How to make friends with customers

Getting in touch with consumers can’t just be a casual affair.

Consumers, however, are more willing than previously thought to hand over their personal details, according to research by fast.MAP/DMA. But there is a caveat. You need to build up a decent level of trust before you drop consumers a line.

Three-quarters of consumers are happy to share their personal details for marketing purposes with companies that they have a relationship with.

Consumers are surprisingly trusting too. They believe that brands they know well will treat their data with respect.

When buying online, 84% are confident that brands they trust will treat personal details responsibly.

But almost 90% of people will not share their details with brands they have no relationship with. So brands trying to reach new buyers have a task on their hands.

The research suggests that brands that want to target new customers should consider teaming up with a brand a customer already knows. Nearly 20% of consumers are more willing to receive information from a new brand if it has the backing of a brand they already have a relationship with.

Incentives don’t appear to make much of a difference to consumers when trying to persuade them to hand over information. Less than 20% of people would be willing to hand over their details to organisations if a store card was on offer, while a third would respond to a competition. Shopper loyalty points only persuade a quarter of respondents to the fast.MAP/DMA research to hand over their personal information.

This research appears to fly in the face of media reports about privacy. Only three out of 10 respondents say they have stopped trusting a brand because of bad press.

But what is clear from the research findings, is that marketers have to treat their customers’ data with respect if they want to be considered trustworthy enough to get in touch and say hello without negative repercussions.

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