CMOs need to reassess their data collection practices and keep an eye on regulators’ growing appetite for enforcing strict new privacy rules, according to new global research from Accenture Interactive

Accenture Interactive’s 2019 Consumer Pulse Survey: See People, Not Patterns, surveyed over 8,000 consumers globally and found nearly 30 per cent of consumers said a brand had gotten “too personal” – and 69 per cent of these consumers said they would stop doing business with a brand or reconsider their relationship to the brand because of this.

“The research findings pose a question to brands when thinking about data: ‘Has data collection gone too far?’” said Scott Tieman, global lead for Programmatic Services, Accenture Interactive. 

“Many consumers report that brands don’t know them well enough to serve them in a way that makes them feel special, but when brands seem to know too much — and act on that knowledge — they can inadvertently lose consumers’ trust. We are at an important point in digital advertising where brands need to be purposeful with their data acquisition approach that is transparent and good for the brand – and the consumer.”

Source: Accenture Interactive’s 2019 Consumer Pulse Survey:

The research found that around 73 per cent of consumers are willing to share more personal information if brands are transparent about how it is used, up from 66 per cent in 2018. But they also want to hand over the data directly, not have it hoovered up without their knowledge or consent. 

Among consumers who said a brand had communicated in a way that was too personal, over 71 per cent said it was because a brand had information about them or their family that they didn’t share directly.

More than 75 per cent of consumers say they are uncomfortable with data collection via microphone or voice assistant and 51 per cent said invasive ads are on the rise. 

Accenture recommends CMOs switch to opt-in alternatives to track users, such as encouraging consumers to authenticate on websites and mobile applications. 

The consultants also recommend bringing adtech contracts in-house to access more “effective, transparent” data collection methods and building the data architecture of enterprise systems in a way that reflects current regulations, like GDPR. 

That means building the tech that allows data to be accessed, moved or deleted at the users’ request. 

The research warned brands need to pay close attention to the regulatory landscape as it evolves, as regulators are increasing oversight and enforcement, including the incoming CCPA regulation. Between May 2018 and January 2019, more than 140,000 complaints and queries were filed with authorities.  

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