Generations study

Consumers More Willing To Share Data In Return For Offers

As the world grows increasingly digital, companies need to evolve and focus on making consumers' lives easier and more efficient. There needs to be added value. New research backs these statements and has found consumers may even be willing to share their data with brands for special offers in return.

Adobe's “Voices Of The Generations” study, which surveyed 4,000 U.S. consumers across four generations to gauge how they feel about online advertising, found that respondents (ranging in age from 18 to 65-plus) appreciate location-based offers in return for their data, as well as messaging that's informed by past purchases. These findings signal the need to create clear and transparent methods to help marketers offer and shoppers receive the experiences they expect.

“The findings of this study show that consumers want relevant, timely, contextual experiences from brands that honor user choices, even while they are on the go,” said Keith Eadie, VP of Adobe Advertising Cloud. “Personalization is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have for brands that are working to build trust and long-term relationships with their customers.”

While personalization seems to be a growing demand from consumers, the study’s findings also suggest that brands must be committed to respecting user data, as survey takers admitted a level of uncertainty when it comes to how their data is being used online. Ninety percent of respondents said they believe more education is needed on the potential risks related to user data.

Brand Safety Is Top-Of-Mind

Consumers across generations also believe that brands are responsible for knowing exactly where their ads are running. However, people tend to place more blame on the website running the incorrect or poorly placed ads.

 

Who is at fault?

 

While 25% of Baby Boomers said they would boycott a brand if they see poorly placed ads, younger consumers are much more forgiving. In fact, the report found that younger generations are more likely to give companies the benefit of the doubt prior to boycotting. And, the study found, consumers of all age groups are most likely to forgive a brand that publicly apologizes for its mistake.

“While it’s hard to ensure 100% brand safety, the survey shows brands should take more responsibility for where and how their ad content sits. They’re ultimately in control of their tech stacks,” Eadie told CMO By Adobe. “Brand partners also have a vested interest in avoiding brand safety errors. And remember that when a mistake does happen, be transparent and genuinely apologetic.”

Social Media Across Generations 

Social media is embedded into the everyday lives of consumers across all of the generations surveyed. However, each age group has a different reason for interacting on social channels.

For example, older consumers said they use social networks to stay in touch and share with family and friends. Younger generations, on the other hand, said they use social networks to interact with people outside of their circle and to stay connected with friends and pop culture, the study found.

The good news for marketers: All of the generations surveyed expressed an interest in interacting with brands via social channels. Generation Z, however, is engaging with companies most on social media, with 69% who said they frequently engage with companies that place ads on social platforms. Sixty-three percent of Millennials also said they engage with companies that run ads on social, while only 49% of Generation X and 33% of Baby Boomers do so.

Get the full survey findings

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