram Stories may be a better channel for driving engagement than Facebook after the latter recently made changes to its algorithm that makes it harder for brands to get its articles on user’s news feeds.

Jordan Julian, the social media analyst for the company, said focusing on Instagram Stories can really make a difference in terms of reach and impressions. She concluded that it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to achieve organic reach on social media, and marketers will usually need to pursue more creative content ideas to ensure it gets seen.

Finally, a study by ANA earlier this year found that three-quarters of marketers are now using influencers, but many are still not sure whether they are truly effective. However, in an age where competition is so fierce, these social media personalities and celebrities can have a positive impact on brand perception while driving purchase intention.