Consumers are far more willing to have a relationship with a brand if they know they can trust them with their personal data, with the opportunity to get freebies almost an after-thought in their considerations.
That is the key finding of a new DMA study, in partnership with Acxiom and independently produced by the Future Foundation.
Published today, the report highlights trust and consumer control as the key drivers for building a healthy data culture in the UK to benefit both consumers and business.
Trust stands out as the most important consideration for consumers. Some 38.9% ranked trust in an organisation as the top consideration, almost four times the next most popular choice, which was free services and products (10.1%).
The proportion of consumers who expect to exchange information when buying something has risen from 65% to 73% since 2012, indicating an acceptance of the notion of data exchange.
Furthermore 55% are comfortable with the idea that free products are available in exchange for data. Just over half (51%) believe data sharing is ‘important to the future success of the UK economy’.
A ‘Consumer Capitalist’ mindset is also on the rise. Those who see their data as their own to trade has increased from 40% to 52% showing consumers are more aware of the potential their data has to deliver benefits to them in the digital economy.
These trends show there is an opportunity for businesses to cater to consumer preferences, the report’s authors claim.
DMA Group chief executive Chris Combemale said: “Marketers must seize the opportunity to develop a data culture fit for the 21st century economy. The shifts in attitude suggest consumers are more interested in creating a progressive culture of data exchange. Brands need to capitalise on these positive trends and take the lead by nurturing the growing pragmatism and helping create a culture of data exchange that will benefit all.
“Without trust, brands will not grow. They must look at the way they deal with consumers and their data, and take their privacy concerns seriously.”
Acxiom European managing director Ian James added: “The customer has to come first but with the growing number of channels, media and devices we must connect data to drive value to customers and more consistent, relevant experiences. We must also make sure we’re passionate about understanding how consumers feel about data, how we collect it, use it and make it work for them. Anyone wanting to put the customer first must start here.”
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