Three reasons consumers will share their data – and three reasons they will not

By: Andrew Birmingham, Which50 for DGA

Typically issues concerning the use of data by companies have been viewed – and managed – largely as a function of legal compliance.

The emphasis has been on staying safely inside the rules, not on delivering the best outcome to customers. These issues where covered off in a DGA round table and described in a whitepaper called Building Consumer Trust.

However, in an era of the experience economy when the way a customer connects with a brand is as important as the product and service they buy, data has assumed a far greater role.

That is because all the data a company’s holds, or even rents and shares is necessary to ensure customers and prospects have a fully integrated engagement.

These days, consumer trust is a business differentiator.

It is all part of the new bargain — consumers are generally willing to provide their data to brands in order to receive better services and an improved customer experience.

In a report called Attitudes to Information Sharing, Privacy and Trust the study’s authors considered scenarios were consumers were happy to share data, and where they were not.

 Customers were happy to share data in three circumstances:

  1. If they were purchasing something from a company (63 per cent) and/or if they were a member of a loyalty programme (64 per cent amongst members of loyalty programme
  2. If entering a competition (53 per cent)
  3. If requesting information, such as a quote (42 per cent) and or receiving a special offer/discount (40 per cent)

Customers did not want to share their data when:

  1.  Considering purchasing something from the company (24 per cent)
  2. Downloading or accessing special content (over 80 per cent)
  3. Accessing a website (almost 90 per cent. Ironically, they share huge volumes of data from cookies — but this was less well known to most consumers.)

Given the willingness of consumers to collaborate with brands where they perceive a benefit to themselves, marketers as the custodians of the customer experience need to take ownership of the data conversation and ensure the customer voice is heard at all steps of the data-decision-making journey.