Consumers ‘will provide data to trusted brands’

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Despite the recent furore over the privacy – or otherwise – of online data, a new survey has revealed that consumers are happy to give their information to brands they consider to be trustworthy as long as it will be used for something productive.

The report, from SDL, found 79 per cent of respondents willing to interact in this way with brands or companies they felt were likely to keep their personal information securely.

For firms utilising customer relationship management (CRM) tools to improve the sales journey of clients and customers, certain kinds of data can be crucial in shaping policy.

The SDL survey also revealed that while consumers are not comfortable with being “tracked” in a physical store, they do not tend to read privacy policies or take the option to drop out of web tracking practices, highlighting something of a lack of understanding among many internet users in the UK.

Mark Lancaster, chief executive and founder of the organisation, said that building up trust will be crucial if companies are to justify their use of personal information gleaned from the net.

“Marketers and brands need to earn that trust to be successful. They need to ensure the customer data they use translates to a better experience for their customers and give customers a compelling reason to share their data,” he explained.

Web-savvy operations “that understand their customers’ privacy concerns and commit to using customer data judiciously will create a strong customer commitment,” concluded the SDL chief.

CRM technology can help ensure that information is used to create a good experience for consumers – responsive sites, strong communication levels and personalisation are all vital in this metric, and many of the processes involved in this can be efficiently automated via the right software.

For firms that want to take advantage of the growing amount of consumer data available online, privacy and efficiency are likely to be crucial measurements of success over the coming years.