New Data Reveals Increasing Consumer Demand for Personalized Advertising, Despite Data Privacy Concerns

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National survey from Adlucent uncovers major opportunities for brands who deliver on relevance and transparency

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New national data from Adlucent, a leading digital performance marketing and analytics agency, reveals that, when it comes to digital data, consumer desire for personalization outweighs privacy concerns. Among the findings, 7 out of 10 consumers say they prefer content and ads that are tailored to their personal interests and shopping habits, with 46% saying their ideal online experience is having free access to the websites they care most about and only seeing relevant ads -- even if it means sharing their personal information with brands in exchange.

“The age of irrelevant advertising is coming to an end, thanks to both increasing consumer demand for personalization, and access to technology and data that makes it possible,” said Michael Griffin, founder and CEO of Adlucent. “While consumer expectations around relevancy increase, so do their expectations around data transparency. For today’s brands, there’s a lot on the line. Fail to deliver, and you will quickly find yourself losing favor and falling behind. But the brands who successfully balance personalization and privacy expectations will be big winners in this next era of digital advertising.”

Getting personal
For today’s brands, personalization is no longer a nice to have, but table stakes for success, with 60% of consumers expecting brands to deliver tailored experiences, and 43% reporting that their desire for personalization has grown in the last year alone.

What’s more, 44% of consumers say they are willing to provide personal information in order to get content and ads that are relevant to their personal interests and shopping habits -- and their comfort with sharing has increased across almost all data categories, including:

  • Product Category Preferences: 80% of consumers are willing to share today, compared to just half in 2016
  • Updates on major life events: Just two years ago, only 8% of consumers were willing to share information on major life updates, including marriage, engagements and pregnancies. Today, more than 1 in 4 are willing to share this type of information with brands.
  • Email address: Today, 72% of consumers are willing to share their email address with brands, more than double the 34% who would share in 2016.

Additionally, consumers showed a strong willingness to share their data with a wide range of recipients, including retail brands (62%), search engines (56%), social media platforms (52%), and email providers like Gmail and Yahoo! (38%). Interestingly, consumers were least willing to share information with news outlets at just 13%.

Contributing to the comfort
While collecting consumer data isn’t new, several factors contribute to consumer comfort, including ad overload, with 88% of consumers saying there are too many online ads. Second, for a majority of consumers, sharing data with brands has become the status quo. In fact, 81% of consumers have shared their email address to get discounts and promotions, 65% have provided brands with product preferences in order to get tailored recommendations, and 51% have provided their phone numbers to receive text updates and notifications. New technologies are also conditioning consumers to share. For example, of those who own a smart home device or speaker, 71% have used it to get personalized information or recommendations or to search for or purchase products, with nearly half saying the devices have increased their desire and expectation for personalized content and information.

Big opportunities for brands
For marketers and brands, delivering personalized and relevant online experiences is key to increasing brand perception, engagement, and conversions. Among the findings, 58% of consumers said personalized ads and content improve their perception of a brand.

Additionally, tailored ads drive dramatic improvements in click through, for both familiar and lesser-known brands. Specifically, consumers are:

  • 38% more likely to click on an ad for a brand they already know if it’s tailored to their preferences and shopping habits.
  • 16% more likely to click on an ad that is tailored to their preferences and shopping habits -- even if they’re unfamiliar with the brand.

Further, personalized ads directly influence purchase decisions, with 57% of consumers saying they are more likely to buy from brands that deliver tailored, relevant content.

Transparency is key
With 4 out of 5 consumers saying recent media coverage about the Facebook Congressional hearings has made them more aware of their digital data -- and 65% saying their perception of Facebook has been negatively impacted as a result -- data transparency is more important than ever.

In fact, a resounding 96% of consumers want brands to be more transparent about their collection and use of personal data, including visibility into what’s being collected (80%), who is collecting their data (78%), and how it’s being used (77%).

Ultimately, advertising success will require a delicate balance between personalization and privacy. Brands who deliver this balance will reap major rewards -- but brands who violate consumer trust and fail to deliver relevant experiences will have a lot at risk.

For more detail and extended data findings, download the full report, Data Wars: A Look at Information’s Role In the New Advertising Era here.

About Adlucent
Adlucent, an AMP Agency company, is a performance-driven digital marketing and intelligence agency that helps brands identify, engage, and acquire high-value customers. Based in Austin, Texas, Adlucent’s machine learning platform helps retailers create, launch, and manage high-volume campaigns through the use of extensive data and analytics. Since its founding in 2001, Adlucent’s “Better Every Day” approach to innovation has allowed the company to execute on its commitment to creating and delivering personalized advertising programs. For more information on Adlucent, visit

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Molly W. George
Kickstand Communications
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