14 tips on being personal | DMA

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14 tips on being personal


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1,000 Swedes were asked to respond to questions in a report entitled Delade meningar – Svenska folkets syn på digital integritet 2015 [Shared opinions – the Swedish people's views on digital integrity in 2015] from the Insight Intelligence research agency.

It reveals, among other things, that one third of respondents do not see any reason to share information and that they do so as little as possible.

Christofer Laurell, Researcher at Stockholm Business School at Stockholm University, who is conducting research into the commercialisation of social media, has an explanation why so many people protect their integrity and are suspicious of companies that collect information.

"Big companies that take advantage of the potential of technology sometimes tend to be a little too aggressive. The average person isn't always aware that data is being collected or how it's being used. Developments are moving so quickly that it's difficult for customers to keep up, so issues relating to integrity are important.

"The problem being raised by integrity activists is that companies are doing things that customers aren't aware of. This is often the case, and many companies are facing the challenge of winning back trust among customer groups where it's been lost," says Christofer Laurell.

Tips from the Shared Opinions report

1. Offer an incentive
No fewer than 74 per cent are happy to share information – as long as they get something out of it. More than every second person prefers an incentive in the form of lower costs. Four out of ten also want some kind of bonus system.

2. Keep the information to yourself
Only four per cent of customers are prepared to share information that is then passed on to a third party.

3. Be transparent
People think it's OK for companies to collect data if there is clear information about how it is used to develop new products and services.

4. Adapt for the target group
Think about the company's target group. Attitudes towards integrity differ significantly between the generations – 74 per cent of young people aged between 16 and 28 are happy to share their personal interest, while the figure among those aged 65-70 is only 30 per cent.

5. Be clear
77 per cent think that it would feel more reassuring if there were clear symbols to demonstrate what personal information is used for and which services or offers are based on personal data.

6. Depends on the business
What the company does is important in terms of confidence in the handling of personal data. 65 per cent trust banks, while only four per cent have trust in news media and companies in the field of social media. This is also evident in the fact that many people are happy to give out information to authorities.

7. Ask about the right things
53 per cent are comfortable with sharing personal interests, while only 23 per cent are comfortable with talking about their personal opinions and feelings.

8. Guarantee security
About one third, 30 per cent, want to see a security certification showing that the company satisfies certain criteria for the handling of personal data.

9. Put the customer in control
People are happy to share their address if they themselves are given the choice, but they are not comfortable about information being retrieved from their browsing habits.

10. Create value
People are willing to share information online if a large group of people benefit and the information is used to solve social problems.

Tips from Christofer Laurell

11. Ask for permission
If you enter into new customer relationships with a business concept based on collecting as much information as possible, the best thing to do is to ask the customer for permission. If you don't already have a customer relationship, there's a particularly tangible risk of being perceived as being unreliable.

12. Simplify the terms and conditions
Transparent, honest companies find it easier to win loyal customers who can be more inclined to share data, as they feel a sense of trust. One practical way of being transparent is to simplify the terms and conditions of the agreement and to make them easily accessible. You can also emphasise them and highlight those parts of the terms and conditions that are particularly important for the customer to be aware of.

13. Set up a customer club
Many companies use customer clubs to create personal experiences. This makes it clear how customer data is being used and potentially creates a better balance between customer adaptation and integrity.

14. Make integrity your niche
A lot of customers believe that integrity is particularly important. To reach this target group, you can make integrity your niche, turn it into a competitive advantage and use it to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

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