Increasing availability of data obtained via the internet and the proliferation of direct mail advertising provides tremendous opportunities for marketers to reach their customers. However, increased risks to the personal privacy of consumers, and attention in the media to these risks, provide unique challenges. Companies and especially direct marketers are finding that they need to change their tactics to deal with the increase in consumer concerns and privacy‐protecting behaviors. This paper aims to address these issues.
Using the results of a multinational privacy survey, the paper examines consumer privacy concerns and privacy‐protecting behaviors in the USA and Canada. It uses factor analysis and multiple regression techniques to analyze the data.
While consumer concerns about privacy are essentially the same between the two countries, the privacy‐protecting behaviors differed significantly. The paper also suggests that demographic variables influence a consumer's level of concern and likelihood to take privacy‐protecting behaviors.
The behaviors in the paper are self‐reported and therefore potentially subject to self‐desirability bias. Also, missing data limited the ability to test for the impact of income.
The paper provides recommendations for marketers to address customer concerns and behaviors such as providing greater transparency and use of privacy seals.
International companies face even greater challenges with regard to privacy issues and related customer behaviors due to cultural and governmental policy differences. This paper provides some guidelines for companies that need to provide privacy protection to customers from a variety of cultures.
Pope, J. and Lowen, A. (2009), "Marketing implications of privacy concerns in the US and Canada", Direct Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 301-326. https://doi.org/10.1108/17505930911000883Download as .RIS
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