One of the toughest issues for marketers to deal with in this high-tech world is how much to personalize their communication and offerings. On the one hand, marketers need as much customer information as possible to target individual shoppers more specifically. On the other hand, many customers want their privacy and do not appreciate it when they think they are overly tracked.

What do YOU think is the proper balance?

Here the thoughts on this subject by Louis Foong, the founder and CEO of ALEA Group Inc., (a B2B demand generation specialist):

“You want to give your prospects and customers a seamless, personalized, and sublime experience, and you know that you can’t do that without collecting their personal data. The trouble is, a lot of your customers don’t like the idea of sharing their information with you – what exactly are they so afraid of?”

“Findings by Boxever show that attitudes toward personalization and privacy are complex, and there are a few reasons why many of them are so against sharing their personal information with companies. The infographic below shows the trickiness of balancing privacy concerns and effective personalization.  Customers are also wary about receiving spam mail or offers that aren’t relevant to their interests. Only 14% of people say data collection through connected devices will improve their life.The other 86% either aren’t sure or don’t think it will improve their life.”

Here is the challenge.


13 Replies to “Can You Personalize Marketing without Shopper Participation?”

  1. I understand why companies want as much information about their shoppers as possible, but in my opinion, I trust a company more when they are less intrusive. I think knowing somewhat basic information about consumers is necessary to make sales but being too invasive will make shoppers uncomfortable and not trust the company. In their efforts to gain more customers, companies may end up scaring them away.

  2. Nowadays, the line between getting customers’ information and privacy invasion has blurred. And with more privacy invasion occurred, it is even harder for marketers to regain consumers’ trustiness back. Therefore, make sure what kind of information relate to company’s personalization and collect what kind of information will let your customers feel uncomfortable with are very critical.

  3. Recommendation system is used by most of the companies, I think it is accepted by customers. In my opinion, customers do not want companies to recommend all the things they need, because that reflect that company know very detail about their life. I always buy products in Amazon, they recommend some products to me, but most of those things are the product I have bought or searched before. I could understand that. However, if the company would recommend things that I want to purchase but did not search already, that makes me worried a lot. So, sometimes, it is a good idea that company recommend some products that customers do not need.

  4. Even though marketers need the customers’ information, they should not let the customers feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, customers will feel unsafe even angry when they have found their personal information have been collected by some companies. They will feel they have been monitored and tracked; the customers will have a bad impression of the company. The customers may switch to other brands or complain to other people by word of mouth, both of these behaviors are harmful to the company.

  5. Being one of those customers that hates giving out their information it was interesting to read about it from the other perspective.I think its just about finding happy medium that works for both the company and customer but unfortunately this is a littler harder than companies would hope because when they try to get information about their customers, customers feel uncomfortable.

  6. In today’s generation, a lot of marketing derives from the clicks and searches of the users. Some people, mostly those who seek privacy from the corporations, have issues with marketers of these firms getting their information from the action that occurs on the user’s server. I am on both sides of this argument. I like my privacy when it comes to my Internet activity. The idea of a company utilizing my moves as data is a little unsettling. However, I see the merit in this tactic because I can see deals and sales that apply to my interests. If I am a sports fan, I will not be getting notifications on deals from Knitting tools or Cup Cake makers. Instead, I will be seeing deals on basketball shoes and baseball gloves. At the end of the day, I am okay with marketers utiilzing my activity on the Internet for data because I want efficiency with the ads that I see.

  7. This article is interesting because it shows the importance of collecting customers private information. Although many people do not like giving out their information, and I am one of them, it is imperative that the company obtains this information. There needs to be a compromise in order for the customer to still feel comfortable and the company to be able to collect data that will in turn help them with their marketing.

  8. I think there has to be a definite limit as to what companies are trying to know about customers. Having cameras around and watching behaviors is definitely an invasion of privacy in my opinion. It is important for companies to know these certain things but there have to be other ways that they can gain information. Being watched without knowing it is something that is very inappropriate. There has to be a balance of getting the appropriate information that companies need but also feeling comfortable as a customer for that company.

  9. Personalized websites, tailored recommendations, and retargeting ads, they facilitate our life, but also make us feel exposed and unsafe. As far as I’m concerned, tracking user’s basic information is acceptable, but keep digging highly detailed personal information is not only creepy but also unnecessary. After all, companies collecting data is to attract and keep the customers not to freak them out.

  10. In my opinion, it’s necessary for a company to collect some basic information of customers in order to target them more accurately. But it’a measure for the company to not dig customers’ personal information and follow the privacy policy which has been noticed by customers. And the company should have a balance of getting specific information that it needs but also make the customer feel comfortable and trust that company.

  11. It is really hard for marketers to balance the personalization and consumers’ privacy. Tracking basic personal information from the website is acceptable. However, if companies dig deeply into consumers’ behaviors to find out some information, consumers would feel uncomfortable. Companies should figure out what information consumers are willing to share with them and what information should not be touched. Companies also need to pay attention to the frequency of their retargeting ads. If the ads show up too often, consumers will feel annoyed even if those ads are related to them.

  12. I do believe that marketer should learn how to better target their audience better but personalization might be quite difficult. Tailoring your products to specific individuals can become time-consuming and can definitely disrupt the privacy. Instead I believe that marketers focus on social and economic classes as a start. If companies do feel as if it will help their sales, I believe that should find a way to reach to their customers without comprising something as simple as their Internet privacy.

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