The privacy paradox – consumers want personalised customer experiences but don’t want to give up their data

Marketing automation company, Selligent Marketing Cloud, has issued the results of its global consumer survey (7000 respondents) which indexed attitudes to brand engagement, customer experience expectations, and marketing pet peeves. The findings show that what consumers want overwhelmingly contradicts their behaviour: expectations for personalised customer experience are high but so is consumer discomfort with sharing personal data that makes personalisation possible – aka the privacy paradox.

  • 33% expect brands to anticipate needs before they arise and a whopping 70% agree that it’s important that brands understand a consumer’s individual situation (e.g. marital status, age, location, etc.) when they market to them and not just use every communication as a means to make a sale.
  • 74% noted that they expect companies to “treat me as an individual, not as a member of some segment like ‘millennials’ or ‘suburban mothers’.

Brands are also having to do more personalised marketing with less information.

  • 75% are concerned with a brand’s ability to track their behavior – even while on their website and in their apps.
  • Company data practices are top-of-mind for most consumers with 75% expressing concern over the threat of a data breach.
  • 88% worried that their data will be shared across companies without their consent.

The good news for marketers is that it appears that over time, as consumers grow more digitally savvy, their willingness to share data will increase. As our study shows, most are more open with brands they trust and when they see brands delivering value. Smart marketers will take a much closer look at their strategies and create personalized marketing campaigns that build customer confidence and deliver a consumer-first experience.

Nick Worth, CMO of Selligent Marketing Cloud