Overzealous customer communications may be backfiring for brands because a large proportion of consumers simply do not trust brands, or their communications, according to a new report by leading specialists in customer lifecycle management, Customology. Common reasons for mistrust include irrelevant marketing content and high email frequency.

‘The Unspoken Customer’ report offers new insights into the psyche of silent consumers, the shoppers who do not post reviews online, provide feedback or participate in brand surveys.

The report found that customers are increasingly annoyed by what they perceive to be a pushy sales stance often taken in marketing communications. Seven in 10 (71%) find the approach to sales by brands too aggressive – up 10% from the 2020 report.

Perceived brand aggressiveness may also be linked to the volume of marketing emails that consumers receive. Customology’s findings show that 60% of customers believe they are being emailed too often and that brands are not sufficiently utilising other communication channels.

Brands have the opportunity to customise campaigns for specific target markets. Customers, however, do not believe that their personal information is being used effectively. Over half (58%) feel they are receiving irrelevant communications that are not targeted to them or their needs. This has contributed to customers’ distrust in brands: 69% of customers reported that they do not trust brands with their personal information – up from 53% in the 2020 report.

“Many brands are unaware of the customer trust crisis in Australia. This year’s report builds on our 2020 report and the key figures reveal that lack of trust is a problem that is rapidly getting worse,” Customology founder and CEO, Mark James said.

“Timing is key when reaching out to customers. When you do send communications, know exactly who your audience is and ensure the content is limited to what is necessary. Also, customers expect brands to use their data to personalise offers in meaningful ways, so focus on this and avoid sending generic messages with their names inserted. Using a mix of communication channels is important for reaching the right customers too. Some people prefer email, others might prefer social media platforms, or even print mail.”