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As privacy concerns increasingly lead to brand disengagement, marketers need solutions

by | Mar 2, 2020 | Public Relations

Data privacy is no longer just a marketing outreach obstacle—it’s now a full-fledged business issue: new research reveals a whopping 84 percent of adults have decided against engaging with a company because it needed too much of their personal information—and three in five consumers have gone so far as to delete an app from their phone for that same reason.

The new report from customer engagement platform Braze also found that 72 percent of adults and 72 percent of marketing execs agree that privacy should be a primary concern of presidential candidates in 2020.

“Respect for the consumer must be at the heart of data management. People want to trust that there will be an exchange of value for sharing their data, and that there will be no inappropriate use,” said Bill Magnuson, co-founder and CEO at Braze, in a news release. “Brands that listen closely to their customers’ behavior while maintaining rigorous data-privacy controls will understand how to provide the value each individual expects.”

As privacy concerns increasingly lead to brand disengagement, marketers need solutions

The study, conducted by Wakefield Research, reveals perspectives on a number of topics related to data privacy, including consumer and marketer POVs on the new landscape, the business impact of new data laws, the government’s role in regulation, and how companies and parents can best protect children’s privacy.

Key findings include:

Americans have an appetite for national regulation and guidance on data privacy

Consumers would rather not leave it to businesses to set the standards for their collection and use of online personal data and nearly all (95 percent) U.S. adults believe that there is more that privacy laws ought to do to protect their personal data. A majority (64 percent) of U.S. adults think the government should be most responsible for driving changes to data privacy policies, with more than half (52 percent) reporting the federal government should handle it. At the very least, both marketers and consumers agree that there should be a national conversation on this topic, with nearly three-quarters of adults and marketing execs agreeing that privacy should be a primary concern of this year’s presidential candidates.

As privacy concerns increasingly lead to brand disengagement, marketers need solutions

Moreover, there is even greater interest in discussion of protecting the data of society’s most vulnerable citizens—children

Nearly all parents (92 percent) agree protection of children’s data should be a priority in the upcoming election and 73 percent of parents overwhelmingly support the idea of the government steering data privacy policy regarding children.

But they’re not waiting for lawmakers to take action. To counter what they consider data privacy intrusions, an overwhelming majority (84 percent) of adults have decided against engaging with a company because it needed too much of their personal information. For instance, nearly three in five (59 percent) have deleted an app from their phone, followed by stopping an installation halfway through (49 percent) and using an alternative email address (34 percent).

As privacy concerns increasingly lead to brand disengagement, marketers need solutions

What’s more: Parents are even more vigilant. More parents (65 percent) than non-parents (54 percent) have taken the ultimate step of deleting an app from their phone.

Marketing executives are aware of consumers’ desire for more control of their information and are reassessing their data privacy strategy

Nearly all (94 percent) marketing executives believe it is important for consumers that their data is being kept private, and companies are girding themselves to be in position to adjust to anticipated changes in data privacy policy. A large majority (71 percent) of marketing executives expect their company’s investments in data privacy to increase in 2020.

In fact, nearly all (94 percent) marketing executives see business advantages in applying stricter data privacy rules before they become mandatory. The greatest advantages of doing so are improved brand perception (46 percent), higher market valuation (46 percent), industry leadership (45 percent), cost savings in the long run (43 percent), and being early-to-market (39 percent).

As privacy concerns increasingly lead to brand disengagement, marketers need solutions

Transparency and consent are key for consumers and marketers

Marketing executives and consumers are virtually on the same page when it comes to data privacy: virtually all (99 percent) marketing executives agree that companies should tell consumers how their data is used, compared to 94 percent of adults who expect companies to tell them about their use of data.

As privacy concerns increasingly lead to brand disengagement, marketers need solutions

One path forward could include compensation for data. A sizable majority (71 percent) of adults would accept some form of compensation for their personal data, with younger generations leading that charge. More Millennials (83 percent) and Gen Xers (75 percent) would accept compensation for their personal data than Baby Boomers (58 percent).

And, while cash is king as far as compensation, consumers also value the conveniences and services they can take advantage of through their online experiences. More than four in five (84 percent) U.S. adults would share personal information online for websites or apps if it were required.

Download the full report here.

The Braze Consumers Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 2,000 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, including 800 nationally representative U.S. parents, and among 500 U.S. Marketing Executives, VP+, between November 15th and December 2nd, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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