Why most people are up for sharing their data if the benefits are right

By Lucy Tugby 11/06/2018

New research by the GDMA (Global Alliance of Data-Driven Marketing Associations) and Acxiom, looks at consumer attitudes to sharing personal data.  This is the fifth year the survey has run in the UK but this year it’s been expanded to cover 10 markets cross 4 continents.  Our planning director, David Brown gives us the low down and tells us how we can keep moving in the right direction.

The good news is that, despite much media coverage of major data breaches, consumer attitudes to the capture and use of their personal data is changing in a positive way.

Two findings in particular stand out to us:

Most people are open to sharing their data if the benefits are right
The majority of people (51%) surveyed across the globe are defined in the report as ‘Data pragmatists’ who will decide whether to share their personal information on a case-by-case basis, dependent on the benefits.  Most of the rest (26%) have little concern about how their data is collected and used – described in the study as ‘Data unconcerned’.  Only 23% are unwilling to provide their personal information, even in return for service enhancement – they are described as ‘Data fundamentalists’.

Trust and Transparency is key
51% of consumers put trust in an organisation in the top three factors that make them happy to share personal information with a company – significantly more than the 36% who selected the second highest factor; receiving free services or products in exchange for personal information.  88% of consumers cite transparency as the key to trusting organisations. 

From our perspective, this provides clear evidence of the importance of brands treating consent as a marketing objective (with legal and ethical considerations) and not just as a compliance issue.


We recently conducted an experiment, with online research specialist Fastmap, to understand how advertising techniques could be used to encourage people to share their details.  Our findings reflect the GDMA/Acxiom findings, showing that clear communication of the benefits and reassurance about the barriers to consent can influence people’s willingness to provide their personal information.


They also show that, as with any marketing communication challenge, how and what this looks like to be most effective, is likely to vary by audience. More information about the experiment can be found here.  Alternatively, please do get in touch to discuss how we might help you explore and develop strategies and communications to boost consent.

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