Study: Consumers accept personalization technology

April 17, 2006

Although they have concerns about privacy, consumers believe that personalization technology – such as direct-mail marketing and filling out forms on Web sites – is here to stay, according to a research project conducted by two Arizona State University assistant professors and two graduate students.

The research team's project “Personalization of Data for Print and e-Commerce” investigated the use and penetration of personalization in the print and Internet industries, as well as consumer acceptance of that personalization during a five-month period. The initial findings were presented in August at the International Graphic Arts Education Association's conference at Millersville University in Pennsylvania.

According to the white paper produced by Graphic Information Technology (GIT) assistant professor La Verne Abe Harris, GIT graduate students Deborah Baney and Brian Davis, and GIT clinical assistant professor Howard Nelson, personalization is “a way to build customer loyalty and deliver intelligent recommendations to a target audience whether the mode is via print or the Internet.”

Print personalization can include direct-mail marketing, and Web personalization can include tracking customers' behaviors on Web sites. Both print and Web personalization involve customer-specific content that is based on that customer's implied interests.

“Personalization is growing in use for the Internet and in variable-data printing,” Harris says. “Today, print and e-commerce clients are expecting personalization as a part of their marketing strategy. This technology is significant because it gives clients a tool to effectively reach their target market, have that competitive advantage, and build a one-on-one relationship with their customers and users.”

When asked about Web personalization, 75 percent of respondents said they believe it is expected to continue, and 68 percent said print personalization is here to stay as well. Privacy issues raised concern for 31 percent of respondents on Web personalization and 30 percent on print personalization.

The study was funded by a $3,000 research grant from the Electronic Document Systems Foundation (EDSF).

Source: Arizona State University

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