Personalization Is Creepy . . . but Who Cares?
By Heidi Tolliver-Walker on February 5th, 2013
A study by JWT reinforces what we are hearing on a regular basis now . . . people think the fact that marketers can get a 360-degree view of their behavior and use that information to target them is creepy. But hey, if it benefits them, who cares?
Here’s the “anxious factor” in play:
Percentage of American and British adults who agree with the following after learning that, through data analysis, companies can predict what they’ll want or need and create customized offers for them as individuals:
- It feels like Big Brother is watching me (65%)
- The idea of being tracked and analyzed makes me nervous (64%)
- It makes me feel violated (51%)
- I think this will help simplify my life (48%)
As we might expect, Millennials (18-34 year olds) are less likely to feel this way than Gen-Xers and Boomers, but the percentages were fairly tight. But in the end, self-interest wins out. These same respondents also said:
- It’s okay with me as long as I save money (64%)
- It’s okay with me as long as I get relevant offers (62%)
- It’s okay with me as long as it makes shopping easier (56%)
It’s interesting that the percentages saying “It’s okay with me if . . .” are nearly identical to those saying, “It creeps me out.”
The takeaway? People will accept being uncomfortable as long as it saves them time or benefits their wallets.
It reminds me of a survey I read just recently about coupons and how people will drive very much out of their way (up to 20 miles, if I remember correctly) to use a coupon worth just a few dollars. I thought that was interesting considering that, with the price of today’s gas, it could end up costing these people money to use the coupon, but apparently the lure of “saving money” was stronger than logic and reason. Consumers are not always rational creatures, are they?