What do consumers really think about privacy?

Merkle has released a report which has historically reported on the marketing leader’s point of view, but this time turns its focus to consumers, revealing their sentiments around online privacy and data collection and exploring their attitudes about regulations and updates from the big tech platforms.

consumers data privacy

Merkle surveyed 2,000 consumers to study the amount and extent of data consumers are willing to share, how they feel about emerging data privacy policies, and how well their attitudes align with their own expectations for more connected and contextual experiences.

The survey was conducted at the end of 2021 with a pool of respondents ages 18 and older in the United States and explores the preferences, expectations, and perceptions consumers have for brand interactions and personalized experiences, as well as the data that is behind them.

“Our study shows that consumers are increasingly aware of what personal data they are sharing with brands and have a heightened sense of the value exchange that they receive,” said Michael Komasinski, global CEO at Merkle.

“Brands need to continue to up their game on the customer experiences that they create and be strategic with how data drives value for consumers in both to known and unknown interactions along a customer journey.”

Exploring what consumers really think about data and privacy

The report indicates that consumers have a sophisticated understanding of data privacy and collection. And, despite negative media perceptions around both, they are open to establishing value exchanges that grant brands access to the data necessary to deliver the tailored customer experiences expected today.

  • 86% of respondents indicate they are likely to trade their data in order to enjoy personalized offers based on their interests and browsing or purchase history.

The key to unlocking personalization at scale

With only slightly more than half of consumers willing to simply accept cookies as a matter of course, brands looking to the future must prioritize the development of strategies, practices, and technologies that enable them to establish an opted-in relationship with each customer. When done correctly, with the value exchange clearly articulated to consumers, brands can engage in a mutually beneficial data exchange.

  • 90% of consumers surveyed express a willingness to share more data about themselves if they have a positive experience with a brand.
  • 70% of respondents reported they expect to receive something for their data.

Once brands establish a value exchange with consumers, they can begin to build and enrich the robust infrastructure of profile data necessary to deliver – in a compliant, privacy-safe manner – experiences personalized to the unique context and preferences of the customer.




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