In pro sports, play­ing dirty rarely pays off in long-term gains—fans are most proud of their team when the play­ers exer­cise good sports­man­ship. It’s the same in the opti­miza­tion game: You need to keep your fans happy, because they are the rea­son you play the game. Their per­cep­tion mat­ters, and it mat­ters a lot. And con­sumers are becom­ing more con­scious of who’s using their infor­ma­tion, and how.

There’s a myth that online con­sumers react neg­a­tively to per­son­al­iza­tion. Done right, it’s one of the most pro­duc­tive things you can do to improve cus­tomer ser­vice and sat­is­fac­tion. Still, you need the right plays, and just like a pitcher reads a catcher, you need to know what con­sumers are thinking.

So… what do they really think? Sur­vey data from mar­ket research firm Econ­sul­tancy reveals the fol­low­ing insights:

  • 64% of con­sumers say they would choose to see online ads only from brands they know and trust.
  • 84% of con­sumers are com­fort­able with com­pa­nies shar­ing data in return for bet­ter offers and freebies.
  • 24% of con­sumers are com­fort­able with com­pa­nies sell­ing data outright.

Atti­tudes about per­son­al­iza­tion vary by age group, and behav­ior “in the moment” is often dif­fer­ent than what peo­ple report on sur­veys. Among Mil­len­ni­als, for exam­ple, 70% believe that no one should have access to their per­sonal data or brows­ing behavior—or at least that’s what they report when sur­veyed. These waters are mud­died when con­sid­er­ing other sur­vey results: 25% of Mil­len­ni­als said they would share infor­ma­tion to get more rel­e­vant ads, 51% would share per­sonal data to get some­thing in return, and 56% are will­ing to share their geo­graphic loca­tion in exchange for deals or coupons. More­over, only 3% of all respon­dents clas­si­fied their view of per­son­al­iza­tion as “neg­a­tive,” while 57% reported a pos­i­tive or some­what pos­i­tive view. 

So how does a dig­i­tal mar­keter make sense of this com­plex and seem­ingly con­tra­dic­tory infor­ma­tion and make sure that your cus­tomers are react­ing pos­i­tively to your tar­get­ing and per­son­al­iza­tion efforts? Reg­is­ter now to attend a live webi­nar with Adobe and Econ­sul­tancy to bet­ter under­stand what your cus­tomers really think about your tar­get­ing efforts, and find out why com­pa­nies employ­ing web­site per­son­al­iza­tion expe­ri­ence, on aver­age, 19% more sales.