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Looking for a Rug? Your Data Knows


Do you ever feel like your phone is listening to you? Like you can be talking about buying a rug with a friend in person, and haven’t done anything on your phone to indicate your interest in purchasing a rug, when all of the sudden every ad you see is for rugs?

You’re not alone.

While some say that this feature is convenient, as it cuts down on internet searching to find products, others are concerned about just how much our technology knows about us. Brands have been collecting data on both their returning consumers and prospective future customers for decades — but now it seems more personal.

How does the targeted audience feel about that?

Well, there have been quite a few interesting surveys conducting how consumers feel about brands collecting their personal data. A Merkle report in 2021 concluded that 76% of customers are “comfortable sharing their data for personalization.” However, this same 2021 study reported that just over half of consumers are under the impression that businesses today know too much about them.

It’s a balancing act between protecting data privacy and collecting enough data for a personalized experience. Unsurprisingly, the older generation of Boomers and Gen Xers value their privacy more, while younger Millennials and Gen Zs are less concerned.

It’s important for brands to be smart with the data they collect on consumers and to use it in a thoughtful and beneficial way. Data collection is a necessity, however, what you do with that data is even more important. Use it correctly and be smart with your response. Even better? Be honest about how you are collecting data and exactly how you are using it.

Consumers know that their information and personal data is valuable, and they expect to be compensated or rewarded for giving it to companies. Some examples can be coupons, targeted ad experiences, and more insightful (and helpful) recommendations, among others.

In a Dynata Research study in June 2022, less than 25% of participants believe brands are being transparent about how they use the data they collect. This creates a trust barrier. Be open with your clientele about how you are using the data you collect on them. By showing them what you are going to do with their information, they will be more willing to give it to you.

It’s a give-and-take game, because, the better the data provided by the consumer, the more personalized experience the brand can offer them. But to be given that high quality data requires a level of trust with the company and what they will use the data for.

Invest in showing your consumers how you use their data. They’ll thank you for it  —with more data.

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