Just how important is it for brands to ensure consumers have positive perceptions of a company’s efforts to keep their private data secure? For 91% of internet users in the United Kingdom, online privacy policies directly affect their decisions to do business with a company. That statistic comes from a study by Accenture from August of 2012, and it tells just a small part of the story.
On Monday, eMarketer reported that 46% of respondents to a 2013 survey by Ipsos MORI and TRUSTe said that they “strongly avoided” doing business with companies that they thought didn’t do a good enough job of protecting their privacy and personal information online. Add an additional 45% who “had a tendency to avoid” doing business with these companies, and you end up with a meager 9% of the sample U.K. internet user audience who claim that online privacy concerns do not affect their online purchasing decisions or behaviors.
The Ipsos MORI and TRUSTe study found that nearly half of internet users in Great Britain do not trust most companies with their personal information online. When asked if “most companies can be trusted with personal data online,” internet users responded as follows:
- Strongly agree = 6%
- Tend to agree = 51%
- Tend to disagree = 33%
- Strongly disagree = 10%
These numbers are quite terrible from a brand perspective considering that one of the most important aspects of brand building is developing brand trust. Brand marketers need to aggressively work to change the consumer perception that company online privacy practices are not adequate. This requires both education and proof. In other words, companies need to live up to the privacy expectations that consumers have.
Can your company prove that its online privacy practices sufficiently protect consumers’ personal information?
Image: Pierre Amerlynck
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