Are younger generations less creeped out by online personalization?
A new survey finds many targeted ads and personalized emails make consumers feel “creepy,” but more so with Boomers than younger generations. In comparison to a 2021 survey, more members of younger generations also found such marketing techniques to be “cool.”
The survey of 5,404 consumers across Australia, France, Japan, Spain, U.K., Ireland and the U.S. came from Cheetah Digital.
Among those questionable techniques:
- Advertisements that follow you across devices: Seen as “creepy” by 72 percent of Boomers versus 60 percent of Gen-X, 56 percent of Millennials and 59 percent of Gen-Z. Compared to Cheetah Digital’s 2021 survey, 18 percent more Millennials and Gen-X now see this technique as “cool.”
- Advertisements from companies I don’t know based on location data: Seen as “creepy” by 78 percent of Boomers versus 65 percent of Gen-X, 61 percent of Millennials and 63 percent of Gen-Z. Compared to the 2021 survey, there was an eight percent decline in Gen-Z, Millennials and Gen-X who find this “creepy.”
- Advertisements related to something talked about near a smart device: “Creepy” to 74 percent of Boomers versus 59 percent of Gen-X, 56 percent of Millennials, and 55 percent of Gen-Z. Since the 2021 survey, there was a 16 percent decrease in Millennials seeing this as “creepy.”
- Advertisements on social media sites based on recent shopping: Seen as “creepy” by 60 percent of Boomers versus only 44 percent for Gen-X, 40 percent of Millennials and 36 percent of Gen-Z. Compared to the 2021 survey, there was a 16 percent increase in Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X since 2021 finding this “cool.”
According to the 2022 Gartner Customer Service and Support Survey, 71 percent of B2C customers expect companies to be well informed about their personal information during an interaction, but they’ve also become increasingly alarmed about how their data is being used.
Gartner predicts 75 percent of the world’s population will have its personal information covered by modern privacy regulations by 2025. Brad Fager, Gartner senior director analyst, said in a recent statement, “This reiterates the need for brands to leverage customer data with a proper understanding of customer preferences, terms of service and relevant regulation.”
- 2022 Digital Consumer Trends by Age Group – Cheetah Digital
- Youth Feel That Retargeting is More “Creepy” Than “Cool” – MarketingCharts
- Creepy or Cool? Consumers Sound Off on Personalization Techniques – MarketingCharts
- When Hyper-Personalization Becomes Hyper-Creepy – CMSWire
- How to Straddle Personalization and Privacy – Gartner
- Personalisation vs privacy: a ‘stark and explicit’ trade-off – Financial Times
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What should marketers take away from evidence that younger generations may be more open to personal data-driven online marketing schemes? Will many of today’s “creepy” online marketing techniques eventually be seen as “cool”?