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Why three out of five consumers are not happy with how brands are targeting them

There is data, data everywhere for marketing professionals to use to reach customers, yet three out of five consumers (58%) are not happy with how brands are targeting them. This is according to the Data Deadlock report from marketing technology company BlueVenn, based on responses from over 2,000 UK and US consumers and over 600 B2C marketers.

Despite more data being available than ever before, marketers are still targeting consumers ineffectively with campaigns and ads. This is a wasted opportunity, particularly as consumers themselves are more open to the idea of target content and ads. For example, according to the research, when shopping online, nearly half (46%) of consumers would like ecommerce sites to reorganise products based on their prior tastes and interests. 

Key findings

  • 58% of consumers are not happy with how brands are targeting them.
  • 46% of consumers would like ecommerce sites to reorganise products based on their prior tastes and interests.
  • 90% of marketers claim to understand the data that their company collects on customers.
  • 90% of marketers agree that without the right skills effective data analysis is impossible.
  • For maximum success, 86% of UK and US marketers believe that they need to collect as much information as they can on their customers.

US Marketers


Who owns customer data?

Discussing why marketers are failing to maximise their data Anthony Botibol, group marketing director at BlueVenn, says: “Over the years, marketers have been attempting to take back control of their customer data, with IT departments and third-party data agencies often keeping a tight grip on an organisation's information. The reason for this lack of ownership comes from the complex and technical nature of data matching, de-duplication and cleansing, along with the sheer volume of data now available and the lack of time that marketers have to deal with it. Moreover, the popularity of data warehousing, an IT-driven initiative, often means the responsibility for customer data shifts towards in-house IT teams and external third-parties, both of which lack the understanding of what marketers need to quickly and effectively draw conclusions around a customer’s behaviours or buying habits.”

There is too much data for marketers to handle

Another problem, says Botibol, is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day for marketers to get to grips with all the data available: “Marketers are feeling quietly confident about their abilities to analyse complex customer data, but given the sheer volume of information available, over half believe that they are spending too much time attempting to analyse data on a daily basis. This in turn is removing them from the more creative aspects of their role.”

Botibel says that this means there is a serious disconnect between the amount of data that brands collect, and the ability of marketers to use that data effectively.

Marketers need tools to help

In terms of finding solutions to these problems, Botibel concludes that marketers must take back control of their customer data and start to think about how the intelligent use of this data can support them in their marketing strategies. “The growing emergence of marketer controlled Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), will alleviate the pressure that marketers are under, whilst also freeing up their time to ensure their campaigns are as seamless and as targeted as possible.” 


The statistics contained in BlueVenn’s Data Deadlock report are based on an original survey of 2,116 UK and US consumers as well as 602 B2C marketers (300 UK and 302 US). The research was commissioned by BlueVenn, and was carried out by independent research house Censuswide in February 2017.

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