Investment in digital customer engagement increased brands’ revenue by 90% on average, up from 70% last year, according to the latest Twilio report. The data also shows that protecting data is a top challenge for Australian brands as consumers report personal impact from cyberattack on a brand.

Twilio’s State of Customer Engagement Report highlights the urgent need for brands to address increasing concerns around consumer privacy, security and personal data tracking. Over half (52%) of brands experienced contact centre fraud last year and nearly one in three (30%) consumers had their data exposed or stolen as a result of a cyberattack on a brand.

Australian brands are responding accordingly, with 98% saying they will implement zero and/or first-party data to protect consumer privacy, improve customer experience and increase customer lifetime value. However, the stakes of using that data effectively are high, with 51% of Australian consumers claiming they will stop using a brand if their experience is not personalised.

Meanwhile, brands continue to overestimate how well they are meeting consumer expectations for communication preferences, protecting customer data privacy, and transparency around customer data usage.

Almost half (47%) of Australian consumers report being frustrated with their interactions over the past year, rising from 42% the year before. 95% of consumers want more control over their customer data, placing top priority on “identity data.” 29% of Australian consumers say they have stopped doing business with a brand after their expectations for trust and privacy weren’t met.

In addition, close to eight in 10 (79%) Australian consumers say that personalised experiences increase their loyalty to brands, and consumers spend on average 19% more on brands that personalise, a jump from last year’s increase in spend of 12% more.  

Twilio chief marketing officer, Joyce Kim said, “In this macroeconomic climate, every business is looking to do more with less budget. This research reflects what we’re hearing across our customer base, which is that when brands use first-hand data to personalise engagement with customers, it saves companies meaningful marketing spend and increases lifetime value. For brands facing growing headwinds, this means ROI today.”  

Twilio head of solutions engineering, Asia Pacific & Japan, David Coghill added, “While the ongoing charge of security breaches is not unique to Australia, the widespread impact felt by consumers was unprecedented. The fallout from the high-profile data incidents have necessitated the urgency today to ensure security is embedded in the customer experience.

“The research serves as a call to action for brands operating in this environment to start building trust with customers through meaningful and personalised interactions while securely authenticating consumers during sensitive transactions.”