businessAlthough the acceptance for data-driven marketing is growing, many users still worry about protection of privacy. At least, this is the result of a representative study by the marketing tech provider Silverpop, titled "data-driven marketing: reality vs. customer demands", which was carried out in March of this year.

In 2013, when such research was conducted for the first time, the gap between reality and customer marketing was obvious, but now is closing partially, according to the current results.

However, the desire for transparency, which users have expressed earlier, still falls by the wayside. Compared to 2013 (79%), currently 74% of marketers still deploy personal customer data, which means that there is already a slight stagnation.

Today, however, far more diverse data sources are managed and used in a more analytical way: If, for instance, in 2013, CRM data was still the most widely used, in 2015, web analytics (up 17 percentage points) as well as cash and inventory management systems are gaining in importance.

However, the trend is clearly towards Big Data, which means lots of data instead of a targeted and transparent monitoring. Marketers that collect personal information want to gather as much information as possible, regardless of whether it is needed or not. In this case, the number has risen by 18 percentage points to 37%, while however 93% of the consumers are still against this kind of random data collection.

Nevertheless, the appreciation for the data entry increased slightly. Compared to 2013 (50%) now 54% of respondents have an idea of what companies do with the collected data, and more than 80% of users are already convinced that companies using the data will send them matching offers. After all, 63% see already an improvement in the service quality, which is an increase of four percentage points.

Nevertheless, users’ confidence is still low as they still question what happens to the data – e.g. 91% fear that their data can be sold. On the other hand, by now only 22% of companies communicate measures to protect customer data, not like two years ago, when 34% still did it. Even the transparency desire of consumers is not sufficiently taken into account: While 72% want to know what kind of data companies have saved on them, only 26% of companies actually fulfil the clients’ wish.

Real-time marketing is still no bed of roses, although from a technical point of view it is already manageable. It requires a lot of diplomacy, patience, honesty and especially hard work to succeed. However, if you handle it being well prepared and open-minded, you will definitely gain more brand engagement, recognition as well as gaining trusting and loyal customers.

By Daniela La Marca