Placecast, a location-based marketing company, recently surveyed 2,262 U.S. adults to determine consumer sentiment with regards to how companies use consumers’ personal data to target advertising. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Placecast, asked consumers how comfortable they were with personal data being used for the purpose of ad targeting. In addition to discovering that only one-third of U.S. consumers are comfortable with Facebook using their data for ad targeting, the survey also revealed the following:
• 81% of consumers want grocery stores to provide them with coupons based on what they purchase.
• 66% of consumers are comfortable with Amazon recommending relevant products based on past purchases and site usage.
• 41% of adults do not have a problem with Google targeting ads based on previous searches.
• 38% of consumers would allow a merchant to send offers to a mobile device, provided the merchant has permission.
• 33% of consumers are comfortable with Facebook using profile information and posts to target them with ads.
Placecast CEO Alistair Goodman told the press that the study confirmed that consumers only want to provide personal data when they get something in exchange:
“Facebook’s business is based on the use of consumer data to target ads. They clearly have a challenge convincing their huge user base that there is value in the exchange of personal data for a free service. In contrast, Amazon is a company just a few years older than Facebook, but they have created a scenario where consumers understand and accept the benefit their data provides for the service they are receiving, much like consumer’s acceptance of grocery coupons tied to purchase data.”
Although only 38% of U.S adults surveyed are comfortable with merchants sending them offers on a mobile device, Kathryn Koegel, a consultant who helped with the survey, believes this number will continue to increase:
“As more and more consumers use apps that convey a specific benefit for turning on location tracking on their device for finding movies, restaurants, retail, and entertainment options near them, they will be increasingly open to this kind of info being used by marketers to push relevant offers.”
Would you rather your grocery store, Amazon, or Facebook utilize your personal data to target ads?