Skip to main content

Intelligence Briefs

It’s a fine line between creepy and valued experiences

Industry Contributor

Jo Gaines, AVP Salesforce Data & Audiences

16 September 2019 3min read

As brands continue to become more data savvy, consumers are inherently becoming more conscious of how their data is being used. Gartner recently found 38 per cent will stop doing business with a company if they find personalisation efforts to be creepy. We know with more capabilities marketers and their brands can be tempted to do more, rather than what's right. So, in this world with seemingly endless data at our fingertips, how do brands continue to provide value without creeping their customers out?


Key points

  • Personalisation can be creepy and we know consumers are wary of experiences where brands show they know them but don’t deliver value
  • Marketers can and should break down company silos to deliver a considered and coherent customer journey and reduce interaction fatigue
  • Transparency and control give consumers clarity on how their data is used and can help avoid the creep factor

My Takeout

The relationship between marketers and consumers has never been more complex. There's more ways to reach people, more effective ways to make it personalised, and easier to do so at scale. While tempted to deliver volume and a broad range of experiences, leading marketers are highly discerning about the type and number of touch points they have with a consumer.

Our State of the Connected Customer report found 67 per cent of customers say their standard for good experiences are higher than ever. In the rush to meet consumer demand for new and better experiences, many marketers have dialled up the personalisation and frequency.

However, greater personalisation and frequency of experiences has left many consumers wondering if their favourite hotel, activewear or juice brand is doing creepy things with the information they provide. Emails which pester, ads which are weirdly specific and not of interest and offers at the wrong time to the wrong person.

Delivering value has several important elements:

  • Aligning sales, service, marketing and commerce to one common customer journey can ensure teams aren’t going rogue and delivering experiences which don’t feel right or are poorly timed
  • Focus groups and customer research are crucial to uncovering whether what you’re doing is hitting the mark while uncovering red flags
  • Be transparent with customers on how their data is used, the relationships you have with third parties and the value exchange your brand is providing
  • Empower customers to choose their own data sharing settings in an easy to access and update process. Our research has found that for 92% of customers, the ability to control what personal information is collected makes them more likely to trust a company with that information

Remember, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. With an aligned team, delivering experiences in a transparent way based on customer needs and wants you can truly delight your customers, have them convert into advocates for your brand and become the benchmark for truly outstanding customer experiences.

Let’s go. What do you think?

Industry Contributor

Jo Gaines, AVP Salesforce Data & Audiences

Jo Gaines has spent over 20 years working for and with technology and media companies. Since 1999, she has worked for various companies and networks, including Krux, CBS, Yahoo, Kidspot, Sensis and Salesforce.

As Area Vice President Sales, APAC, for Salesforce for Advertising, Jo leads the company’s business development and marketing efforts. Prior to joining Krux (which was acquired by Salesforce in November 2016), she served as chief revenue officer at Brandscreen, an independent demand-side platform provider where she managed the Australian commercial and marketing team supporting more than 80 active accounts.  At CBS Interactive, she was in charge of Australian consumer brands as general manager, consumer and CBSi. She has also held senior sales and marketing positions at Kidspot, iPrime and Yahoo!7 among other firms.  Jo also launched and served as CEO of Digital Media Options Pty, Ltd, a digital media consultancy specializing in optimizing and monetizing digital assets for brands. 

Jo's greatest passions are friendships and motherhood; she has two beautiful daughters. Jo enjoys running, is completing her yoga teacher training and tries really hard to live a healthy lifestyle.

Market Voice

14 October 2019 3min read

Network 10: Content cycle needs to stay fresh - here’s why

On the heels of last week’s Network 10 Upfronts, CEO Paul Anderson and Chief Content Officer Beverley McGarvey lay down seven themes that should guide marketers TV and video strategies for 2020.

Go deeper 3min read

Network Ten

14 October 2019 3min read

How Netflix goes all-in on an unmutable, unblockable media channel for Stranger Things and Lost in Space

The world is full of advertising formats that can be muted, turned off or blocked, which is why the best tech businesses on the planet are using Out of Home. Think Apple, Google, Netflix and so-on. They’re using Out of Home screens as more than just messages, they’re experiences with big, bold, unmissable campaigns that are memorable for audiences.

Go deeper 3min read

Marcus Foley, Co-Founder