It’s widely accepted by marketers that consumers want increasingly personalized digital experiences. And while there’s considerable survey data that appears to support that general proposition, the truth is more situational and nuanced.

Resisting personalization. A new survey of 1,100 U.S. adults in March, conducted by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) appears to fly in the face of the conventional wisdom about personalization. It found that “telling people that sharing their data will allow for a more personalized experience does not result in a greater willingness to share data.”

Overall, the survey found that consumers were using their PCs less and mobile apps more for daily and routine tasks, such as email, social media, music, content discovery and e-commerce.

But the findings about personalization are the most interesting and significant. In most instances, people seemed less willing to share information in exchange “for a personalized experience.”

Personalization offer didn’t impact openness to data sharing

when there are clear, defined benefits. Consumers also want retailers, platforms and brands to ask permission for use of their data. And, for some people, “personalization” may now be a dirty word, implying “tracking” or “surveillance.”

With the impeding implementation of CCPA and other data privacy bills making their way through state legislatures, we’re rapidly moving toward an opt-in data framework where marketers will need to ask permission to use personal data — and convincingly sell consumers on the benefits.

About The Author

Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google .