The battle between consumers and the organizations that want to track their private activities and communications continues to rage. In response to complaints about how marketers are storing and using data related to consumer activity, online promoters have come up with a proposed Do Not Track policy. Some online consumers fail to understand the true outcome of this policy. Instead of seeing targeted promotions, an online user who has elected not to be tracked will see generic promotions. Ironically, Janrain research has found that consumers are tired of seeing online ad content that doesn’t interest them.
In its 2013 Online Personal Experience study, 74% of consumers noted their frustration when they encountered offers, ads and promotions that didn’t pertain to them. Consumers said they would leave a site as a result of being served these kinds of ads:
- A political party they don’t like asked for donations 67%
- Dating sites encouraging them to sign up regardless of marital status 57%
- Underwear for the opposite gender 50%
Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain says “It’s a wake up call for brands to fix this problem or risk losing customers and prospects.”
Marketers must still walk a fine line when showing ads online. Over half of consumers will give up some amount of personal information if they are assured that a marketer is using the data in a responsible way. About ¾ of consumers say they would trust marketers if they received a detailed explanation about exactly how personal information is being used to customize what they see online.