Marketing

How “creepy” is your marketing? Nearly 40% of Aussie brands admit their advertising is too personalised

Dominic Powell /

It could be time to rethink your businesses advertising and marketing efforts, after a report has revealed that over 70% of Australian consumers find personalised advertising “creepy”.

However, it also seems that brands and business owners might not mind a bit of creepiness when it comes to ads, as the same report revealed that nearly 40% of brands admitted that their marketing was similarly ‘creepy’.

The survey, done by customer experience platform InMoment, fielded responses from 500 Australian consumers and 500 Australian brands, with the overall view that local SMEs still have a ways to go before personalisation in marketing is viewed positively by customers.

The report found that 34% of consumers would cease to buy from a brand they felt knew too much about them, and 40% are put-off by technology that detects a customer’s personal information. By and large, it was found that even one ‘creepy’ experience can put a customer off a brand irreversibly.

However, speaking to SmartCompany, marketing expert at Marketing Angels Michelle Gamble believes that personalisation in advertising is not only becoming more and more accepted but is also quickly becoming standardised.

“I think it’s becoming more and more normal, and because so much happens online and so much behaviour can be tracked, brands are doing it because it works,” she says.

“It annoys some people, but people also like to be informed about products that are interesting to them.”

Gamble says she believes media companies such as Spotify and Netflix use personalisation to the best effect, taking user data and turning it into valuable recommendations. However, earlier this year Netflix took it one step too far and was skewered by the internet for similarly ‘creepy’ marketing.

A series of tweets from the company anonymously called out various users over their watching habits, with one saying: “To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?”. Users criticised the tweets as over-intrusive.

Gamble says she’s heard of similar experiences of people being hit with deluges of targeted advertising, but believes it’s unlikely to be going away any time soon considering the success brands are seeing from the strategy.

“It’s the future now. Businesses have to do their jobs and sell more products. Over time, there will be more tools to let consumers control the details they give to companies, but the trade-off is that they’re going to see fewer ads about things they might like,” she says.

NOW READ: Avoid cliches and don’t be boring: The golden rules of effective content marketing

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Dominic Powell

Dominic is the features and profiles editor at SmartCompany. Email him at [email protected].

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