Three Types of Consumers, Three Types of Privacy Challenges
November 5, 2014
As more sci-fi visions of the future are turning into reality — self-driving cars and billboards that recognize us and so on — an ever-increasing number of people are becoming intimidated by technology. The “fear” from technology was always there, but luckily for marketers, it is not mutual to everyone. Here are three rough types of consumers with three different approaches about their privacy in the modern age:
- TAKE MY DATA! – Usually early adopters, they know that nowadays everything is connected, so why not enjoy the positive side of it?
- “Yeah, you can tag me” – These consumers are somewhere in the middle. They have social media accounts, but don’t expect them to share a minimum of one photo per week or share their location on a regular basis. Vacations though? Sure.
They are partly aware of the fact that everywhere they browse, everywhere they log-in, tagged and more, is information that someone will know how to make money off it. They don’t care enough to check what is actually known about them. They share what everyone shares, they search what others searched before. They might say they’ve really got nothing to hide but they still won’t feel that comfortable with the mighty world wide web knowing so much about them.
- “TV is bad for you!” – And so is the smartphone, the tablet and self-driving cars are definitely the end of humanity. These people fear the amount of data that companies, governments and other parties have on us, and they are doing something about it. They use incognito windows on their browser, some of them know what TOR is. It is not that they fear the actual technology, but they fear what some can do with it. So as part of their risk assessment (because you can’t really go totally incognito if you’re connected to the web), they take control. They want to be the ones who decide what data about them is available.
These three types of consumers present different challenges for marketers who wish to achieve their goals and target their audience with the best methods they can. The paradox is that the marketers might find themselves with more data than ever, but with less and less methods to actually benefit from it. As the available data grows, using it should be done with care and consumers’ privacy needs to be protected. There’s a very thin line between providing consumers an awesome customer experience or a creepy one. A crack in this line is all it takes to go from Mr. “TAKE MY DATA” to “TV is bad for you”, a line no marketer would like his audience to cross.
Boris Shurp is Marketing Executive at dmg