Almost two in every five (39%) consumers prefer targeted marketing that delivers content relevant to their needs despite concerns over data privacy, according to the latest research from Sodexo Rewards and Benefits Services. The research also reveals that one in five (21%) also want to receive products and services that might not be targeted to them.

Many people assume that consumers dislike targeted marketing, as it can be perceived as intrusive. However, the research reveals that many consumers in fact like the advantages that targeted marketing brings, such as personalised offers and savings based on previous shopping behaviours.

When asked if the use of personal data by a brand felt invasive, the majority of respondents rejected this statement. Even amongst the over 55s, 58% didn’t feel that it was invasive and 67% of those aged between 18 – 44 agreed. The research also revealed that targeted marketing was most popular for 25-34-year olds, with 29% reporting that they like it because they only see products that are relevant to them.

The research, conducted by TLF Research, surveyed 1,000 consumers about their feelings towards targeted advertising, audience segmentation, and loyalty programmes.

The research also reveals that most consumers prefer to receive target marketing through email (44%), with the second most popular form being traditional post (21%), and then social media (15%). Despite expectations that younger generations would favour online marketing, traditional post was the highest selected format amongst 25-34 year olds. These findings demonstrate that not all marketing is ready to be digital, and that print is still valued.

Chris Baldwin, director of consumer promotions and loyalty at Sodexo Rewards and Benefits Services, said: "Our latest research reveals that the public are far more open to targeted marketing than common perception would have you believe. Targeted marketing enables brands to accurately and effectively identify customers based on their previous shopping behaviours and then tailor communications to reflect the products and services that appeal to them. While there has been a certain level of mistrust in the past, this is rapidly changing. Having grown up in the digital world, younger generations recognise the benefits that targeted marketing brings and are much more comfortable with brands using data to enhance their shopping experience."


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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