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How Today's Consumers Feel About Online Targeted Ads

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Digital Marketing

How Today's Consumers Feel About Online Targeted Ads

Are consumer attitudes evolving when it comes to data-tracking practices online and the targeted advertising they see as a result of it?

April 5, 2024
Data tracking and targeted advertising for consumers
Image: Nuthawut /stock.adobe.com

While digital marketing tools play a role in enhancing brand awareness and credibility in the market as well as providing engagement with your target audience, concerns about data-tracking and privacy are also a concern for consumers, and have been for years now. The changing privacy landscape has seen marketers' use of third-party cookies in web browsers decline in recent years due to regulations curbing the use of cookies to track online behavior. 

So, how do consumers today feel about brand interactions shaped by online data collection? Reporting on recent research from consultancy Marigold, which surveyed more than 10,000 consumers in the U.S. and several other countries, Fast Company finds that consumers perceive many of these online brand interactions as less creepy than one might imagine. In fact, according to survey respondents, these online interactions are often more "cool" than "creepy."

For example, 54% deemed it “cool” when a promotion “tailored to your activity” pops up within two minutes; 59% appreciated brand messages reflecting actual interests (such as being a runner or hiker); and 80% endorsed recommending products “that align with your past purchases.” A whopping 84% said it was “cool” to receive a “personalized birthday offer.”

It’s a counterintuitive finding, particularly given that blunt framing, and deserves attention, given how long the creep factor has defined the conversation around digitally targeted marketing tactics. ...

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