Almost half of marketers don’t understand data laws

Some 41% of marketers say they don’t fully understand the laws and best practices around the use of customer data, according to research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

CIM’s Whose data is it anyway? report studied 2500 marketers and customers to gain insight into the use of personal data for marketing purposes. 

It revealed the misuse of data across marketing is rife, with over two-thirds (68%) of marketers confessing to protecting their own data as customers, because they know how it is mistreated.

An unprecedented 92% of customers said they do not fully understand how businesses are using their personal information and data, with 31% admitting to having no idea. 

A particularly concerning stat for marketers is that more than half (57%) of customers said they do not trust organisations to use their personal data responsibly. Fears of having data shared without consent was the key driver in this mistrust. 

Moreover, 68% of customers said they are most uncomfortable with their data being captured through social media platforms, an activity 44% of marketers are currently practicing, and one that is actively encouraged in the field.

Chris Daly, chief executive of CIM, commented: "Customer data is essential for marketers to reach the right audience and meet customers’ needs and interests. Yet our report shows that people are nervous about sharing personal data – fears of data breaches and misuse has them on high alert.

“[...] So, the solution is clear, marketers need to brush up on the rules, demonstrate clearly the value-add personal data offers in delivering a more personalised experience and ultimately reduce the fear by being open throughout the process.”