No-one ever said that marketing in the GDPR era was going to be easy but consumer empowerment seems to have thrown up a whole new set of challenges, with the vast majority of consumers believing brands must understand their individual situation before marketing to them, but most do not actually want their behaviour tracked.
According to a study by Selligent Marketing Cloud – which polled 7,000 consumers on their brand engagement preferences, customer experience expectations, and marketing complaints – what consumers want overwhelmingly contradicts their behaviour.
It shows that expectations for personalised customer experience are high but so is consumer discomfort with sharing personal data that makes personalisation possible.
While 70% agree that it is important that brands understand a consumer’s individual situation (eg marital status, age, location, etc) when they market to them and not just use every communication as a means to make a sale, 75% of consumers are concerned with a brand’s ability to track their behaviour – even while on their website and in their apps.
Consumers, overall, welcome brands to engage with them, especially when incentives are offered. This is particularly true when it pertains to geolocation marketing, with so-called Millennials and GenXers far more receptive than Baby Boomers.
However, brands are having to do more personalised marketing with less information as company data practices are top-of-mind for most consumers.
Some 75% of global respondents expressed concern over the threat of a data breach, and 88% report concern that their data will be shared across companies without their consent.
Meanwhile, the ‘land grab’ approach towards data is still not an effective way to reach consumers, the study shows, with only 20% willing to provide data to brands up-front in order to improve their experience.
And, it seems, that consumers’ patience is also wearing thin, with 40% of global respondents noting they are “more annoyed” by companies now compared to five years ago. If a brand’s request for data is deemed “too much”, some consumers are willing to abandon the brand altogether, with nearly 30% of respondents agreeing.
Selligent Marketing Cloud chief marketing officer Nick Worth said: “Undoubtedly, it’s an increasingly challenging environment for marketers as consumers today better understand how their data is being captured and used.
“The good news for marketers is that it appears that over time, as consumers grow more digitally savvy, their willingness to share data will increase. As our study shows, most are more open with brands they trust and when they see brands delivering value.
“Smart marketers will take a much closer look at their strategies and create personalised marketing campaigns that build customer confidence and deliver a consumer-first experience.”
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