Ready for some super Millennial-y Millennial data? IDC predicts that by 2022, market demand for tailored digital marketing experiences will double every six months in most—more than two-thirds—of all industries. To create these tailored experiences, organizations need to collect tremendous amounts of personal data. Millennials are driving this: A growing 55% in the generational cohort like it when applications and websites are personalized to them. At the same time, however, 60% of Millennials think companies are collecting too much personal information about them online.
So Millennials want personalized experiences but are hesitant to share the data needed to provide those experiences. What’s a brand to do?
Meredith Whalen, IDC’s Chief Research Officer, says the conflicting trends are driving a new unwritten contract, “one where consumers will provide personal information if they receive personalized experiences in return,” she explains.
The key is to practice your WHY when collecting data.
“The challenge is that marketers have started to use very powerful tools in the spirit of customer-obsessed marketing,” Brigitte Majewski, VP, Research Director at Forrester recently opined. “Sometimes these tools and technologies outpace our collective understanding of what’s good and right in marketing for our customers.”
Asking for data isn’t merely polite, either. It’s increasingly becoming the law.
“Until recently consumer data was in abundance and businesses were free to collect as much of it as possible,” explains Gabe Morazan of Evidon from Crownpeak, who recently wrote about the issue for CMSWire. He points to increasing regulations—the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) among them—as signs we’re entering a new era. Potential data scarcity may take hold due to consumers being more aware and controlling of the personal information businesses collect about them.
Forrester researchers suggest that there’s a spectrum of consent when it comes to consumers providing data. Certain variables contribute to how willing someone is to share their information at any given time. The overriding factor is trust. Forrester’s Fatemeh Khatibloo points out that trust may be where Millennials have their hang-ups, and it might not be a generational but a life-stage issue. Now that Millennials are grown up—with children and mortgages—their online behaviors have become less reckless and they’re not as willing to exchange their privacy for personalization.
Meaningful choices, transparent policies, and permission marketing are tackling these issues, but it appears only the savvy will thrive. Gartner predicts that 80% of marketers will abandon personalization efforts by 2025. Surprising, given the increasing demand we pointed out earlier. While data was once up for grabs in a winner-take-all Wild West battle of sorts for personalization, law and order are now taking hold. According to Garter, not understanding how to measure ROI and “the perils of customer data management” are building barriers few marketers currently know how to surmount.