Personal Data: What Will Consumers Share for, and What Goes Overboard?

February 10, 2023

Some consumers report seeing benefits from sharing their data with brands, while others feel that once they do so they’ve lost ownership of that data. New research [download page] from Marigold (formerly CM Group) finds that most consumers will trade their personal and preference data in return for various benefits, though how their data is used can cross over from cool to creepy.

Looking at the so-called “value exchange economy,” Marigold finds that a leading 93% of respondents will trade personal and preference data in return for discounts and coupons, with a majority (57%) finding this to be highly valuable. This aligns with other research indicating that most online shoppers will provide their email, gender and name in exchange for discounts.

Beyond discounts, the vast majority of consumers will exchange their personal and preference data for loyalty rewards (91%), early or exclusive access to products and services (86%) and the opportunity to win a prize (83%).

Fewer – though still a majority – will trade their data in order to feel part of a brand’s community (59%) and to unlock content (51%).

Separately, there’s some appetite among consumers to share their behavioral data for better service, but not all data is created equal in their minds. Roughly 3 in 4 (74%) will share their gender for better service, and most will share their hobbies (70%) and date of birth (66%). However, only a minority would share their family make-up (44%) for better service, and fewer than one-third would share their location in real-time (31%).

Indeed, there’s an aversion to location-based marketing: two-thirds (67%) say that ads based on location data are creepy (much as they did last year). Other creepy practices include ads related to something they talked about near a smart device (63%) and retargeting ads derived from third-party cookie tracking (61%).

By contrast, most say that recommendations based on past purchases are “cool” (79%) rather than creepy. Email reminders or adverts about an abandoned shopping cart (65%) and personalized offers after staying on a brand’s site for 2+ minutes (60%) are also considered “cool” by a majority of respondents.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 6,833 consumers across eight countries (Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, U.K., U.S. and Spain).


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