Marketing isn’t getting the market’s message

eMarketer — always a source of great statistics — buries its lead in Discounts Drive Some US Consumers to Disregard Privacy Concerns. Same goes for the subhead, which reads “41% are willing to let marketers use personal data for discounts.”

Those are minority glosses on a majority fact: 59% aren’t willing to let marketers use personal data for discounts — and much higher percentages go out of their way to avoid what marketing does constantly, which is snarf up personal data. Here’s eMarketer’s graphic from the same piece:

emarketer stats

And, as we see, the numbers are going up. Also, if you go back to the source (TRUSTe) at the bottom of that graphic, you’ll find this and this, as well as the 2013 Consumer Data Privacy Report, all of which tell the same story: most consumers don’t like giving up data or privacy.

Getting that report, by the way, requires filling out a form and yielding a pile of personal data (so a salesperson can call and pitch you something); but if you don’t want to do that, here are the two stats they use to tempt the reader:

  • 35% of consumers stopped doing business due to privacy concerns
  • Only 1 in 4 are willing to share data for free services

And this graphic from the summary page could hardly be clearer about where the market stands in respect to privacy and trade-offs:

tradeoffs

Earth to Marketers: This is the market speaking to you. It’s saying the personalized advertising glass is more than 3/4ths empty. Calling it any % full is delusional.

The thing is, you can’t solve this yourselves. The solutions you need are ones that come from us: the customers of your advertisers. Not from you. We don’t care how hard you work to “deliver a better advertising experience.” You’ve poisoned the advertising well already. Olive branches like the ad choices icon are too little and too late.

But don’t worry. We’ll still buy stuff. We’ll still want good economic signaling from companies. But we’re done with all the agency living on your side of the demand/supply divide. What we both need is better signaling from us to you — in our ways and on our terms. Stay tuned for those.

Meanwhile, fellow customers, protect your Chrome browser from snoopy marketers with our Web Pal. You can download it here.

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