Consumers reject brands asking for too much personal detail, finds ADMA report

New ADMA and GfK report into consumer attitudes to privacy finds consumers are willing to share some personal information with companies but won't divulge details if they get unwanted marketing attention

Consumers are happy to share personal information with companies but baulk if asked for too much detail, according to a new Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) survey.

The new ADMA Attitudes, Information Sharing, Privacy and Building Trust report, done in partnership with GfK, found 77 per cent of consumers won’t share their details if they’re asked for too much personal information.

Seventy per cent also won’t divulge information if a company has received negative media attention for a data breach or poor information security.

The negative perceptions extend to brands that become too chatty with their consumers too – 70 per cent of respondents said they would not share personal details if they’d received unwanted marketing messages multiple times.

Key to gaining consumer details is offering value. According to the report, 63 per cent of consumers are open to sharing information if they have purchased something from a company, and just over half will share information if entering a competition. In addition, 42 per cent will share information if they’re requesting something, such as a quote, and 40 per cent will do so to receive special offers or discounts.

Knowing how information is being used is hugely important to consumers as well. Eighty-eight per cent said it is extremely or very important that companies tell them how their personal information is being used, and 81 per cent of respondents wanted a better understanding of what information is being collected.

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In terms of the sensitivity of certain types of information, ADMA found financial information such as credit card details to be the most sensitive personal detail, with just 7 per cent comfortable sharing them with third parties. Only 19 per cent of respondents are comfortable sharing their home phone number, compared with 22 per cent for mobile.

In contrast, 48 per cent are comfortable sharing an email address, 64 per cent are comfortable sharing their age, and 73 per cent are happy to share their gender.

ADMA CEO, Jodie Sangster, said the results were a wake-up call for businesses that they can’t just rely on their brand to build consumer confidence in how they use data.

“You can be a great brand, but that’s not what’s important to the consumer when deciding whether to disclose their personal information,” she said. “It’s about brand behaviour, the degree to which companies are transparent about what they do with personal information, and making sure it’s not overused.

“If your behaviour is questionable, customers aren’t going to want to deal with you.”

The report also looked into the steps consumers are taking to control their information online, and found one-third regularly delete cookies on their Internet browser, while 30 per cent use privacy settings to enable private browsing online. Twenty-six per cent regularly look for privacy policies and statements on a website before providing their personal information, and 26 per cent regularly don’t provide credit card details online.

The report also found 50 per cent of respondents have multiple email addresses and occasionally won’t give their primary one to third parties.

The results were based an online quantitative survey of more than 1600 Australian consumers over 18 years of age during March.

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