Study reveals consumers want personalized ads

Leger Marketing has released a report on consumer attitudes toward mass marketing, suggesting advertisers need more tailored messaging to those who disclose personal info.

From their postal code to their sexual orientation, virtually all Canadians (93%) have handed out some form of personal information for brands to use at their discretion. But what Leger Marketing has found in its latest survey on consumer attitudes toward mass marketing is that many actually feel jilted by brands who do not personalize advertising in return for information.

Two-thirds of Canadians (64%) can tell when a company has done their research and has tailored their marketing to them, according to the online survey that questioned 1,511 participants earlier this year. The report goes on to say that both the young and old are keen to receive personalized offers and promotions, with 65% between the ages of 18 and 34 and 53% over the age of 65 asking for brands to be more in tune with their interests.

There is a negative response from consumers that receive mass marketed materials not tailored to their interests. According to the survey, they feel bombarded (27%), irritated (21%) and that the brand has disrespect for their personal space or time (14%). But when the messaging is personal, consumers feel engaged (22%), informed (19%) and appreciative (15%).

Also, 51% of the survey participants say they respond positively to tailored marketing and they are more likely to purchase as a result. Yet some companies aren’t dishing out enough personalized information – with 42% of respondents having noticed that some of the promotional material they receive is personalized, 12% saying that most is, and another 36% don’t receive much at all. The remaining 7% and 2% find that no messaging or all messaging received is personalized, respectively.

Consumers will go as far as to stop doing business with a company because of a bad marketing experience (52%) and men are more inclined to do so (55%) than women (49%).

While email address (65%), age (59%) and postal code (55%) are the three most common details that consumers will share in return for offers and promotions, the survey reports that a younger demographic between ages 18 and 34 are more open-minded with what they are willing to divulge. Young adults are likely to give out their sexual orientation (32%), their age (68%) and cellphone number (12%). Whereas 19% of Canadians aged 65-plus are hesitant to give out any information at all.

Email is a clear winner when it comes to the preferred method of receiving offers and promotions, with 57% saying so, compared to 32% for flyers, 3% for social media and 1% for text. The numbers increase when the consumer is being marketed to by their favourite company – 73% for email, 47% for flyers, 13% for social media, 6% for phone and 2% for text messaging.