Better to Be Loved than Needed When Driving Consumer Engagement, Epsilon Study Finds

60% of respondents engage with marketing because they know and like a brand; 37% engage because they need the brand/product

Epsilon, a global advertising and marketing technology company, today released the findings of its study on consumers’ perceptions of personalization in marketing and advertising. The report, “The Push and Pull of Personalization,” reveals that consumers’ feelings about a brand, more than need, drive stronger engagement with marketing.

The study found that 60% of respondents engage with a marketing message because they are “familiar with and like the brand,” while 56% interact because they want to know more about a new brand or product. By comparison, 37% of respondents indicated their engagement is driven by need.

“These findings remind marketers of the importance of creating relationships with consumers that are not just transactional, given ‘brand’ is the context in which all purchase decisions are made,” said Jeff Smith, chief marketing officer at Epsilon. “The implication is that marketers need to stop thinking of ‘branding’ or ‘performance’ as separate and disconnected initiatives. Effective marketing and media not only capture sales in the moment, but also build relationships with your brand that drive more purchases over time.”

The report, which includes responses from 600 consumers between 18 and 65 years of age, goes on to reveal several insights into how marketing can be helpful and additive for consumers, or when it may detract from the brand experience.

Additional key findings from the study include:

Brands are getting better at personalized advertising, but there’s room to grow:

  • 65% of respondents say brands have become better at personalizing advertising and marketing the past few years but 91% see at least one irrelevant ad every single day.

People have a negative reaction when advertising messages don’t know them:

  • 76% of respondents say they view brands negatively when they include inaccurate information about them in their advertising and messaging.

Consumers don’t feel in control of their advertising and marketing:

  • Only 45% of respondents feel they have some control over how brands engage with them.

“Our customers, who represent many of the world’s leading brands, recognize the upside of getting personalization right and downside of failing to do so,” added Smith. “In providing them with the unique capability to engage consumers with a single voice that is harmonized across their paid and owned channels, we enable brands to drive in-market sales in ways that also build stronger consumer relationships. This allows them to increase both the efficiency and efficacy of their marketing and advertising investments.

Visit to download “The Push and Pull of Personalization.”