Don’t Mess with Mom, Marketers: Personalized Advertising Dissed by UK Mothers

While much marketing talk today is about personalization of advertising, it’s still a prickly area for both advertisers and consumers. One proof comes from an April, 2017 poll of UK users of online parent site Mumsnet, which “showed respondents had little love for being pursued...

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While much marketing talk today is about personalization of advertising, it’s still a prickly area for both advertisers and consumers.

One proof comes from an April, 2017 poll of UK users of online parent site Mumsnet, which “showed respondents had little love for being pursued so directly, with privacy concerns a primary reason why.”

An April, 2017 survey of more than 1,000 Mumsnet users in the UK found some positive sentiment toward personalized ads: 46 percent of respondents agreed that personalized ads made sense since “personalization is the future.” Forty nine percent said they would rather see “ads that fit my age, personal situation or online behavior than random ads.”

The remainder of respondents were generally more against than in favor of personalized or retargeted advertising.

“The study found only 6 percent of respondents liked seeing ads from a previously viewed website show up on subsequent sites, while just 16 percent were indifferent about it,” reports eMarketer. “The largest share of respondents (32 percent) said they “hate” the practice.”

Significantly, two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be unhappy to see targeted advertising that is based on either their online behavior or on data they had provided to an advertiser.

Bottom line? The strategy failed with 68 percent of respondents, who admitted they would not be more likely to buy an advertised product because of personalized advertising.

“It’s in nobody’s interests to show people ads they don’t want to see, or that make them scrabble for the ‘close tab’ button,” said Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts of the study’s results. “If personalized advertising isn’t done sensitively, the risk is that users will opt for the nuclear ad blocker option. Transparency is absolutely key—web users need to be consulted, to feel informed and to be offered tools that allow them to easily opt out.”

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