Talking to customers about their data is the key to GDPR

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governing the collection, storage and use of data are coming into force soon and new research reveals that almost two-thirds of consumers (62%) said their confidence about sharing data with businesses is improved by the incoming laws. Highlighting the importance of communicating the benefits of the new laws to consumers in order to build long-term trust.

The figures are revealed in the ‘GDPR: A Consumer Perspective’ report, commissioned jointly by the DMA and Acxiom to explore the attitudes of UK consumers towards data exchange and GDPR – conducted prior to the recent news stories. The research found that the majority of people in the UK (57%) prefer to receive some form of personalised marketing from companies. Most of whom (62%) also understand the need for companies to access their data in order to help stop them receiving marketing that is not relevant to them. In fact, even among those shoppers that don’t like marketing at all, 40% are comfortable with sharing data to avoid irrelevant offers or recommendations.

The survey also found that consumers fall into five groups when it comes to their preference for personalised marketing:

  • Personalisation fans (36%): Favouring personalisation of offers and don’t see the appeal of random offers
  • All the offers (21%): Like personalised offers, but also want random offers that they might not be aware of, not wanting to “miss out” on things outside of their filter bubble
  • Surprise me! (10%): Would rather see random offers than have them personalised, preferring to be surprised or discover offers for products and services
  • Indifference (15%): Indifferent towards offers, they are neither positive nor negative towards either personalised or random offers
  • Resistant to marketing (18%): Resistant to marketing in general and don’t like receiving either personalised or random offers

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA said: “At its heart, GDPR is about transparency and honesty in how organisations collect and use customers’ data. This is essential to building and maintaining trust between businesses and consumers,”

“The new laws offer an opportunity for organisations to put the consumer front and centre of their company’s culture. An essential part of that is talking to customers about their data and how the new laws benefit them in a way that they can understand.”

Jed Mole, Vice-President, Marketing at Acxiom, said: “We welcome GDPR as it increases the importance everyone must place on data and updates our data legislation for today’s world. We are delighted to again partner with the DMA on this important, independent research that shows us the majority of people want to see data drive a more personalised world as opposed to random. It also shows awareness and understanding are growing. This is pivotal as only with reasonable understanding can people form reasonable expectations. Increasingly, consumers accept data helps create better experiences and personalisation, something desired by consumers and marketers alike.’

Jonathan Carter, Head of Strategy Consulting and Planning at Acxiom Ltd will be speaking at the next GDPR Summit London. To hear from Jonathan and other experts in data protection visit the website.


The inaugural Data Protection World Forum (DPWF) will be held on November 20th & 21st 2018 at the ExCeL London which will provide a broader focus across the data protection and privacy space amidst the progressive tightening of global data protection laws.

Ahead of the end of year event, DPWF has launched a series of intensive workshops.

Further information on the DPWF and workshop details are available at: https://www.dataprotectionworldforum.com/