Corporate Eye

UK Consumers Will Share Private Data with Brands Under Certain Conditions

data sharing privacyWant UK consumers to share their private data with your brand so you can use it to develop personalized and highly targeted brand marketing campaigns? Don’t assume because you’ve been in business a long time or have a lot of positive customer reviews that consumers will start giving you all of the data you ask for. They won’t. However, there is a way to get more UK consumers to share their data with your brand. As eMarketer reports, the key is communication.

Based on the results of a study by DBS Data, the Direct Marketing Association UK, and fast.MAP, UK consumers want two primary things from brands in order to share their private data with them: trust in the brand and a clear and concise data protection policy. Let’s take a closer look at the findings from the study.

Here is the ranking of reasons UK internet users said they believe a brand will handle their data responsibly:

  1. Trust in the brand = 26%
  2. Clear and concise data protection policy = 25%
  3. Ask with whom they can share data = 19%
  4. Give me the option of how to communicate = 19%
  5. Previous experience of good customer service = 18%
  6. Easy-to-use website with obvious security = 15%
  7. Ability to update/edit data held = 11%
  8. Easy to find data protection policy = 10%
  9. Thorough contact details = 9%
  10. High street presence = 8%
  11. Positive customer reviews = 8%
  12. Been in business a long time = 6%

The results of this survey are good news for brands. There are some very specific ways that you can increase consumer trust in your brand and convince them to share their private data with your brand.

First, develop a transparent, easy to read, and easy to understand data protection policy, and make it easy to find and read. Second, give them choices so they feel like they’re in control. Allow them to choose who you can share their data with and how to communicate with you. Third, your customer service team is often the “face” of your brand, and how they treat customers trickles through to affect many aspects of your business, including brand trust and your ability to collect customer data. With that in mind, make sure the customer service team is well-trained not only in serving customers but also in advocating the brand and building brand trust with callers.

Do you collect data from your online customers? Leave a comment and share what works well for your brand.

Image: ilker

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.