Canadians more wary of giving personal data to marketers: study

Canadians are getting more protective of their personal information than they were five years ago, at least when it comes to giving that data to marketing professionals.

Twenty-seven per cent of Canadians say they give away less personaldata to marketing companies now than they did in 2007,according to anew survey of 1,511 people by Leger Marketing and business analyticsfirm SAS Canada.  Only 18 per cent of us are givingmarketers more access to our personal information today compared tofive years ago.

The poll sheds some interesting (and in a few cases, surprising) lighton what type of information we prefer to keep under wraps and whichdata we have no problem divulging in exchange for more personalizedoffers from marketing companies these days.

More Canadians (23 per cent) arewilling to disclose their sexual orientation to a marketing companythan their home phone number (13 per cent).

For example, more Canadians are willing to disclose their sexualorientation (23 per cent) for marketing purposes than give amarketer their home phone number(13 per cent) or cell phone number (six per cent). And despite the riseof Facebook and Twitter, email is still the preferred delivery methodof choice to receive marketing materials. It’s tops with 73 per cent ofCanadians, followed by snail mail (favoured by 47 per cent) and socialmedia (picked by just 13 per cent).

Although 93 per cent of survey respondents aged 18 to 34 use socialmedia, even that age group chooses email rather than social networkingas their favourite way to receive marketing material, the study found.
The overall preference for email, combined with the reluctance todisclose home or mobile phone numbers, may point to a continuing fearof the dreaded telemarketing call, at least in this survey.

In spite of the tendency to divulge less personal information than theydid in 2007, 60 per cent of Canadians say they would like to receivemore personalized marketing material from companies and 46 per cent areeven willing to give up more personal data in order to receive it. Yetonly 37 per cent of Canadians who have divulged that type of data havereceived more personalized marketing messages as a result, the surveyfound.

The fact that 60 per cent of consumers want more personalized marketinginformation but only 37 per cent are actually receiving it indicatesthat marketing companies have failed to recognize that demand andtailor their outgoing messages accordingly, said Lori Bieda, executivelead for customer intelligence at SAS Americas.

“Canadians expect organizations to be relevant in how they talk tothem,” Bieda said in a released statement. “When companies don’t dothat ,they lose the privilege of having that customer and ourcommuncations are relegated to ‘junk mail.’ And we don’t get(that)share of mind, never mind wallet.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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