Let’s talk about X baby

Salt-n-Pepa probably didn’t have marketing in mind when they wrote their 1991 hit ‘Let’s talk about …’ but the lyrics serve our purposes here, so grant us a little creative license as we explore building relationship and trust with our audience through good successful commercial communication and personalisation practice!


‘Let’s talk about X baby’

Communication is key to any successful relationship and that certainly holds true for commercial ones. The recently published US Consumer Trends Index from Marigold and Econsultancy reaffirmed the well known keys to successful commercial communication are:

  • Respect your audience as valuable individuals
  • Be consistent (90% of US consumers appreciate this!)
  • Reward loyalty, surprise and delight your customers
  • Be responsible with customer data

The report also broke down consumer engagement by age group and it’s interesting to note the differences in behavioural and attitudinal trends between the four key demographics of Boomers (56-75), Gen X (41-55), Millennials (26-40) and Gen Z (18-25) and how this data should inform our approach to marcomms.

‘Let’s talk about you and me’

81% of US consumers surveyed stated that they appreciate brands that endeavour to build relationship. Interestingly, whilst this stat has grown YoY, 12% more Millennials felt this way than Gen Z.

Building a relationship with your customers means demonstrating that you know them, remember and value how they’ve engaged with you in the past. Data is your friend when it comes to knowing your customer. You can use data such as their date of birth to email them a happy birthday greeting and offer. You can utilise data on their past purchases to suggest things they might like. You can even send follow-up communications to demonstrate your cohesiveness, such as if they’ve had an in-person encounter with your brand (on-site/in-store). 

‘Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be’

86% of US consumers favour a brand that treats them as an individual, with 79% of them appreciating a sense of VIP treatment. Conversely more than half of them are annoyed at receiving communications that don’t reflect their wants and needs and feel irrelevant, with Boomers being the most so (68%).

It’s so important to have interfaces and platforms that not only enable you to do the basic stuff such as addressing your customer by their name, but also enable you to profile them through their data to be able to tailor your communication to them for greater relevance and resonance. But don’t get creepy with it! Although you can access more data on your customers than they provide (through cookies, Facebook metrics, algorithms etc), 39% of them don’t like to feel like you’ve been snooping on them! The research shows that around 60% of consumers are most ‘creeped out’ by ads demonstrating; a knowledge of their location, use of third-party cookie tracking and what they’ve discussed near a smart device!

It’s all about trust

Ok, so it wasn’t a Salt-n-Pepa lyric, but it should have been! Trust is a critical factor to any relationship, personal or commercial. The US Consumer Trends Index rom Marigold and Econsultancy highlighted that 85% of US consumers appreciate a brand using their data responsibly. Interestingly, whilst a huge percentage of Boomers (57%) care deeply about a brands data privacy policies, the majority of Millennials couldn’t care less!   

It’s also interesting to note what US consumers are prepared to trade their data for. Around 90% will trade personal and preference data in exchange for loyalty rewards, discounts, coupons of exclusive early access to products and services. 75% will share information on their hobbies to get a more tailored customer experience.

Whilst 22% of US consumers trust the gaming/gambling industry to deliver personalised marketing, if you’re throwing your money at online ads to reach this audience, you might want to reconsider. Research revealed that over half of them are using ad blocking technology and declining third-party tracking cookies (Google are set to curtail them completely Autumn 2024). This increases the value of owned channels like email, SMS, web and app messaging to a brands ability to connect with their audience, so its ever more important to get these right.

If you have some issues with your channels not looking consistent then we’re well placed to help you level up your brand to bring brand harmony to your presence. Drop us a line to  hello@randomcolouranimal.com and let’s talk about it!

*All stats courtesy of the 2023 US Consumer Trends Index from Marigold and Econsultancy.

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