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In Brands We Trust – The Intersection of Privacy and Trust in the Age of the Empowered Consumer


The Covid-19 crisis has inevitably impacted customer behavior, shaking up the industry and the ways marketers respond - yet there are steps brands can take to earn, maintain, and regain their audience’s trust.

According to a recent Microsoft and iProspect report ”In Brands We Trust: The Intersection of Privacy and Trust in the Age of the Empowered Consumer” – a global report that includes 16 countries across North America, South America, the European Union, Asia and Africa - only 24% of consumers see the value of personalization as the result of sharing data, and just 15% feel they’re getting good value from granting access to their data.

So how do you resolve the disconnect between a marketer’s intent and a consumer’s expectation?

“Consumer behavior and consumer expectations often don't quite meet,” said Christi Olson, head of evangelism for search at Microsoft, referencing a recent Microsoft survey looking at how consumers perceive privacy, data and security. “Consumers want personalization; they like personalization, but they don't necessarily understand what marketers are doing to deliver it or what they’re doing with the data collected.”

The disconnect between a marketer’s intent and a consumer’s expectation is stark, so Olson sees a real need for brands to be “more” clear and transparent about their plans for using data, then use that information to deliver personalized experiences. And that is especially critical, she added, as consumer behaviors continue to change during the pandemic, with many customers using more digital technologies to support working from home and handing over their information as a consequence.

Echoing her sentiments, Jeremy Hull, VP innovation at iProspect added that greater trust needs to be established between consumers and marketers. “It's important that we're demonstrating that consumers can trust us with the information that we're collecting.” Of the pandemic, he said: “Trust is more important now than ever for consumers in a world where everything has been up-ended.”

The pandemic has forced people – including marketers – to change their habits so brands need to act more cautiously to continue appealing to consumers, warned Hull. “Any [data] breach in loyalty with a brand right now has the potential to be much more impactful in evolving consumer behavior.” According to the report, 85% of consumers say their relationship with companies changed following a data breach, and 65% said they stopped doing business with that company altogether.

The survey reveals that digital natives are increasingly understanding the value exchange of data, as millennials see more value in personalization but expect to get more from agreeing to share their personal data than consumers in other age groups. So, are their perceptions of search and privacy changing when it comes to personalization?

“Digital natives understand data much better,” explained Olson. “They understand about giving access to their information and have higher expectations for what they get back. But they are just as concerned as people in the 55+ age bracket.” She calls it “purposeful personalization” where marketers understand what their consumer value and ensuring that it’s reflected in the personalized and tailored experiences that meet consumer expectations.

To read the full Microsoft report ... “In Brands We Trust – The Intersection of Privacy and Trust in the Age of the Empowered Consumer” ... CLICK HERE !!




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