Consumers Distrustful of Facebook Ad Targeting

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placecast survey data

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?

Sources Include: TechCrunch, PRWeb, & Bloomberg Businessweek
Image Credit: Placecast

David Angotti

David Angotti

After successfully founding and exiting an educational startup in 2009, I began helping companies with business development, search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO),... Read Full Bio
David Angotti
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  • It’s good to see these numbers, I’ve been seeing a sharp decline with the effectiveness in my facebook ads over recent years, so these numbers only solidify my beliefs. While still generally more effective than Google Display ads, and leagues more effective than LinkedIn I’m not 100% convinced that Facebook marketing will survive in its’ current form much longer.

  • Users have been distrustful of Facebook because of how complicated they have made setting up privacy settings. It is quite difficult to likewise manage information as it takes users too many clicks to delete Facebook photos, tags, wall posts, and status updates. For most, this would mean that Facebook is deliberately making sure that they can use as much information on its users as it can to make money from its advertisers.

    This kind of strategy does not sit well with consumers. We don’t mind advertising as long as we have full control over it and we are aware of the use of our personal information. And the fact that people are aware the company is making billions from the platform is not helping in their reputation. Unless Facebook makes its privacy controls more transparent and user-friendly, its popularity will continue to slide.

    • We should trust Facebook less. Grocery stores and Amazon do not collect (or have access to) nearly the amount of information that we spoon feed Facebook on a daily basis about ourselves. I actually think Facebook privacy settings are less complicated then either grocery stores or Amazon, but rather it’s their abuse of the privacy settings by changing them mid-stream and requiring users to opt out that people find distrustful. Though I agree with you Cherry, that I think many people are oblivious to the share with only me, friends, everyone option that is on any app they interact with.