How do you encourage your customers to share more data?

The IDC predicts that the digital universe will reach 180 zettabytes (180 followed by 21 zeros) in 20251. Unbelievably, in 2013 there were only 4.4 zettabytes of data in existence. In fact, 90% of our data was created in the last 2 years. It’s difficult to deny then that today’s world is driven by data.

The biggest challenge for businesses is how they can harness the power of that data rather than be drowned in it – and that’s where value exchange comes in.

Why do businesses need personal data?
Let’s start with the benefits of personal data to your business. After all, there’s an awful lot of legislation and governance – why even bother?

Make better decisions
Knowing your customers is key to nearly all the decisions you’ll make in your business. From the products and services you offer, to your branding, your messaging and your packaging.

The more data you have about your customers, the easier and quicker you can make decisions that you know will work.

More effective marketing
Customer demographics help you to target your marketing efforts. You’ll know who to target, where to find them – and even when the best times are to reach them.

Data will help with more than just the logistical side of marketing though, it will also help you to shape your messaging, to be relevant and personalised in your approach.

What’s in it for your customers?
So, personal data is clearly a huge asset for your business, but what’s in it for your customers? With data breaches hitting the headlines on a regular basis, why should people risk handing over their data to you?

A better customer experience
The fact is, your customers expect you to know them inside and out. They want you to understand and respect their preferences and to provide a service that is personalised for them.

Convenience
We’re all busy and as customers, we tend to make a lot of buying decisions based on convenience. We get our food delivered, we do our banking online and we wear devices to track our activity and calories for a personal weight-loss experience. We want things quickly, without fuss and handing over our data will usually help that happen.

Harnessing this value exchange
As a business, you need personal data and it makes sense for consumers to hand it over!

So, what’s the problem?

The fact is, thanks to a general lack of communication and transparency on the part of most businesses when it comes to collecting data, there is a lot of cynicism about parting with one’s personal details.

When you add to that the number of data breaches which seem to crop up all too regularly by big global brands, then it’s not surprising that some people meet any request for their data with a certain amount of distrust.

All is not lost however. In fact, recent research by Experian1 indicates that 69% of customers are happy for brands to use their personal information to send them discounts on products or services they really want.

It’s really that simple. Remember that data is an exchange of value, always letting your customers know what’s in it for them.

Experian’s B2B Prospector tool is a quick, easy and cost-effective way to build lists of business prospects. Using the latest UK business records to target the right customers for you, you’ll always know you’re talking to the right people.

1 Experian whitepaper ‘Delivering value in the digital age’ 

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Posted on by Jo Shaw

Estimated read time: 4 mins

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