A survey finds consumers don't want brands to track them online, so marketers must reach them organically with custom content.

With technology rapidly advancing, it’s becoming easier for companies to track their target audiences online. By monitoring consumers’ behaviors on the web, marketers can determine where and when online content will be most effective. In the era of big data and personalization, many consumers say they don’t mind sharing their personal data if it means they receive tailor-made brand messages and offers.

However, a recent study shows consumers are not as comfortable with online tracking as marketers have been led to believe, and it might be wise to focus on content marketing and other organic advertising efforts, such as content analytics trends, rather than lead-sourcing data.

The survey conducted by Consumer Action asked 1,000 individuals if they would allow companies to track, collect and share data with their permission in order to receive a free product or service. Nearly 70 percent said they would not grant brands access to their information, while 25 percent said they would.

Moreover, only one-fourth of respondents said they see no harm in being tracked online if it means displayed ads are more relevant to them. This group might include younger demographics, because Brafton previously covered data that found Millennials are willing to give companies access to their personal data in exchange for perks like targeted ads and free products.

It’s important for brands to respect their customers’ privacy, even if online tracking gives them better insights. Marketers can learn a lot through social listening and consumer trends, discovering what subject matter resonates most without the added need for advanced tracking technologies. By following SEO best practices, companies can dominate SERPs for the keywords their customers frequently use to research and services.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.