Dentsu has shared its latest Data Consciousness Project report findings as part of the group’s fourth study from Asia Pacific. The study aims to showcase how consumers feel and respond to brands accessing their data as the ability to collect and activate data remains a key competitive lever for brands.
Conducted in Q4 2021 across 14 Asia Pacific countries, with over 20,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64 surveyed, this is the most contextualised survey done on attitudes towards data privacy in the region. Findings have direct relevance to multiple industry verticals as respondents were asked about their willingness to share their data in highly specific “micro-contexts”.
According to the survey report, brands will face increasing challenges in incentivising consumers to part with their personal data. 66% of respondents expect to be able to decline to share any personal data without compromising on the level of service received. This will unfold as consumers’ understanding of the value and sensitivity their data expands.
However, the study also showed that people are likely to continue to be willing to share their data, including sensitive personal data, in situations where there are specific benefits to be gained or where there would be a positive societal impact.
For Gen X and Gen Y, discounts on food (in exchange for food delivery history) and travel offers (in exchange for travel history) were among the most valued benefits, while outcomes that advanced peoples’ personal sense of purpose were also consistently favoured. 64% are happy to share their health data for medical research and 58% are willing to have their carbon footprint tracked to help the fight against climate change.
“As consumers become more sentient about data, the onus is on brands to design compelling and fair data-value exchanges. Brands need to address 5 key variables: the purpose which the collected data will be used for, the benefit to the consumer in exchange for sharing that data, the consumer’s level of trust in the brand, how much control the consumer has in determining whether and what to share, and the perceived sensitivity of the data.” Said Christine McKinnon, Head of Business Intelligence, dentsu Solutions.
The study also explored countries’ ‘data cultures’. It mapped markets according to their relative open-ness towards technology, and their attitudinal bias between ‘dataism’ and ‘humanism’. Dataism posits that only by being data-led can we advance further and faster. Humanism rests on the belief that we should never let technology lead in an unfettered manner. As an overall trend, a skew towards dataism went hand in hand with greater openness to technological change.
The study mapped countries’ relative attitudes towards data and technology to derive a “data culture” for each market.
Regardless of nationality, concerns around the opacity of how brands use their data and potential misuse of personal data were significant across the board. 62% of respondents do not know how their personal data is being used. 72% feel that organisations will need to demonstrate higher standards of ethical behaviour as far as personal data is concerned. 74% believe that the government needs to play a bigger role in regulating the use of personal data by companies.
“Transparency around why data is being collected is critical for brands looking to build trust. But brands must also effectively convey the “then what” proposition – how the customer or society stands to gain from the data exchange. This must be designed with a clear understanding of that specific audience’s data culture. Which is especially pertinent given the increasing sensitivity of data which brands will have access to, as wearables and metaverse experiences enter the mainstream.” Said Jonathan Edwards, Head of Data and Transformation Asia Pacific, dentsu Solutions.
“Consumers expect brands to act responsibly in all areas. As marketers, we should be setting the building blocks for a humane and safe digital future now. Ensuring consumers are empowered in their data decisions is not only an ethical strategy, but a profitable one.” Said Yusuke Kasahara, CEO Asia Pacific, dentsu Solutions.
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