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Consumers want personalised content but fear privacy invasion

People are increasingly after personalised content online that offers them greater relevance to their needs and a faster experience, research by Yahoo has shown.

The internet giant studied the responses of  6,000 13 to 64 year olds for the study. As well as showing that content personal to them was desired, it was found that that brands need to give individual data control to their website visitors.

The findings revealed that 78% of respondents wanted personalisation for their content, while 60% wanted to know how the content was sourced and written. Another 58% wanted their content personalised, but only if they could set what data was used to configure it.

Data that people seemed happy to provide included demographic information, personal interest information, and reviews and responses to previously read articles or viewed content.

The vice president of Yahoo’s global research and insight department, Lauren Weinberg, said:

“It is all about striking the right balance in consumer control and personalised experiences. Consumers really understand that when they put in those preferences and share with publishers or brands, it makes their experience much better.”

One area where firms are exploiting this appetite is through direct emailing, but all options are considered. John Lewis, for example, has tried a number of strategies, but with varying success.

Additionally, research by New Look has shown that the category matters in regards to interest in personalisation, with entertainment being a good area to exploit; 60% of respondents stating that such content was improved if it was tailored to them. Lifestyle, sports and finance were also improved, according to the findings.

Personalised adverts are another big area, with research suggesting that a good campaign can significantly boost customer brand engagement.

At Pressroom, we understand that a balancing act must be maintained with such content, so that it can be affective without disrupting customer comfort levels.

Steven Morris

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