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The next generation of consumers and the rise of the personal information economy

Consumer Marketing Data General

shutterstock_447406066 ABIn the past hour, how many times have you sent an email, looked at your Facebook timeline or sent a WhatsApp?

It’s likely you will have ‘ticked’ at least a few of the above. And these are just some of the ways you will have contributed to the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data we collectively create on a daily basis. Clearly, the digital revolution has led to an unprecedented explosion of personal data and this will continue to rise at an astounding rate.

This revolution creates opportunities for organisations and customers alike.

To understand how brands can capitalise on these possibilities, and any challenges that need to be addressed, we conducted research into consumer attitudes towards sharing personal information for our recent report ‘Unlocking the potential of personal data’.

There is a cohort of consumers that see sharing data as an opportunity

Game changer GavinWhilst we found that the average consumer is not consciously aware of their digital identity – only 38% are familiar with the phrase ‘digital identity’. The research showed that amongst some younger consumers, the traditional barriers to widespread adoption of data sharing, such as privacy concerns, are beginning to give way to a new more open attitude. Among these individuals, almost two thirds (63%) see sharing their data as an opportunity to have a more personalised experience, rather than as a risk to the security of their personal identity.

This more discerning consumer understands the financial value of their personal data. What’s more, they also realise that sharing personal information saves time (47%), and enables them to benefit from a higher quality of products and services that are tailored to their individual needs.

There is an opportunity for brands to get to know their customers better than ever before.

Every click is a reflection of a consumer’s identity, behaviours, passions and thought processes. And as such generates valuable insights which allow brands to build more meaningful relationships with their customers, whilst ultimately delivering an increasingly effortless customer experience.

Consumers are beginning to take control of their data

To date, consumers have often needed reminding of the benefits of sharing their personal information.  Our research suggests that the paradigm is shifting as people take control of and monetise their own data. In order to capitalise on this shift, those collecting data must be careful to ensure that people feel they have full control over their own data, communicate how they will be using it, and tackle concerns about identity theft and online fraud. As our research revealed that 55% of consumers would share more information about themselves if they had a better understanding of how it would benefit them.

We are still in the beginning stages of this evolution, so early movers will face a significant educational challenge if the rest of the consumer population are to come around to this way of thinking. However, the scale of the marketplace means the personal information economy should not be underestimated.

If you want to find out more about consumer attitudes towards sharing their personal information, and what this could mean for your business, download the full report ‘Unlocking the potential of personal data’.

Author: Mark Davison

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