New Marketo Research Reveals Three-Quarters of Consumers Are Concerned with the Amount of Personal Information Companies Can Access

Just 42% of European Consumers Surveyed Trust Companies to Use Their Personal Information Responsibly

New research of both consumers and businesses, commissioned by Marketo Inc., the leading provider of engagement marketing software and solutions, has found that three-quarters (75%) of European consumers are concerned about the extent of personal information companies might have access to, and less than half (42%) trust that companies will use their personal information correctly.

However, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforcement deadline looming, nearly two-thirds (64%) of consumers claim that they will be happy to share their data in exchange for deals and benefits, presenting an opportunity for marketers. London-based research agency Loudhouse, on behalf of Marketo, surveyed more than 3,000 consumers and 300 key marketing decision makers, across three territories (UK, Germany, and France) to compile these results.

“The GDPR legislation presents marketers with one of those rare opportunities to build customer relationships by demonstrating trust and clarity,” said Jamie Anderson, president EMEA, Marketo. “Consumer dissatisfaction around how their data is used, and to what extent, is at an all-time high, according to our findings. To thrive in a post-GDPR world, marketers must demonstrate their understanding of this in the actions they take, through meaningful, personalised communications at every touchpoint,” he added.

Also Read: How Brands and Agencies are Affected by GDPR

In addition to their views about GDPR, the survey asked respondents how they felt about the long list of data breach headlines over the last few years; more than three-quarters (76%) said they were concerned about how their personal data is stored and used. Just under three-quarters (73%) of consumers would like to receive regular communications about the personal data companies might hold. Yet, at the time the research was completed, only 28% of businesses claimed to be fully GDPR compliant, even though the deadline for compliance is May 25, 2018.

A tale of two halves

To understand how businesses are faring, the research also surveyed 300 businesses across the UK, France, and Germany and uncovered two distinct approaches to GDPR.

  1. Marketing First – More than half of the companies surveyed (55%), identified themselves as taking a marketing first approach to GDPR, using compliance as an opportunity to better engage with customers or prospects through smarter marketing.
  2. Legal First – The remaining 45% aligned themselves to taking a legal first approach, in doing what they need to be legally compliant with GDPR and subsequently using these requirements to dictate marketing strategy.

When comparing the two business approaches, the new research found:

  • Of the marketing first respondents, 34% have significantly redefined their priorities, compared to just 13% of legal first companies.
  • And almost half (49%) of the marketing first group has implemented new systems and marketing tools, compared with a third (33%) of those who identified as legal first.
  • Regardless of which camp they’re in, GDPR isn’t expected to impede business, as 96% of organizations are still optimistic about hitting their targets by year-end.

Also Read: Why Should ‘Grey Area’ Players Fear GDPR?

“Regardless of which side you sit, the ultimate drivers should always be your customer and delivering meaningful experiences that are founded on trust,” Peter Bell, senior director of marketing, Marketo said. “It’s clear from this research that consumer trust is low but not unrecoverable. GDPR is designed to ensure your customers have more control over their personal data and how it’s used. Those businesses which proactively support that and use it as an opportunity to better engage with customers are those which will thrive in the coming years by creating lasting relationships.”

Further research findings include:

  • Post-GDPR, 40% of companies think reliance on customer consent will be the biggest challenge to achieving their marketing objectives.
  • More than three-quarters of consumers (79%) would stop dealing with a company if their personal data was misused.

For the research, Loudhouse selected marketing leaders from a range of sectors, including manufacturing, IT, financial services, retail, and healthcare. The consumers who were surveyed represented a broad spectrum of age groups and are nearly evenly split between male (51%) and female (49%). The research was conducted in April 2018.

Recommended Read: GDPR Compliance Isn’t the End of the World for Your B2B Marketing