16 million Brits give false data about themselves to brands

A boy wearing a false moustache.
16 million Brits give false data about themselves to brands
Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

One in four (25%) Brits intentionally give false data about themselves to brands, posing a serious risk to marketers planning to collect data amidst the Black Friday sales. 

That is according to a survey of 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by enterprise customer data platform, Treasure Data, which also found that a significant proportion (34%) will not use their primary email address when signing up to brand communications.

As marketers arm themselves with deals and discounts to win the battle for customer loyalty during the cost-of-living crisis, it’s Brits in the youngest age bracket who are the most deliberately deceptive with their data. Almost half (45%) of 18-34 year olds choose not to use their primary email address with brands, compared to 25% of those aged 55 and over.

Alongside slowing marketing budget growth as evidenced by the latest IPA Bellwether report and narrowing consumer spending power, brands also must contend with a raft of data blindspots as almost half (47%) of Brits reveal that they deliberately try to withhold their personal data from them.

Andrew Stephenson, director of marketing EMEA & India at Treasure Data, said: “This Black Friday, marketers have an elaborate concoction of obstacles in their hands as consumers add the issue of data collection and accuracy into the mix alongside the cost-of-living crisis and looming recession. It’s imperative that brands demonstrate accordingly the importance of data sharing – and the value Brits will receive in return for doing so – through personalised, helpful content. If not, brands risk Black Friday being a damp squib at a time when its success is most critical.”

Consumers won’t stand for irrelevant marketing

The findings also lay bare how little tolerance Brits have for impersonal comms, and the problem confronting brands hoping to convert cognisance into clicks over the coming weeks. One in five (19%) consumers report that they would unsubscribe from a brand’s mailing list within a week if content wasn’t relevant, and a further 43% say that less than 10% of the content they receive from brands make them click through. 

In addition, Brits are scathing about the plethora of content they currently experience. Whilst over half (51%) of UK consumers receive between one and ten brand communications each day, almost three quarters (72%) think less than half of it is relevant or appropriate for them.

Stephenson added: “What’s also clear from our research is that there’s an uphill battle for marketers in ensuring the consumer data they do have isn’t jeopardised by content that simply isn’t fit-for-purpose. There are several ways that brands can tackle this – from exploring the tools on the market that take customer data and create actionable insights, to upskilling and empowering marketing teams to understand what to do with what they have.

“As we ride the upcoming recession into the next couple of years, data management is going to be one of the key battlegrounds for brands where consumer loyalty and advocacy is won or lost.”

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person? Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.

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