Report Finds Consumers Wary Of Aggressive Marketers - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

10:28 AM
Connect Directly

Report Finds Consumers Wary Of Aggressive Marketers

An Accenture survey says consumers overwhelmingly say aggressive marketing is a key factor in undermining trust in business.

Aggressive panhandling can get you in trouble with the law; aggressive marketing can get you in trouble with your customers. According to a survey released Tuesday by Accenture, "consumers overwhelmingly (76%) cite aggressive marketing as the factor that undermines their trust in business."

The report by the IT services and consulting firm says privacy and trust are key concerns to most consumers, 51% of whom say fear of inadequate protection of their personal data has compelled them to "reject or cancel" doing business with a company.

Glover Ferguson, chief scientist at Accenture, observes in the report that we're entering an age in which networked information systems have profound privacy and trust implications. He says businesses need to take a new approach to privacy that focuses not only on compliance but also on building trust with customers as a means of competitive differentiation.

This may prove trickier than it sounds given another of the survey's findings: 69% of consumers "readily surrender personal information in exchange for rewards such as cash, convenience, and bonus points." At the same time, 97% of respondents expressed concern about privacy, particularly identity theft.

"The survey brings out the paradox but it doesn't explain it," says Ferguson. "This is a basic paradox between convenience and security. It's much more convenient not to lock your house. You get home, you just walk in; you don't have to fiddle around with locks."

A December report from Forrester Research, "The X Internet and Consumer Privacy," also explores this dichotomy. Value and convenience often allay privacy concerns. "We do find that consumers are willing to part with a surprising amount of information," senior analyst Christine Overby says.

For marketers, Accenture's Ferguson sees the establishment and maintenance of trust as critical. "Any private data you have, if you let that get out, you're dead," he says. "It's just so damaging. It's the lecture you give your teenagers about the delicate fabric of trust and how difficult it is to repair once torn. And that's absolutely double or triple-true for business. If you have reputation for letting all your credit-card information leak out, along with people's private data, that's a brand problem that will take a long time to repair."

Glover's recommendation is to focus on the opportunity to strengthen the relationship. "The opportunity is, if you are careful with [customer] information and have any form of trust relationship with a customer, the more you deepen that relationship, the more willing they are to give you more information," he says. "That becomes what I would describe as the incumbent's advantage--the longer and deeper my business relationship, the more information I have, the harder it is for a new entrant to be able to serve a customer at the same level because they don't have that data."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

New Storage Trends Promise to Help Enterprises Handle a Data Avalanche
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/1/2021
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
How to Submit a Column to InformationWeek
InformationWeek Staff 4/9/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll