Data Highlights the Fine Line Between Personalization and Intrusiveness

Airship has released The Mobile Consumer report to provide brands with insights into the changing preferences, behaviors, and expectations of consumers in order to enhance their ability to create value. This release comes at a time of economic uncertainty, inflation, increasing costs to acquire customers, and the introduction of stricter data regulations.

“Growing data privacy regulations and advancements from Apple and Android are speeding brands towards a customer-first future, where transparency and control make it easier than ever for customers to shut down brands that aren’t meeting their needs. To gain the level of customer understanding necessary to succeed, brands must lean into mobile app experiences that offer always-on utility, convenience and individualized control — all of which reach much deeper into the hearts and minds of customers — allowing brands to respect, reward and serve customers better over time,” said Thomas Butta, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer, Airship.

According to a survey conducted across ten countries, individuals worldwide are increasingly open to sharing various types of information with brands. This willingness to share personal data stems from the desire for personalized interactions and exclusive incentives. Among the 15 different types of information examined by Airship, email addresses were the most commonly shared, with 86% of respondents providing them. Interestingly, this year, the category of "interests relevant to a brand" surpassed "name" as the second most frequently shared information, with 78% of respondents disclosing it.

Completing the list of the most shared types of information by consumers are "communication preferences" and "browsing history on a brand's app or website." This emphasizes the importance of adopting a customer-centric approach in brand interactions. Notably, the information that has seen the most significant increase in consumer willingness to share compared to the previous year is "social values, including environmental, moral, political, or religious beliefs."

Although email addresses are the most frequently shared information with brands, it is important to note that 79% of consumers tend to ignore or delete marketing emails from their favorite brands at least half of the time or more.

Interestingly, younger generations, particularly Gen Z, exhibit different behaviors when it comes to dealing with commercial emails. Rather than unsubscribing or deleting emails based on sender or subject lines, they are more likely to claim that they rarely check their email, utilize secondary email accounts that are rarely accessed, and employ anonymous or fake email addresses, such as those generated through services like Sign In with Apple.

Personalization preferences  

On a global scale, the three most valued forms of personalization by consumers are: "recommendations and offers tailored to their past behavior or purchases" (41%), "personalization based on their interests and preferences shared with the brand" (40%), and "content and offers customized to their current location" (34%).

The concept of "predictive suggestions based on the brand's comprehensive knowledge of the consumer" ranked the lowest in terms of preference. These findings indicate that consumers desire personalized experiences, but basic personalization techniques are not sufficient. Advanced methods of personalization walk a fine line between being genuinely helpful and crossing into the territory of being perceived as intrusive or creepy.

When asked about their preferred frequency of receiving various types of app-based messages from brands, a significant number of consumers expressed a preference for receiving them "immediately and as frequently as they occur". In terms of year-over-year data for seven message types, there was a decrease in the number of respondents who indicated that they "do not want these types of messages" and an increase in those who preferred receiving messages "only while using the specific app."

These findings highlight the importance for brands to provide customers with control over the types of messages they receive, as well as the ability to customize where and how frequently they receive them. While consumer preferences may vary regarding message frequency, these insights emphasize the significance of empowering customers in their messaging preferences.

Meanwhile, Airship has announced innovations to its App Experience Platform to help solve the problem of app retention rates and generate more revenue for businesses.