How Consumers Want to Communicate With Brands

November 10, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Customer Engagement | Customer Service & Experience | Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Email | Personalization | Social Media

SAP-Consumer-Preferences-Brand-Communications-Nov2014Some brand communication practices – such as sending useful information or tailored emails based on past purchases – resonate well with consumers, but other proactive outreach methods are disliked by many, according to results from an SAP SE poll conducted by Ipsos. Indeed, 37% of respondents said they like it when companies they have bought something from adjust offers to them based on where they live, with 18% disliking this and 31% saying it depends on the company.

While research has found personalization to influence consumers’ purchase decisions – with emailed product recommendations one of the favored forms, the SAP study finds a little more hesitancy on the part of its respondents. Roughly one-third say they like it when companies they have bought from tailor their mailings or emails based on what they know about past purchases, but 22% dislike this practice and 36% believe it depends on the brand.

The tide is more negative when it comes to consumers being asked if they want alerts or information sent to their phone, with more disliking (34%) than liking (29%) this. Similarly, more dislike (34%) than like (27%) offers to help via chat or phone before the consumer has asked for assistance. In each case, it’s worth noting that more than one-quarter find this dependent on the brand, suggesting that more could be willing recipients of this type of communication.

Asked about the channels they prefer to use when they want information about a company’s products and services, consumers pointed to email (28% share of respondents) first, followed by telephone (23%) and in-person (16%). Just 4% said that social media is their preferred channel.

Social is a preferred channel for sharing positive reviews, though. Among the 48% of respondents who make an effort to tell people online when they really like a product or service, 19% most often communicate the positive feedback on their own social media sites. That rivals the 20% who most often post on review websites such as Consumer Reports of Yelp or Amazon.

About the Data: The data is derived from an Ipsos poll conducted for SAP from October 6-10, 2014. For the survey, a sample of 3,017 Americans, ages 18+ were interviewed online. The precision of the online poll is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.0 percentage points for all adults.

The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, education, and ethnicity.

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