Even young consumers don't want data tracked when they use the 'net, so marketers must still rely on content analytics for insights.

The rise of the internet and subsequently, big data, have changed marketers’ roles and responsibilities. Suddenly, there is a wealth of information about cross-channel consumer behaviors, from the purchases they make in stores to the product research they perform on the ‘net and it’s up to brands to harness and make use of this data. Companies found they could secure this information by giving prospects limited access to products and services in the form of mobile applications and web content.

New data shows this may not always be a viable solution as a growing portion of customers express their disdain for companies tracking them online.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently reported that American teens will take action if they learn a company is harvesting their personal information. Around 25 percent have deleted mobile applications that collected data, 46 percent of teens have turned off location tracking services and another half have completely avoided digital content if it triggered privacy concerns.

Brafton recently reported that more than one-third of B2Bs and one-quarter of B2C companies lean on behavioral marketing to fill their pipelines with ready-to-convert prospects, but they might sacrifice those leads if they cross individuals’ privacy boundaries.

Rather than risking customer relationships, marketers can use metrics from their content analytics reports to inform their strategies organically. Reports on bounce rates, clickthroughs, exit rates and time on site demonstrate where prospects are coming from and which pages they visit on site. Savvy marketers will extract insights from granular data and apply those ideas to their content creation efforts in the future. Ultimately, this approach can provide the same information about customers’ behaviors while also improving overall consumer sentiment.

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.