Research Shows Data Control Trumps Brand Loyalty for Today’s Consumers

customer control over data

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According to research conducted by Ipsos and Google, the average consumer’s desire to maintain control of their personal data when interacting with the brands they buy from is more important than their desire to continue buying from their preferred options.

Nearly half of the participants – 16,000 people hailing from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Brazil – said they’d be willing to switch from a preferred brand to their second choice if that second choice offered a better privacy experience. This research also revealed that a poor privacy experience with a brand can lead to compromised trust in that brand, especially over time.

Source: Google

That said, one of the most crucial choices you can potentially make as a business owner or brand manager in 2023 is how you handle your customer’s data and address privacy in general. Let’s get into a bit of what you should know.

Win Your Customers’ Trust by Giving Them Control Over Their Data  

Consumers nowadays want more from the brands they buy from than just great products and amazing services they can trust for their quality of life. They also want to feel they have personal relationships with their favorite brands.

And when you have a personal relationship with someone, wanting to also feel like you can trust them with sensitive information you chose to share with them is a given. That said, today’s consumers much prefer brands that not only take concerns like privacy seriously, but let their customers decide for themselves how their data is used.

This growing preference is in line with other aspects of the larger shift toward data privacy in marketing. Examples include the emphasis on personalized customer experiences and the phasing out of third-party cookies in response to new privacy laws.

How to Give Your Customers a Greater Sense of Control

A growing focus on privacy has been in progress for years now, and the marketing world’s current approach to data is proof of that. For example, it’s customary for modern consumers to be able to do things like easily unsubscribe from mailing lists and decide how (and if) brands use cookies to track their behavior.

However, savvy business owners understand that it takes more than just actual control to make their customers feel they have the final say regarding their data. They also want answers about:

  • Why they’re being asked to share specific data in the first place
  • When (and how) data is being collected from them
  • What benefits they can expect to receive in exchange for sharing their data

According to additional research conducted by Google in 2021, today’s consumers want their dealings with their favorite brands to fit the following criteria.

They want interactions to count for something

Digital-age consumers don’t like feeling “sold to” when it comes to the marketing material they’re exposed to, nor are they used to it anymore. And that approach isn’t really effective at inspiring people to willingly hand over their data.

What they want are meaningful experiences that are helpful, entertaining, or enriching – marketing content with enough value that it doesn’t feel like marketing content. Some ways to deliver this include customizing advertising according to your customers’ interests, saving your customers money, or helping them make more of their valuable time.

They want transparency

No one likes feeling ambushed by a given brand’s advertising or outreach efforts. People need to feel as if it is ultimately up to them to share their information with a brand, and marketing material won’t be welcome otherwise.

Digital-age consumers demonstrate the highest levels of brand loyalty toward companies that aren’t afraid to build trust by being transparent and upfront about the information they collect (and what it’s used for). You can follow suit by avoiding overlong privacy policies and delivering key information in clear, concise language that’s easy to digest.

They want to feel empowered

People are as concerned as they are about their data because they don’t want it sold without their knowledge, or otherwise misused. Remember, your customers want to feel they have a personal relationship with your brand and that you care about them, and you don’t misuse information that belongs to someone you care about.

Consumers are more likely to respond positively to marketing efforts when they get a say in how they’re contacted, how often, and in what contexts. They also want to be able to review (and revise) how their data is being used at will. Give this to them, and they’ll be a lot more likely to share it with you in the first place.

In 2023 and beyond, the most successful marketing campaigns will give consumers the greatest sense of control over what they share (and when). This is best accomplished via marketing efforts that convey transparency, openness, and value.

Do you want to continue to be updated with Marketing best practices? I strongly suggest that you subscribe to The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. There, you’ll find all the trends that matter in the Digital Marketing landscape. See you there!


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