How Do Marketers Feel About Data Collection and Consent?

November 15, 2021

This article is included in these additional categories:

Customer-Centric | Data-driven | Personalization | Privacy & Security

AMANY Consumer Consent Data Use Nov2021

At a time when marketers are juggling the need to collect more first-party data due to increasing data restrictions and third-party cookie deprecation – while still trying to respect consumers’ data in order to retain their trust – a report [download page] from the American Marketing Association – New York (AMA NY) looks at when marketers think consumer consent is necessary to use their data, as well as what information is acceptable to collect.

Earlier research from Pew Research Center shows that the majority of Americans feel like they are not in control of the data companies are collecting. This more recent survey indicates that although a minuscule portion (2%) of the more than 400 US marketers surveyed believe that consent isn’t necessary to use data in any of the given circumstances, most agree that consent is needed, depending on the circumstance.

The majority of respondents say that consent is needed to use data for providing promos or discounts (65%) and for personalizing products or services (63%). Fewer agree that consent is necessary for offering free information (48%) and for personalizing ads (47%). Surprisingly, only about one-quarter (24%) of marketers think consent is needed to share data with other companies.

What Data is Acceptable to Collect?

With some 6 in 10 marketers saying they use customer data to help make decisions, what types of customer data do they feel is acceptable to collect? Most believe it is acceptable to collect basic customer information such as email address (77%), name (60%) and age (60%). Others believe it’s fine to collect internet purchase data (46%) and internet browsing data (41%).

More than half (54%) also think it is acceptable to collect location data. However, location data may be harder to come by. Other research shows that only about one-third of US smartphone users are comfortable sharing their location data for marketing purposes. Added to that, 1 in 5 adults in the US and UK say they do not allow location sharing on any of their mobile apps.

Does Requiring Consent Confer a Competitive Advantage?

Although 6 in 10 consumers believe that in today’s connected world, privacy does not or cannot exist, it does appear that marketers see the benefits of respecting customer privacy. More than 8 in 10 (85% of) respondents say that respecting customer privacy would be a competitive advantage, with half of respondents believing it would be a substantial advantage. Only 1 in 10 (11%) believe that respecting customer privacy would give them no advantage and even fewer (4%) feel it would put them at a disadvantage.

Furthermore, other consumer surveys show that one of the biggest building blocks to consumer trust is protecting consumers’ personal data, and that brands can lose that trust by having confusing privacy policies.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on an August survey of 411 US marketers.

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