More UK consumers open to data sharing

1 March 2013

LONDON: A growing number of British consumers are willing to share their information with brands thanks to the adoption of better data collection practices, a report has revealed.

The latest DMA/fast.MAP Data Tracking Report, from UK trade body the Direct Marketing Association and researcher fast.MAP, surveyed 1,193 UK adults and found the readiness of consumers to share data had risen sharply over the past 18 months.

The proportion who were happy to provide their data to brands selling "products they might consider buying" climbed from 20% in April 2011 to 29% by the end of 2012.

Meanwhile, for brands "selling products they have to buy," the figures rose from 56% to 63%.

"Brands are benefiting from their continued commitment to industry best practice," said Mark Roy, chair of the DMA Data Council.

"Giving consumers the marketing that they want, when they want it and through the channels they prefer is increasing their trust in brands and encouraging a more open-minded data exchange," he added.

The study noted two sets of reasons, strategic and tactical, for consumers to share their information. The former includes a brand's essential attributes, such as inspiring trust, and was cited by 47% of respondents.

Moreover, the survey suggested that having a clear data privacy policy is increasingly regarded as essential, with 43% saying it would encourage them to share their data, compared to 33% eighteen months ago.

Tactical reasons for consumers to share data included getting free samples and money-off vouchers, mentioned by 25% of those surveyed, and discounts, cited by 23%.

Research also indicated that how data protection notices are worded can improve the permission-to-market rate by as much as 100%, with the best statements reducing opt out rates by as much as 10%.

Laurence Hamilton, UK marketing and performance director at Equifax, the report's sponsor, said: "Our experience shows that companies that are transparent about how they use personal data for marketing purposes, implementing the correct rules and procedures at all times, are best able to improve targeting and protect their reputation."

Data sourced from Direct Marketing Association; additional content by Warc staff