Data Dismay Grows As More Consumers Plan to Shun Brands’ Demand for Information Ahead of GDPR

A fifth of consumers will refuse to share any personal data at all with brands by this time next year, if a trend discovered by CRM (customer relationship marketing) agency Amaze One continues. Still more (32%) are currently reluctant to share more than their name and email address according to the research, making meaningful relationships virtually impossible.

The findings follow a survey of more than 2,500 UK-based adults about their data sharing concerns and habits, with the St Ives-owned business warning that brands face an unprecedented dearth of customer data unless they refocus on building mutually beneficial relationships.

When Amaze One published its Fair Trade? report in 2016, one in 10 people said they actively share no information requested by brands; according to the 2017 research, the figure has risen from 10% to 14%. If this trend is repeated over the next 12 months, around a fifth of consumers will refuse to part with their personal details.

According to Amaze One’s report, Rediscover the R in CRM, the findings make building strong relationships even more crucial with GDPR looming on the horizon. The report, bolstered with an event due to be held at The Shard in London this evening, aims to drive awareness of the expected effects of GDPR on customer relationships.

The survey indicates wider communications complications facing businesses across all sectors, with the advent of GDPR set to hamper the collection and use of data for CRM. However, the report also outlines the positive effects great CRM can have on business, and offers advice on how to implement successful strategies that acknowledge customer concerns, and give people more of what they want.

Other key findings include:

  • Customers are anxious because they don’t know what companies do with their data:
    • Less than half of them are aware of how their personal data is collected and used
    • Despite being unaware, people’s concern about how their data is used has increased significantly from 16% to 22%, with 44% feeling more concerned about their data privacy than in last year’s survey
    • Meanwhile, 70% of customers feel “out of control” in terms of their ownership, and organisations’ use of, their data; a third of respondents claimed they were “not at all in control”.
  • What customers really want:
    • Some 56% value trust and transparency most highly in a relationship with brands, with this figure rising to 86% among people aged over 35
    • In total, 70% of customers like offers tailored using data from past purchases
    • The majority of respondents (67%) prefer email as a communication channel.

Rediscover the R in CRM also discusses the importance of adapting to GDPR, and concludes that knowing what customers really think and want should be on marketers’ agendas ahead of the new regulation’s introduction next May.

Julie Neilson, Principle Planner at Amaze One, said: “Our insight shows how customers’ sentiments towards the use of their data have significantly shifted from being ‘ignorant and not bothered’, to ‘unaware and anxious’.

“Businesses have had access to an abundance of data for decades. However, a combination of the future effects of GDPR on data volumes, and the mistakes of the past which have led to people being ill-at-ease sharing their information, could have a damaging and long-lasting effect on CRM-based organisations.

“By understanding how customers view their relationship, however, they can start to forge meaningful relationships with them. In other words, brands can recapture the true, mutually beneficial spirit of CRM.”

Source: Amaze One

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