Companies’ Online Behaviour Risks Turning People into ‘Brand Blockers’
Well-intentioned marketers are at risk of inadvertently converting potential customers into ‘brand blockers’ as a result of irritating online behaviour. This is the key finding of new global research into the effectiveness of social media marketing commissioned by Pitney Bowes Software, a global leader in customer data, analytics, communication software and services.The independent study, conducted by Vanson Bourne, compares social media marketing trends among marketing directors with consumer attitudes to marketing via social media across Australia, France, Germany, the UK and the USA.
The survey reveals that when it comes to external communications, nearly 70% of marketing directors are placing a greater emphasis on social media now than ever before, claiming that one-quarter of their marketing budgets will be allocated to social media activity in 2013.
However, marketers' enthusiasm for using social media is not matched by consumers’ views of social media marketing. Only a quarter use social media to follow and keep up-to-date with certain companies or brands (26%), while most are predominantly on social media to keep in touch with friends and family (78%).
In this context, ‘followed’ brands fare relatively well. Nearly half of social media users (48%) are positive towards receiving their marketing messages. The reverse is true of communications from companies people don’t follow, which 40% say they would be annoyed to receive. What is more, consumers rate unsolicited marketing (‘spam’) and pop-up advertisements as their worst experiences of social media marketing.
Perhaps most worryingly, 65% of consumers surveyed say that they would stop using a brand that upset or irritated them as a result of their social media behaviour.
In contrast, recommendations from online friends hold more sway: 68% said that they investigated these or even made a purchase (15%).
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