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Opening Up: When Are You Willing to Exchange Personal Data for a Personalized Experience?

For brands today, balancing personalized customer experiences with data privacy concerns can often feel like walking a tightrope. Customers want personalized, one-to-one interactions with businesses, yet they’re turned off by intrusive advertising and targeting efforts that don’t deliver convenience and value. 

So how can brands demonstrate they know consumer preferences while maintaining trust? We asked Acquians to share examples of when they would be willing to share personal data with a brand in exchange for a better experience.  

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“While booking a hotel or a restaurant, I like to share a birthdate or wedding anniversary date to have the room or table decorated in a customized way on those special occasions.”

-Ajay Satpute, Engineering Manager, Quality

“I love when clothing stores know my sizes in clothes and they are able to proactively recommend sizing for me if they have clothing items that run large or small. Also when they keep a record of my past purchases, so that I know what I bought and when is super helpful!”

-Maggie Schroeder, Product Marketing Manager

“As a security-minded person, I am generally only willing to do so when I am actively aware I'm getting something in exchange. I have created accounts with some of my favorite makeup brands and given them my information in exchange for special benefits like discounts, product restock alerts and rewards points.” 

-Cyrus Nations, Associate Solutions Engineer

“I’m glad when my user behavior and history are used when browsing YouTube for recommended videos that are curated for my interests.”

-Prasanna Kulkarni, Senior Web Analytics Manager

“I’ll share personal data when it adds to my convenience without being creepy. One example of that is Google Home. I do not mind losing some privacy to have my entire house automated and my schedules and news available throughout the house.”

-Alberto Andrade, Director, Solutions Engineering

“I think in instances where I'm flooded with too much content, I don't mind sacrificing some personal information in order to have what's most relevant to me come up first. Things that pop into my head are YouTube, Amazon and Netflix. These are huge sites where there is so much content available that you could get lost looking through it all. If providing a little intel on me helps bring forward content that’s most relevant to me, I'm okay with that.”

-Mayra Rivera, Field Marketing Manage

“If I was going to visit a retail shop in person, I would be willing to share my current location to get insight on that specific store location's inventory.”

-Miwako Chimura, Human Resources Coordinator

 “[When signing up for a class or training session] I’d share information about my background to help establish my own personal starting point for training. I would give up data in the interest of that data serving to save me time and energy in consuming training materials.”

-Jenn Sramek, Director of Learning Services

“When I download a mobile app I will provide personal data like my email and some preferences. Why would I do this? For the deals of course. Recently I have signed up for Burger King, McDonald’s and Popeyes. I get discounts and offers based on my buying preferences. Another area I share data is for appointments for services like car maintenance. I shared my info with my dealer and when I visit the site and log in, I know when my last visit was, information about recalls on my car, etc.”

-Marvin Oey, Solutions Engineer  

“In almost any retail experience I can think of, I'm prepared to exchange the basic data required to enhance my user experience. If the data is gathered and used to improve the website or email promotions that I'm presented with, then great! Bland, broad offers that give me nothing of interest are an irritation and something that drives me to the unsubscribe button - take my data, and if you do, use it well and bring me personalized content.”

-Mark Silvester, Marketing Ops Senior Manager 

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With more consumer data available than ever before, marketers have greater opportunities to deliver personalized content that directly addresses a customer’s needs and demonstrates an understanding of their interests and values. No brand can afford to squander this data with inaccurate or irrelevant experiences or else they risk losing customer trust. For more on how brands can activate data to deliver more convenient, relevant experiences for their customers, check out our e-book on The State of Personalization Today

Paige Breaux

Content Marketing Manager Acquia

Paige Breaux is Acquia's Content Marketing Manager. Paige is a lifelong storyteller and enthusiastic editor with a background in writing and digital marketing for B2B tech brands and online lifestyle publications. Before joining Acquia, she worked in content marketing for a global SaaS+ company and interned for various trade publishing houses. She can regularly be found around Boston reading, running, or sipping on iced coffee.