Yet another survey exposing a wall of consumer bewilderment and mistrust about companies gathering personal data has sparked fresh calls for the marketing industry to educate consumers not only about what data is being gathered online and how it is used, but how they benefit, too.
The ‘Whose data is it anyway’ report from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, does not exactly provide any shocking new evidence, although it does expose the fact that even marketers themselves are reluctant to share their details with brands.
But one industry expert is calling for all the marketing trade bodies – including the CIM, the DMA, the IAB and ISBA and the Advertising Association – to join forces to launch a consumer campaign to highlight the benefits of the data economy.
The study, which quizzed over 500 marketers and 2,245 consumers, found that 92% of consumers do not fully understand how organisations use their personal information. One third (31%), meanwhile, said they had no idea about how or where their information is being used.
Meanwhile, 68% of marketers are reluctant to share personal information as even they are recognise how that data will be used by brands and organisations.
However, way over two-thirds (67%) of consumers would share personal data if companies were more open around how they use it.
CIM chief executive Chris Daly said: Daily added: “The solution is clear, marketers need to demonstrate clearly the value personal data offers in delivering a more personalised experience and ultimately reduce the fear by being more open throughout the process. Otherwise they risk alienating their customers – and that benefits no-one.”
And one industry insider said: “Our trade bodies are blinkered; too many are busy trying to protect their own patch that they are misssing the bigger picture. We need a concerted effort to promote the value of data to consumers. We all know there is a trade off, but do consumers recognise this? It seems not.
“All businesses use data, whether it is Ebay, Apple, Amazon, garden centres, supermarkets, fashion shops – every time consumers get an email offering them a deal or telling them about a special event – that’s driven by the data. Every time they get Clubcard, Nectar, Avios, or other loyalty offers too and major charity appeals could not work without it.
“Put simply, without data, there is no marketing, and, consequently, no marketing industry. How many more surveys will we have to read for the message to hit home?”
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