This past week, I came across a new study by Q Interactive, an advertising network specializing in predictive behavioral targeting. It found Generation Y Americans (individuals born between 1982 and 1995) and baby boomers (individuals born between 1946 and 1964) are the two most active generations, with the greatest willingness to provide information online in exchange for more personalized advertising.
The study’s core finding showed that when given the choice, 63 percent of Gen Yers would provide personal data in exchange for targeted advertising. In addition, 53 percent of baby boomers would do the same.
The study surveyed more than 1,500 consumers on their feelings about targeted online advertising, and these groups had the highest percentages.
“The findings were surprising to us, because they go against a lot of perceptions advertisers have about what consumers will provide in order to receive personalized advertising,” Q Interactive’s President/CEO Matt Wise told me this week.
But baby boomers’ comfort with providing this type of information online was more surprising, Wise said. “Baby boomers finally really understand the value proposition of offering personal information online in exchange for something now,” he said. “If we surveyed them in 1999, I’m sure we would have gotten a different response.”
The study also found consumers, as a whole, value online advertising targeted to their individual needs and interests. Additional findings from the survey included the following:
- 56 percent view advertisers “favorably” when ads are tailored to a personal interest; and
- approximately one in three Gen Yers and baby boomers feel more relevant ads tailored to personal interests improve their online experiences.
So, if you’re targeting either Gen Y or baby boomers, try testing a program that offers more personalized advertising in exchange for their information. But make sure you do it the right way by following behavioral targeting best practices.