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I Always Feel Like... Somebody’s Watching Me

July 2, 2014

The vast majority—80%—of consumers aged 20-40 in the US and the United Kingdom believe total privacy in the digital world is a thing of the past, and nearly half (49%) said they would not object to having their buying behavior tracked if it would result in relevant offers from brands and suppliers, according to a new Accenture study of more than 2000 consumers.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents said that when they are physically in a store, they would welcome text messages from that retailer alerting them to offers matching their buying preferences.

It appears consumers are less concerned about the whole idea that websites are tracking what they buy. In the survey, 64% compared to 85% from the 2012 survey are concerned about websites tracking their buying behavior.

However, it’s clear from the survey results that consumers continue to be cautious about the use of their personal information, according to Accenture. In the survey, 87% believe adequate safeguards are not in place to protect their personal information.

According to the survey, 70% of respondents believe businesses aren’t transparent about how their information is being used, and 68% say there is not enough transparency around what is being done with their information. A large number of respondents (40%) believe only 10% percent of their personal data is actually private. And although 42% believe vendors and suppliers are using their personal data in order to provide them with more relevant offers, 39% believe their data is being sold.

“In today’s digital age where consumers are connected and empowered and data is abundant, businesses must align their organizations, technology and strategies to deliver relevant and loyalty-enabling experiences to their consumers,” said Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital transformation for Accenture Interactive. “As the business leader who typically owns the customer experience for most organizations, the chief marketing officer (CMO) should be in the driver’s seat to encourage a customer-centric digital transformation that generates experiences to meet consumer needs.”
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