Data worries as consumers found to lie online

LONDON - Most consumers admit to filling in false information online, which means several marketers' email databases could be flawed, according to industry research.

An independent study called 'Consumer Attitudes Towards Disclosing Personal Data for Direct Marketing' reveals that 54% of consumers admit to filling in false information because they know they are going to receive communications they may not want, or input forms are too long and people will take the quickest route.

This discovery could mean marketers can no longer rely on these DM marketing methods if consumers are dishonest, because by entering inaccurate information they are creating more spam, which will land in their email inbox.

In addition, list brokers may be selling data based on inaccurate information and marketers could be basing their models on flawed information, creating "garbage in, garbage out" problems

Paul Crabtree, marketing director at Adestra, said: "Worryingly, by filling in false information, consumers themselves are creating more spam -- a real challenge for email marketers.

"Using email marketing and using tracking behaviour is essential to marketing strategy and using techniques such as customisation/personalisation, behavioural segmentation and multi-channel marketing, marketers will be able to trust their data again."

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