Brands are seen as being ‘authentic’ when they show support of social causes through monetary and in-kind donations, openly share their real business objectives, and include diversity within their media and advertising, according to the first edition of the ‘Consumer Experience Sentiment Report’ from data-driven performance marketing agency Merkle.
The report revealed how consumers feel about the personal experiences brands are delivering and how their feelings and expectations of brands are changing over time. Only 29% of respondents feel that they often see themselves represented in messaging and advertising and 30% have received marketing communication from a brand they found to be offensive.
Respondents indicated that a product’s quality, price, and brand reputation are also very important to them. Those respondents with higher incomes are also more likely to feel that personalization is invasive, versus those with lower incomes, who are more likely to prioritize personalization.
“Today’s consumers value authenticity and want to feel heard, so brands must create a delicate balance of enabling relevant personalization and avoiding tactics that seem invasive,” said Jennifer Wolf, director of digital experience research and brand strategy at Merkle. “There is a great opportunity to enhance the customer experience through research and insights, and our report aims to help brands better understand how consumer expectations are changing over time in order to deliver more meaningful experiences for their customers.”
Additional insights from the survey included:
- 35% feel that marketing and advertising meet their needs.
- 49% feel that brands know too much about them.
- 13% do not want to share any personal information, despite the benefit they may receive from it.
- Most consumers, especially younger audiences and women, are willing to share at least some information with brands in order to gain a more tailored online experience.