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Brands tell ‘half truths’ and fail to value loyal customers, study finds

Brands fail to look after loyal customers, are too pushy in their marketing and largely ignore first-time buyers, a new study has found.

They are also struggling to win the trust of consumers, with seven out of 10 believing brands lie in their advertising.

The findings emerged in a study by consultancy Customology which quizzed more than 2500 Australians about their experience with brands

Almost 80% believe new customers receive more attractive offers than loyal ones, with more than half convinced repeat buyers are not sufficiently rewarded for their loyalty.

In addition, 6 out of 10 accused stores of being pushy in their marketing while 51% claimed they did not receive any form of communication after their first purchase, even though they shared contact details.

“Brands invest so much in acquiring new customers yet they treat them like transactions and a marketing database,” Customology chief executive Mark James said.

“They are missing out on significant opportunities by alienating their most profitable customers. It costs a lot more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. It’s ludicrous that brands today are still offering new customers a better deal.

“They are also feeling lied to and over marketed to.”

James added that customers feel “invisible” and when they are communicated to, it’s a “half truth”.

“We were really surprised to hear just how vocal these customers were about how brands engage with them,” he said.

Customology said it was imperative for brands to be authentic, and not to treat customers as transactions.

James said: “The most important aspect of communication is to make all the messages relevant and tailored to the customer, and not to bombard them. There are so many opportunities to continue the conversation; but it has to be an authentic message, sent at the right time and via the right channel.”

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