Accenture: Be Cool, Not Creepy, with Personalization
For its 2018 state of personalization study, Accenture Interactive polled 8,000 global consumers about their preferences and expectations when interacting with brands, retailers and service providers. The good news: more than 90% said they would buy from sellers that offer a “well-curated” experience—that is, recognizing the consumer, remembering their preferences, and providing them with relevant offers and recommendations. The bad news: generally these expectations are not being met. Accenture says that, during brand interactions, customers often find themselves overwhelmed by choices and underwhelmed by poorly curated experiences—meaning that something in the engagement has left them feeling unhappy or uneasy. Key insights revealed in the report include:
1. Consumers will share data but… transparency is essential. Seventy-three percent said that most retailers and service providers use personalization appropriately. However, of the 27% of consumers who felt targeting was overly invasive or personal, two-thirds said it was because they did not knowingly supply the data brands had used.
2. Be cool, not creepy in your methods, especially when using technologies like geo-marketing and digital-ad retargeting. More than 40% of consumers found it unsettling to receive a branded text or mobile notification upon entering or walking by a physical store. Thirty-five percent were bothered by getting ads on their social platforms for items they had recently browsed on a brand or company website. Consumers did appreciate getting mea-culpa or apology emails after a disappointing in-store or online experience.
3. Though data collection is crucial to personalizing interactions, brands should focus on leveraging data that buyers voluntarily provide, and on designing consistently relevant and satisfying outcomes.