Consumers willing to sell data to advertisers for £500 a year despite deep distrust

UK consumers are willing to sell their data for £500 a year despite the fact that 99% have a deep distrust of advertisers, according to a new survey.

A study on the “value exchange” surrounding privacy and data by Mediabrands Marketing Sciences, part of media investment business IPG Mediabrands, showed that three in ten respondents would be prepared to sell their data to advertisers, with 41% of that group stating their information was worth at least £500 a year.

This is despite the fact that only 1% of respondents claimed to have faith in advertisers’ ability to look at their data, while 60% felt “weird” knowing companies were tracking them online.

Six in ten also worried about companies sharing their data inappropriately.

The survey also showed that despite skepticism respondents expressed an interest in the benefits of location-based marketing, with 62% stating they were interested in receiving advertising messages telling them of special offers nearby and 59% interested in giveaways in local places.

This suggests that a “value exchange” with advertisers is needed in order to curb consumers’ opinions on data collection and make them more comfortable with giving up some of their privacy.

Claire Spencer, head of insight at Mediabrands Marketing Sciences, said that marketers have become “data hoarders”, adding that the evolving dialogue between brand and consumer is increasingly data-centric.

She said marketers need to “establish a simple exchange between brand and consumer, one in which boundaries are respected and both parties benefit” so that they don’t lost sight of their customers’ interests.

This exchange does not necessarily need to involve money according to respondents, who said they would be interested in receiving discounts and vouchers in return for supplying personal details such as email and home addresses, mobile numbers, date of birth and product reviews and preferences.

Whatever the reward, this exchange is something brands need to get right according to marketers from Argos, BT, BBC, Mothercare, Google and TfL, who spoke yesterday (30 April) at Marketing Week Live about the importance of embracing a culture based on data-driven insights in order to reach consumers “at the right moment”.