Most UK shoppers willing to share data

05 September 2012

LONDON: More than half of British consumers would be willing to share data with companies for marketing purposes, albeit only if strict parameters were put in place governing such activity, according to Experian.

The information services firm polled 2,000 people, some 55% of which proved happy to give corporations access to personal data covering a single medium, like social networks, email or web browsing.

Scores here came in at 19% for two forms of media, and 8% for more than three. However, an additional 18% of shoppers were not open to this type of exchange, the analysis stated.

Participants in the 18–24 year old demographic were the most enthusiastic about enabling businesses to utilise this kind of information in relation to at least three channels.

By contrast, consumers over 55 years of age made up 40% of the group that was unwilling to let companies leverage their data for communications purposes.

"Huge amounts of spending power sit with those who are 'more reluctant' to share marketing information across multiple channels," said Jon Buss, managing director, digital, at Experian Marketing Services.

"Marketers need to build trust to engage with these potentially high value customers and move them to share more and richer data."

When assessing their preferred medium for receiving messages from brands, 69% of the sample named email, with direct mail in second position on 27%.

Phone calls and SMS yielded 6% on this metric, while Facebook recorded just 8%, and Twitter logged 4%.

More positively, 24% of 18–24 year olds were happy for brands to connect with them on social networks, versus 10% of all consumers, including 4% of 45–54 year olds and 3% of panellists over 55 years old.

A 53% majority of individuals that would allow data monitoring on a minimum of three channels added Facebook and Twitter to this list, falling to 5% for respondents willing to do so for one form of media.

When assessing how contributors currently engaged with brands, 46% bought items online or via mail order, 44% possessed loyalty cards and 38% completed customer surveys.

A further 34% had registered with official websites, while 33% entered competitions and 30% searched for brands on Google. Another 18% had "liked" a firm or product on Facebook and 12% replied to marketing emails

Just 5% utilised Facebook apps, and an even more modest 3% tweeted about goods and services. A total of 15% of interviewees did not take part in any such activity, the study found.

Data sourced from Experian; additional content by Warc staff