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Data is Currency and Consumers Hold the Purse Strings

min read

Justin Grossman

User hesitates to submit data via online form

Have the days of consumer-generated data come to an end? This has become a very real, and valid, threat for many brands as consumer privacy concerns come to a head. 

Until more recently, consumers willingly exchanged their data for the use of services such as Facebook or Google, or the benefit of receiving a more personalized digital experience. And when that information is used effectively, it is ultimately the consumer who benefits. 

With some companies playing fast and loose with consumers’ valuable data, however, the blowback favoring privacy has been a long time coming. Consumers now understand the true value of their personal data, and more than ever, they’re treating it like currency, holding their privacy closer to the vest.

In direct response to eroded trust in how brands mishandled data, a growing number of U.S. online consumers have begun to take action to protect their data. In fact, according to a 2016 survey by Deloitte, 64% of consumers deleted or avoided certain apps all together, 47% adjusted their mobile privacy settings, and 27% avoided or closed specific sites. This trend is likely to continue, particularly as data protection laws, like the European Union’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), come into play. 

In my latest Forbes Agency Council article, I dive deeper into the clash between data and the customer experience. I examine why today’s consumer behavior hinges on trust, the reason marketers should advocate for customers to control their data and why ethically sourced data is more important than ever. I also explore how brands can bring respect and trust back into businesses exchanges. 

You can read the article here.