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Give Consumers What They Want, And You Will Retain Their Attention Online

“Build it and they will come,” while that worked in the movie it is not hold true for every online destination especially when the are giving up their personal information such as their age, email address, income or birth date. The vast majority of Canadians (73%) say that when they give a company personal information, they expect the company to tailor offerings and deals in return. Unfortunately, only 37 per cent of those who reveal personal information say they get more personalized marketing as a result. These are just some of the findings of a SAS/Leger Marketing survey of 1,511 Canadians conducted earlier this spring.

“Canadians expect organizations to be relevant in how they talk to them. It’s a give and get. If I provide you with some key personal information, use what I give you to send me offers which align to my interests, and serve me in a way that makes sense. When companies don’t do that they lose the privilege of having that customer and our communications are relegated to “junk mail,” and we don’t get share of mind, never mind wallet,” said Lori Bieda, Executive Lead for Customer Intelligence, SAS Americas. “Analyzing customer purchasing habits and matching promotional offerings to their needs is one of the best ways to increase customer loyalty.”

Meeting Customers Expectations Is Key To Business Growth

Not meeting customer expectations can be risky business for Canadian companies. Half of those surveyed say they have actually stopped doing business with a company because of a bad marketing experience, men being more unforgiving than women (55 per cent versus 49 per cent.)
Regardless, the desire is there to engage more deeply with businesses of choice. Sixty per cent of Canadians say they would like to receive more personalized marketing material and half of Canadians say they would be more likely to buy from a company that personalizes their marketing. In addition, 46 per cent say they would be willing to give up personal information in return for more personalized offerings.

Personalization Is Important, But Be Authentic

If a company does decide to personalize its marketing, it should be aware that Canadians are acutely aware of the efforts being made. Two thirds say they can tell when a company has done their research and tailored their marketing to them.

“It is essential that companies not only understand their customer expectations regarding the use of personal information, but also how best to communicate with each individual to offer tailored deals,” Bieda said.

When asked how their favourite companies communicated with them, email was the top choice (73 per cent), followed by mail (47 per cent) and social channels (13 per cent.) The latter, perhaps not surprisingly, was much higher for 18-34 year olds (25 per cent), but it should be noted that even among that demographic, of which 93 per cent say they use social media, email was still the preferred means of communication.
Canadians not having their marketing expectations met may also be impacting the degree to which we divulge personal information: 18 per cent said they give away more personal information than they did five years ago, while 27 per cent said they now give away less. 93 per cent of Canadians say they have divulged personal information to companies.
Some additional stats:
Information Canadians are willing to provide to receive more personalized offers and promotions

  • Email – 65%
  • Age – 59%
  • Postal Code – 55%
  • Education level – 46%
  • Marital status – 45%
  • Home Address – 28%
  • Birth date – 27%
  • Sexual Orientation – 23%
  • Income – 16%
  • Home phone number – 13%
  • Cell phone number – 6%
  • When I give a company personal information I expect materials they give in return to be more personalized
  • National average – 73%
  • Atlantic Canada – 85%
  • Quebec – 75%
  • Manitoba/Saskatchewan – 74%
  • British Columbia – 73%
  • Ontario – 72%
  • Alberta – 67%

Have you ever stopped dealing with a company due to a negative marketing experience?

  • National average – 52%
  • Manitoba/Saskatchewan – 56%
  • Atlantic Canada – 54%
  • Ontario – 54%
  • Alberta – 53%
  • British Columbia – 51%
  • Quebec – 45%

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