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Data may fuel marketing strategies today, but marketers have to be very careful about how they use customer data. A new report [download page] from SAP Hybris finds people saying that the use of their data without their knowledge is the leading reason they would break up with a brand.

Indeed, roughly 8 in 10 respondents – who numbered more than 20,000 across 20 countries – would not use a brand again for this reason.

That brings to mind recent research from Cloud IQ, in which almost half of online shoppers said they would never trust a brand again if it used their personal data in a way they deemed inappropriate.

As regards personal data, the report offers some insights into people’s willingness to share:

  • Just 52% in the US are willing to share their email address, compared to a high of 68% in India and a low of 32% in Japan;
  • 37% in the US will share their shopping history and preferences, while people in Russia (64%) are the most willing and those in Germany (20%) the least;
  • Just 25% in the US are happy to share their mobile number, with this figure again highest in India (52%) and lowest in Japan (11%);
  • Globally, one-third (32.3%) will share their real-time location, and fewer than one-quarter (23.8%) their monthly income.

Prior research has likewise found that income is consumers’ most sensitive type of data.

Overall, 72% of respondents in the US expect brands to protect consumer interests when using their personal data, and two-thirds want brands to be transparent when using their data with partners.

Unresponsive Customer Service Is Also A Deal-Breaker

Aside from the way in which they use data, unresponsive customer service is also a leading frustration for people around the world. More than 7 in 10 count this as a reason for breaking up with brands, and it’s particularly frustrating to people in the UK (81%), US (78%) and Canada (78%).

Globally, between 82% (Russia) and 96% (Colombia) of respondents expect a response from brands within 24 hours.

Spamming’s A Major Turn-Off

Not surprisingly, a majority (57%) of people surveyed would break up with a brand if it spammed them unnecessarily. Along with Russia (70%), this is again a bigger frustration in the UK (68%), US (65%) and Canada (65%) than in other parts of the world.

Separately, the brand behaviors that bother people the most are related to being unnecessarily spammed: receiving too many direct marketing and sales calls (60%), receiving too many direct marketing and sales emails (50%), and irrelevant content pushes (46%).

Overall, these results indicate that brands should be careful about unsolicited outreach, but most critically about their use of customer data. That ties back to the question of trust, which CMOs today recognize as growing in importance to their customers.

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