Three quarters of brand communications consumers receive is irrelevant

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Only a quarter (26%) of the content UK consumers currently receive from brands is relevant, and just 35% say that brand communications makes them click through, new research commissioned by enterprise customer data platform Treasure Data reveals.

It comes as 21% of Brits believe they have given away more of their personal data to brands since the start of the pandemic. Of the 2,000 adults surveyed, young people aged 18-34 were most likely to believe they’ve divulged more personal information since the pandemic (28%), contrasting with 17% of over 55s.

The research shines a stark light on the fact that brands are still struggling to utilise effectively the personal data provided by consumers to tailor relevant and engaging communications. 44% of UK consumers said they expected more from brands after having shared their personal data, than they currently receive.

This is concerning, particularly during the run up to Christmas, given the number of times that consumers are contacted by brands. Almost 8 in 10 (79%) consumers hear from brands at least once a day, with the average Brit hearing from brands 12 times per day. Younger people receive the most communication from brands, averaging 16 times per day for those aged between 18-34.

But whether consumers believe they are getting a good level of tailored content from brands differs hugely by age. Four in 10 young people (18-34) believe they have seen benefits from sharing their data with brands as they have received tailored services, however, as little as 17% of over 55s believe this to be the case for them.

There’s mixed views on the sectors which best make use of personal data too. When consumers were asked which sectors use their personal data best to provide interesting and relevant information, the results indicated how much needs to be done to improve processes.

Just 48% said supermarkets & groceries use their personal data well, falling to 41% for retail, only 34% for banking & finance and 31% for healthcare, and of most concern, only 23% for the automotive sector.

Lack of tailored communications damaging brand loyalty and trust

The research reveals that consumers will take action if brand communications are not up to scratch. 45% of consumers stated that they would unsubscribe from brand communications within a week if it was not relevant. Ruthlessly, a fifth of Brits (20%) said they would unsubscribe in less than 24 hours.

A worrying insight, given the scheduled phase out of third party cookies. Brands face a ticking time bomb – the choice is to shape up and drastically improve data management and customer experience or be caught out by consumers unsubscribing from communications en masse when key privacy changes come in.

However, the research also highlights that there are clear opportunities to build loyalty if relevant communications are provided.

35% of UK consumers said they would be more willing to share their personal data if it meant personalised and tailored content. It’s also the case that young people felt most strongly about this; 46% of 18-34 year olds agreed with this statement, in contrast to just 25% of over 55s.

“In the era of big data collection, it’s disappointing that consumers still feel they aren’t receiving the right value from brands for sharing their personal data. As we enter the golden 8 weeks for retail, the opportunity to win consumer loyalty, and boost sales opportunities through improved, personalised communications is huge.
But as our research reveals, the risk of getting personalisation wrong is even greater, as customers make clear they are not afraid to unsubscribe and withdraw their personal data.
To succeed, brands must work harder to collect and interpret their customer data more effectively. Marketers that implement robust data management strategies will ultimately help businesses make better decisions. Delivering relevant and timely communications which demonstrate a 360 view of the customer is the secret weapon when it comes to consumer satisfaction, and brands can’t afford to risk falling short.”

– Andrew Stephenson, Director of Marketing, EMEA, Treasure Data

Personal data still a mystery for majority of consumers

The research also highlighted that despite consumers sharing so much of their personal data, Brits are at a loss as to what brands are doing with it:

  • More than half (52%) admitted they don’t understand how their personal information is being used.
  • 57% of UK consumers said that they do not trust brands with their personal data.
  • 37% said they did not know what GDPR means.
  • 73% said they did not know how many brands have their personal data.


Laura Gaffney new Pinterest EMEA/APAC Director of Business Marketing

Laura Gaffney new Pinterest EMEA/APAC Director of Business Marketing

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