SAS Study: Data privacy, personalization concerns consumers

Caty, N.C. – Consumers have somewhat contradictory desires for greater data privacy and for businesses to have detailed insight into their personal needs, and also have seen improvement in how businesses use personal data. According to a new study from analytics technology provider SAS, 71% of 1,260 respondents surveyed said that recent news about government access to personal data increased their privacy concerns.

However, 60% still expect businesses to know their preferences and understand their needs. And 59% indicate seeing an improvement in personalized communications by businesses during the past five years. Respondents with incomes more than $100,000 were more likely to expect businesses to understand them (67%), as were those under age 30 (66%). Those with higher salaries also reported improved personalization (69%) and fewer irrelevant messages (44%). Again, numbers for those younger than age 30 were similar.

Fifty-seven percent of national retailer customers say their retailer understands them. This ranked behind banks, the leading industry with 67% of bank customers saying their bank understands them.

"When businesses use analytics wisely, and with sensitivity to customers' personally identifiable information, it's a win-win," said Wilson Raj, global customer intelligence director at SAS. "It's a win for brands that nurture profitable relationships based on a deep understanding of their customers. And consumers win when they receive relevant offers and communications from vendors they prefer. Data privacy policies require a thoughtful data management and integration strategy to ensure not only effective marketing, but also authentic and welcome customer contacts."