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Marketers could face a data famine

23 Jun 2011 1:57 BST Back
Marketers could face a data famine

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A climate of fear of data breaches among consumers is making them less willing to share their personal data.

Speaking at the launch of the third DMA/fast.MAP Data Tracking Study on 22 June 2011, Paul Seabrook, fast.MAP co-founder and head of research warned marketers that we could be in danger of a data famine.

The study reveals that consumers are more reluctant to share basic information with organisations than they were six months ago – their willingness to give their name, for instance, is down by 27% since the last Data Tracking Study in September 2010.

Sharing a postal or email address didn’t fare much better –down by 17% – which is bad news for marketers, who could find it increasingly difficult to obtain even the most basic demographic information. 

Utilities had the weakest level of trust out of the services consumers have to use, such as telecoms and legal services.  And 68% of consumers distrust political parties with their personal information.

The most likely reason for the loss of trust is fear of data breaches.   “One in five consumers has experienced some form of data security breach in the last six months,” Paul told an audience of data experts and marketers. However, this isn’t a direct experience – they may have read about it or knew someone who had suffered a data breach. Only a small percentage (5%) had personally experienced a data breach.

Consumers also want to see clear benefits of sharing their data with companies. For instance, 44% of people are happy to share data if they are requesting a quote and 49% will do so to create an email account. 

Email marketers will be interested to learn that a third of people (35%) only have one email address and only 30% have three or more email addresses. What’s more most people regularly check all their accounts.

The main message was that marketers can no longer take consumers’ consent for granted.

You can download the full report here.

Posted by Sarah Wright

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