Survey: Consumers Familiar with Behavioral Targeting, Don't Love It

  |  March 31, 2008   |  Comments

Almost three-quarters of people responding to a survey said they're aware of behavioral targeting, though far fewer know it by that name.

Almost three-quarters of people responding to a survey said they're aware of behavioral targeting, though far fewer know it by that name.

The results were published in a report, "2008 Study: Consumer Attitudes About Behavioral Targeting," that was independently conducted last month by TNS Global on behalf of consumer privacy organization TRUSTe. About 1,200 people participated.

Seventy-one percent of respondents said they are aware information about their online activity is being collected by third parties for advertising purposes. However, only 40 percent said they know the term "behavioral targeting," says the study.

TNS Global found that 57 percent of the people surveyed said they are not comfortable with advertisers using their browsing history to serve ads even when they believe their names and other personal information is not being revealed. Fifty-four percent said they delete their cookies at least twice monthly.

"These statistics indicate a high level of discomfort with the idea of tracking, despite industry reassurances that the information is entirely anonymous," says the report.

Carolyn Hodge, TRUSTe's VP of communications, said she believes the study marks the first time anybody bothered to ask -- in a scientific, structured fashion -- what people think about behavioral targeting for online ad purposes.

"First of all TRUSTe is following this issue from a privacy perspective," said Hodge, noting TRUSTe works with "companies that represent the entire value chain" including advertisers, ad networks, publishers and portals.

"I think that behavioral targeting is still a pretty small part of the overall advertising being done on the Internet," said Hodge. "At least, from what we can tell, advertisers would like to be doing more behavioral targeting but they are still hesitant because of consumer issues around privacy."

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they would be willing to fill out an anonymous survey about the products, services and brands they buy if it would limit, to just those products, services and brands, the online ads they are served. However, 19 percent "decidedly would not," according to the report.

Hodge said the report shows that consumers "obviously want customized experiences and relevant advertising� from brands they trust." However, there will be a lot of mistrust about the behavioral targeting methods unless those in the industry do more to educate Internet users, she said.

Noting that users of Amazon.com seem to have embraced that site's use of behavioral targeting to deliver customized recommendations, Hodge said a solution to the problem is possible.

"Unfortunately, I don�t have the silver bullet for it," she conceded. "But there are some good models out there taking place. It's definitely TRUSTe's position that all the companies benefitting from behavioral targeting need to be working together to make sure consumers feel like they understand more about what's happening."

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...