Personalization Without People?


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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 have shown 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. This infographic illustrates the trickiness of balancing privacy concerns and effective personalization. Marketers should tread carefully when it comes to putting automation in place.

While there are many purchase decisions where customers feel more comfortable dealing with a salesperson face-to-face, other purchases seem to do very well without any human interaction. When it comes to making purchases involving zero human interaction, only 20% of people would consider buying a car but 72% of people would consider booking a hotel and 73% of people would consider booking a flight. Nowadays, this doesn’t necessarily have to mean booking through a company website – in fact, 40% of people have said that they are comfortable booking travel through chat programs such as Facebook Messenger. I realize these are examples from B2C industries but as I’ve discussed previously our perspective should be “human to human” or “brain to brain”.

While personalization can be a good way to improve customer experience, it can also have its problems – privacy concerns being a major one. Customers are also wary about receiving spam mail or offers that aren’t relevant to their interests. Many customers are skeptical about the benefits of data collection through the Internet of Things:

  • 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

The people who believe that this kind of data collection can improve their lives named the following positive impacts:

  • 63% listed better recommendations from brands
  • 56% listed the ability to make personal choices based on data
  • 55% listed enhanced awareness of their habits
  • 34% listed increased health
  • 32% listed more financial stability

Of the customers who are nervous or negative about collection of their data, privacy is a major factor:

  • 83% said that data collection would be an invasion of privacy
  • 68% feared that brands would misuse their data

Millennials tend to be less worried about these factors than older demographics.

As we look to boost their automation and personalization, marketers need to be aware of customer perceptions of personalization and their privacy concerns. What have you  done to build trust with its customers around data collection? Let me know in the comments!

Personalization Without People Infographic

About the author: Louis Foong View all posts by
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America’s most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. He is member of the B2B Council of the Canadian Marketing Association (“CMA”) and a regular contributor to the (CMA) blog. His work has appeared in Yahoo News, SmartBrief,, USA Today, CustomerThink, Business2Community and on the list of “must reads” by McKinsey on Marketing and Sales. His commentaries and opinion pieces are shared by readers and valued for their industry insights, unique perspective, real-life experiences and often radical views that stimulate active discussions. Louis’ astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large. With the right advice and a slew of result-driven services, he enables clients to gain maximum return on investment for their lead generation efforts. ALEA’s clients include companies in the technology, telecommunications, software, healthcare and professional services industries. Prior to starting the ALEA Group, Louis Foong has held various senior executive positions within corporate America. Today he is known and well-respected as a thought leader and pioneer in the B2B marketing world. To receive news and B2B lead generation tips from Louis Foong and The ALEA Group, click here.



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