The common perception about data collection for Web advertisements is that it has to be done indirectly and discretely, but a recent survey conducted by the independent research consulting business Ctrl-Shift and the marketing startup nFluence found that consumers are happy to give their personal interests to marketers if they see a positive return.
Currently, marketing companies rely on hundreds or thousands of various points where data is collected and builds anonymous profiles that are often inaccurate and incomplete.
Advertising services like Facebook, Amazon, Google, and BlueKai build these profiles that primarily rely on click through rate and don’t allow for users to give nay input on whether they like the ad or find it relevant.
The study also found that consumers are excited by the idea of getting rid of the noise and removing irrelevant marketing messages, even if that means that they have to take a little time to rate different brands, ads, and segments.
NFluence was pleased to learn that consumers are very realistic about their privacy and will reveal information if control is fun and not labor intensive and they see a value to it.
I caught up with CEO of nFluence Media, Henry Lawson, and he explained that his company has built a mobile app that uses this data and gives consumers ads that are relevant while providing marketers more valuable data.
“People are aware of how much they are analyzed and they want to have an influence over what the data says about them,” Lawson explained. “There is the underlying privacy concerns – people want to declare their intent and the offers the receive and separate that from privacy. And they are much more concerned about the spam and message that than the targeted ads.”
The nFluence dealBoard gamifies the advertisements and deals that marketers offer so that users can quickly like or dislike companies that are relevant to them. One area that surprised Lawson was that most users would go through all 40 brands rather than approving or disliking a dozen and then moving on to the deals. This gives analysts a great swath of information to work from.
It looks like passively sniffing at what people are doing is becoming archic and more companies will look at how consumers can control what they are being served and advertised.
“We are going from a place where the consumer has zero impact on messages they receive to having a huge impact on what content they see,” Lawson explained. “We enable a consumer to give feedback about the ad and that brings out better advertising and data for everyone.”