Data sharing – what type of data sharer are you?

Posted on by Jo Shaw

Estimated read time: 5 mins

Data management is big news for businesses right now. With May 2018’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline bringing with it some significant regulatory changes, marketers and business owners are busy planning how they can grasp the opportunities that the GDPR brings. What’s key is embracing the GDPR’s core theme of putting customer interests at the heart of everything they do.

At Experian, we want to help you to do just that, so we recently ran a piece of research into customer attitudes towards data sharing1. The study examined how aware (or unaware) people are of personal data that is being accessed. We were also keen to learn how much people care about sharing different types of personal data and the role that privacy plays in their decision to share or not.

We learned that people can be divided into four broad data-sharing attitudes. And that businesses who understand these different types of data sharers will be much better placed to find a fitting value exchange and build their trust.

1) The unaware

Making up 22% of the UK, these people are largely oblivious of how their data is used. They are driven by their excitement to use a new service and so accept any terms without reading or understanding their implications.

While these people may hand over their data without question at first, once they do realise the extent to which it is being used, their reaction can often be severe, and they may even feel cheated and angry.

What to do
Make sure your T&C’s and privacy policies are transparent. Be clear about what data you are using and why. These customers may even need an extra nudge to read them and to check their settings.

What not to do
Don’t assume that customers who haven’t asked questions are fully aware of how their data is being used. Always make sure that your information is clear and assistance is pro-actively offered to all.

2) The accepting

These people are the realists and they make up 41% of the UK population. They know their data is being used, and while they might not particularly like it, they understand it’s a necessary trade-off.

What to do
The value exchange is vital for these customers. Help them to see the benefits of sharing their data and they will be happy to go ahead.

What not to do
Don’t expect more than is necessary. Customers in this category will be happy to share where they see a good reason. Push them too far and they’ll soon change their mind.

3) The cautious

As the name suggests, this group are suspicious about sharing their data. They may have had bad experiences in the past which has led them to be more mistrustful. Making up 28% of the UK, these people will want to know everything up front. They’ll also need to feel like they have a good relationship with your business to fully trust you.

What to do
Be transparent. Make it as easy as possible for cautious customers to get the information they need. Explain what data you need, why you need it and how you’ll use it.

What not to do
Don’t try to tuck your data policies away in the small print. This will immediately inspire suspicion. Also, don’t rush a decision with this group. They’ll want to take their time to make an informed decision and added pressure will only serve to build mistrust.

4) The incognito

9% of the UK prefer to give as little away as possible. They go out of their way to avoid revealing information about themselves by setting up alias email accounts to protect themselves from spam and using Google’s ‘incognito’ search setting to avoid cookies.

What to do
Trust is key with these customers. Gain their confidence and they will be more likely to share their (genuine) information.

What not to do
Don’t ask for information that isn’t necessary or use processes that feel unstructured or unclear. These customers want to feel in control and in the know at each step of the customer journey.

In summary

The overall message is clear. The key to getting more data from your customers lies in being transparent about why you want it and what you’ll use it for. You must build trust and treat your customers as a top priority.

Our guide to GDPR will give you some excellent tips on getting started with your own data strategy. 

1 Experian whitepaper ‘Delivering value in the digital age’ 

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