Just 33% of consumers believe online ads are more relevant than offline – is the power of personalisation up for debate?

With many consumers not convinced of online ad relevance and almost half unable to tell the difference between their pre and post-GDPR ad experiences, should brands be calling their personalisation investments into question?

The well-documented disconnect between consumers’ desire for increased personalisation and their unwillingness to share more data has been reaffirmed with research from data-driven marketing agency, Precis Digital.

Conducted alongside the YouGov analysis institute, the study found that while one third of consumers have a desire for more personalised adverts, just 6% are willing to share additional data to ease advertisers' personalisation efforts.

Online advertising only markedly more relevant than offline

Only a third (33%) of those surveyed agree that online ads are more relevant than offline, calling into question the supposed effectiveness of targeting and personalisation afforded by the digital medium.

Additionally, 41% of consumers were unable to identify any improvement in their online advertising experience since the new GDPR legislation was introduced in 2018.

These insights underline the challenge brands and marketers are facing to effectively meet consumer expectations, with much of this imbalance appearing to come down to one thing – lack of trust.

Intrusiveness is driving consumers away

According to the research, more than half (52%) of consumers have revoked data consent from brands, with annoyance (56%) and intrusiveness (53%) cited as the primary reasons.

Based on this, a stronger focus on customer experience needs to be prioritised by marketers if they are going to persist with personalisation, with fostering transparency and ultimately building trust being the most effective strategies.

Rhys Cater, Managing Director, Precis said: “The stark contrast between the desire for personalised ads and the reluctance to share additional data reveals a critical disconnect. It is clear that building trust, respecting privacy, and delivering meaningful experiences are paramount in today's marketing environment."