Today’s consumer is ready and waiting for ‘data exchange’

Team Umbrella / July 2022

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Our founder Beth Johnson is on the Responsible Marketing Committee at the DMA as well as on the Advisory Board at (Web3 Data Marketplace Platform) and is working to prepare for the next generation of Data Unions and the monetisation of personal data back to the owners.

Here is her insight in to how brands should be preparing themselves ahead of the phase out of cookies…

New opportunities as the curtains are thrown wide open

Do you remember grannie’s old net curtains? You didn’t want anyone looking in your house! It seems today we’ve thrown open the windows and let strangers wander around our abode. And the trend looks set to continue! The question is – are brands prepared for the opportunity?

The DMA produced their latest UK Data Privacy report which shows a trend that consumers are more comfortable with sharing their data than before. This report is compiled over a ten-year period and is split by age, gender, generation and demograph. The trend over indexes for men, Gen Y and those between 18-44 years.

What does this mean for brands? It is a good bellwether for those brands that are preparing for the execution of cookies and prepping for first party data. But there are other things to consider…

Be transparent to gain consumer trust

Data exchange comes at a cost and according to the DMA report, trust in a brand or organisation ranks number one to consumers taking part. This means that the relationship a brand builds is paramount to the data exchange. Whilst brands can incentivise or offer rewards and discounts, the value exchange needs to be transparent so that consumers know what they are getting.

The below table clearly indicates that freebies, cash and discounts used to be key to a successful data exchange between brands and consumers…

Personalisation is what consumers want NOW!

The theme of the naughties is personalisation. Consumers want to be curated to.  They want recommendations, measurements and advice on health and finances. This is the new value exchange.

Brands are finding clever ways to ensure ultimate personalisation through transparent data exchange…

A perfect example is the new Sky Glass 4K TV. It is a ‘smarter’ TV with not only the Sky box baked into the TV but also has an inbuilt 4k camera. This means it can watch you when you watch TV (sounds like Gogglebox).

The Drum interviewed Sky CEO Patrick Béhar and he explained that Sky will get your data (watch you) but in return it will tell you when your posture is not aligned when exercising, make Zoom calls much more relaxed and promote family gaming.  In exchange, they will deliver advertising which is appropriate for the audience (no HFSS brands if a child walks in the room!) and advertisers will know their messaging is reaching the target audiences.

Win win?!?!  Well, it depends on if that value exchange is right for you.

Recompensing consumers for use of their data

What about the sizeable group that still wants the cash pay-out? The EU is passing regulations enshrining data portability and will be supporting Data Unions to the tune of EUR 2 billion as a way for consumers to give data permissions and be recompensed for the use of their data, and organisations to purchase data and gain insight from target consumers.

There are a small but growing group of data unions out there (Swash, Ozone, Unbanx, DIMO, Mat, Republic) but they have received over $30m in investment, so not likely to slip away anytime soon. Underpinning the success of Data Unions are platforms and data marketplaces such as which the Data Unions are built on and then accessible by brands to buy from.

Future opportunities…

Brands have an opportunity in front them. Do they have the trust of their consumers?  If so, what value can they offer? As cookies and programmatic spend disappears, how will brands reallocate their budget? My view is that they need to invest in first party data (as long as trust and value can be achieved) and ensure the Data Unions are up and running so that they have a legal way of procuring data to enable strategic product development and future investment.

Brands will soon be hungry for data if they don’t make the right investments now.

If your brand or team are hungry for data, contact me…