The true value of data cannot be quantified

Data is the oil that fuels the marketing engine; a statement that was probably uttered by one learned soul once but has become am accepted truism in the modern marketing world.

It is a statement that is particularly true of customer data. Digital technology has created more data and allowed for more insight to be gleaned from it. This, in turn, has allowed for better targeting and a greater return on investment.

So, it is valuable, that there is no doubt. But exactly how valuable?  £140, that’s how valuable.

A study of 2,000 mobile users in the UK, France, Spain and Poland by Orange has placed an average value of £140 on how much they believe online data such as location and demographic information is worth to brands.

Revealingly, the figure rises to £200 when people are asked to monetise data to those brands they do not have a relationship with.

The study goes on to find that an overwhelming number of customers understand the value of their data to brands – nearly four in five (78 per cent).

Despite this awareness and the arbitrary but revealing appreciation of their own value, those polled were less clear on what the data is being used for and what is or isn’t valuable.

What is clear is they expect brands to be transparent with them. More than three quarters said it is “very important” or “critical” for mobile operators to notify them on how their data is being used.

Customers understand the value of their data to brands. They are in the main accepting that data will be used to benefit them with improved targeting and better services. However, the real cost to brands is not monetary it is in the trust lost if they mishandle the data. The value of data is not how much each individual’s personal information is worth but the way it is used for their benefit. This needs to communicated constantly or the cost will be lost custom.

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