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Customer data: Do European Millennials have something to hide?

19th May 2014
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European Millennials are far more cagy than their American counterparts when it comes to offering out their personal data.

A new study from SDL has found that over half of the 18-36 year olds across the pond have no qualms with their personal data being used by brands to better their customer experience. Meanwhile, European Millennials like to keep their information close to their chests; only 37% in the UK, 28% in Germany, 23% in Norway and 13% in the Netherlands are happy to share their personal data with brands.

This difference in attitudes is even more apparent when you look at individual instances of sensitive information. Based on a net score, a large majority of Millennials in the USA take no issue with brands tracking face scan (78), profile information (93), location (93) and email address (104). The UK’s youth are having none of it though; face scan only scored 54, profile information 55, location 58 and email address 68.

So, what can European brands do to make their Millennial customers a little more forthcoming when it comes to personal data? According to SDL’s study, it’s all about building trust; 44% of UK consumers, for example, will provide more personal information to companies which they feel they can trust. Social media is a great way tool for building these relationships SDL suggests, with 51% of UK Generation Ys willing to connect with brands in return for useful perks.  

Personalisation is also key; 35% of UK respondents will happily provide their details to a brand so long as it uses the information to provide a more carefully tailored marketing approach - and stops the spam.

Paige O’Neill, CMO at SDL comments: “There can be a tendency to see all Millennials as the same. This is mistaken as our study reveals both strong differences and similarities between Millennials of different nationalities. Data privacy matters more to Millennials in Europe than those in the US and this should influence how brands collect personal information to improve experience.”

She continues: “Big Data, without sifting through to obtain the small portion relevant for customers, has no value when it comes to the customer experience. For success, marketers need to spend time focusing on what matters to the consumers in the region they are selling in, and alter their strategies to align.”


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