Consumers fear that brands know too much about them, finds Accenture

The rise of personalization tactics in marketing has consumers concerned that brands know too much about them, an Accenture study has found.

According to Accenture, companies who are striving to become "living businesses" - or ones that are "extraordinarily pre-emptive and responsive to changing customer needs" - need to be aware of the fact that they could end up scaring off people who feel like their personal data isn’t being protected or handled properly.

The report, which surveyed 2,000 US consumers, found that 43% fear “intelligent new services” will come to know too much about them and their family. In addition, 66% said they want companies to earn their trust by being more open and transparent with how customer information is being used.

Accenture also found that of the 36% of those surveyed who use digital assistants, 40% said it “can feel slightly creepy when technology starts to correctly interpret and anticipate their needs.”

“As technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital assistants become more sophisticated and mainstream, companies are creating new touch points, offerings and services that intelligently anticipate and flex to their customer’s precise needs, offering a level of hyper-relevance not experienced before,” said Robert Wollan, senior managing director and advanced customer strategy global lead at Accenture Strategy, in a statement. “Those that succeed will hit a ‘sweet spot’ whereby US customers will be willing to share more personal insights into their world in return for greater value and the confidence that their data is protected.”

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