SAN FRANCISCO: Almost four-fifths (78%) of US consumers are open to some form of personalised content, but most also want privacy controls and content to be based on information they provide, new research from Yahoo has revealed.

The internet information provider worked with Ipsos MediaCT to check the views of 6,000 US online users aged 13 to 64 and found a high degree of acceptance as long as personalised content is relevant and delivers efficiency for the user.

Two-thirds of respondents are aware that personalised content affects their online activity, but a similar proportion want to know why and how websites use the information, Marketing Week reported.

Two-thirds (65%) want the option for privacy controls, the report found, 58% want personalised content to be based on information they provide and 38% want websites that take their interests into account.

If this can be achieved, about two-thirds are happy for marketers to use their online behaviour and information for advertising.

This includes information about their browsing of specific content (68%), ads they've clicked or products they've viewed online (67%) and their location and demographic details (63%).

In terms of the relevancy of ads, 37% agree that most of the ads they view while browsing on a PC/laptop are relevant, 27% think the same about ads in apps on their smartphone, and 30% find ads while browsing on their smartphone to be relevant.

While this may be encouraging news for marketers, Yahoo advised brands to strike the right balance over consumer control and personalised experiences.

Lauren Weinberg, vp of global research and insight at Yahoo, said consumers do not want content to be personalised to such an extent that they begin to feel they're missing out on content delivered for a wider audience.

"It's about striking the right balance in giving consumers what they want but not narrowing their world so that they start to miss out on things that are important to them," she said.

Yahoo's three golden rules for achieving best practice in personalisation are "Know me" (people want content that target 'what I like' and 'who I am'); "Speak my language" (make ads sound like a trusted brand); and "Value my time" (people want better ads with more useful information).

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff