Maria Heckel, director of marketing at CIM shared the results of their research into use and misuse of data. The survey covered both marketers and consumers and was fascinating.

As a marketer, I have often felt frustrated by companies misusing my data. A typical example for me is ending up on the contact list of 7 different sales people at a trade show I’ve already said no to, but who do not communicate with each other. Numerous nos don’t seem to stop the daily calls and emails – but a threat to report them for data misuse (my last resort) thankfully often does. For it to get to that point is a terrible situation for any brand – the emotions I associate with such businesses is now one of mistrust and exasperation. Whereas a thoughtful and measured approach means I could have signed us up to attend in a subsequent year.

I am not alone. According to Heckel, 51% of consumers feel their data has been misused leading to 57% not trusting brands to use data responsibly. This is with good reason, 70% of the marketers surveyed said they do not prioritise customer trust – a staggering figure.

The solution is to show respect and be transparent about the ways you use data. This can be easy to lose track of in the hunt for results, but it’s much more beneficial to your customer’s relationship with your brand in the long term.