Microsoft warns brands 'at risk' of losing consumer trust over data exchange confusion

Brands are at risk of losing consumer over the exchange of personal data according to new research from Microsoft, which revealed a 25 per cent difference between what consumers consciously share, and the types of data they believe brands collect anyway, without their explicit consent.

The Value Me research, part of Microsoft Advertising’s bi-annual Digital Trends report, has revealed differences in the types of personal data consumers are willing to share, with personal information such as their date of birth and address (57 per cent) and basic demographics such as age (50 per cent) topping the list.

The results also signalled a change in consumer expectations around what they get in return for personal data and how they define value. Cash rewards came top of the list (61 per cent) while loyalty points for services and products also ranked as highly desirable (59 per cent).

In addition a quarter of consumers are willing to exchange their data for a more connected and simplified lifestyle, alongside automated processes (27 per cent).

Owen Sagness, UK general manager for Microsoft Advertising and Online, said that data is "rapidly becoming a fundamental currency" for brand-consumer relationships.

"Agencies and brands must commit to respecting boundaries and focusing on using data responsibly to deliver thoughtful experiences to consumers," he said.

"Those brands that negotiate a better informed and more willing basis for data exchange will succeed in building stronger loyalty and engagement.”

Respondents also perceived advertising as an expected cost, one that they prefer to incur over a month or one-off fee. Over a third (37 per cent) of respondents said companies should offer services for free when data is collected, whilst nearly a third (32 per cent) would try a new data-powered service, yet see more ads in return.

A quarter (28 per cent) of respondents said they would opt for more information about them to be shared, in place of paying for services.

The results were collected from 13,000 respondents covering 13 markets.

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