Marketers who are wary of using consumers’ data might be encouraged by a new survey from Aimia.
Aimia, a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company, recently surveyed 20,000 people in 11 countries and found 80% were willing to share personal data, such as their names, email addresses, and nationalities with brands. But only 8% said they thought sharing that info netted them special benefits.
Consumers are aware that their data is worth a lot to marketers. Some 68% of respondents ranked their data as valuable and 31% deemed it “highly valuable.” More than half (55%) said they’d share their personal data to get better offers and rewards.
Companies mine such data to craft personalized advertising and offers. However, the study raises questions about effectiveness: Only 23% of those surveyed said the communications they receive from marketers are highly relevant to them.
“At the heart of this is the fact that consumers are increasingly aware that they’re sharing data and they’re aware of the value of that data,” said David Johnston, group COO at Aimia. “With that awareness and with the march of technology, consumers’ expectations of what businesses are going to do with that data is rising. They think if I’m going to give you my data, and I’m going to tell you stuff about myself, at least have the intelligence and the courtesy to do something useful with it.”
Of course, not all consumers view data sharing the same way. Younger consumers appear to be much more tolerant about letting marketers use their data. Generation Z–those consumers who were born in the late 1990s or 2000s–are the most receptive to such messaging. Some 51% of consumers aged 18 to 24 are willing to share their mobile phone numbers versus 30% of Baby Boomers and 43% of U.S. consumers overall.
Taking a look globally, Aimia found that consumers in the United Arab Emirates, India, and Brazil are the most comfortable with sharing their personal data. In particular, 90% of consumers in India are fine with sharing their email addresses, 89% are OK with sharing their names, and 68% are comfortable with sharing their physical mailing addresses.
The report illustrates some possible new avenues of communications for marketers. For instance, 25% to 50% of consumers who are unwilling to share their data will relent if offered a reward for doing so. The percentages vary across cultures. For instance, Spanish consumers were the most influenced by such rewards, while Germans were influenced least.
Creating personalized messages based on such rewards can make marketing much more efficient, according to the survey. On the other hand, such campaigns can backfire if a brand sends too many messages. After privacy concerns, communication frequency was the top reason consumers opted to disengage with brands.
The rosy picture presented by Aimia contrasts with a November 2014 Pew survey that showed 91% of adult consumers agreed that consumers have lost control of how companies collect and use their data. In that survey, 64% of consumers also agreed that the government should do more to regulate advertisers.
Johnston said he hadn’t seen that report, but he believes common sense dictates that consumers should be OK with the trade-off if it results in more relevant advertising. “My mum shares her data with the supermarket,” he said. “Therefore, she gets offers for tea and cake, not lager and razor blades. There’s nothing too sinister in that. It’s just a particular value exchange.”