Thought leadership

Millennials in Europe are more sensitive to brands tracking personal data compared with US. A global study from SDL shows higher sensitivity among European Millennials (aged 18 – 36) about sharing personal data with brands versus those in the US. Over half (52 percent) of respondents in the US, have no issue with brands using their information to benefit customer experience. This is compared to 37 percent in the UK, 28 percent in Germany, 23 percent in Norway and only 13 percent in the Netherlands.

When it comes to highly personal identity data that is acceptable for brands to track, the differences between US and European Millennials is sharp. Based on a net score, for US Millennials there are a high number who say it is acceptable to track face scan (78), profile information (93), location (93) and email address (104). This compares to UK Millennials, for example, who do not find data sharing as acceptable: face scan (54), profile information (55), location (58) and email address (68).

However, brands can win over Millennials if they build brand trust. Millennial customers are most likely to consider a brand’s offer if they’ve done business with them in the past. The majority of Millennials feel this way, at 89 percent in the US, 81 percent in the UK, 71 percent in Germany and 78 percent in the Netherlands. This is more likely to lead to sharing of more personal data. 60 percent of US Millennials will provide more personal data to a company they trust. The UK is not far behind at 44 percent and German Millennials agreed to this at 41 percent. The most sensitive region to this was the Netherlands at 26 percent.

Though more sensitive about how much data they divulge, the research study does suggest that using social media to speak to the European Millennial generation is key. They are almost as willing to connect with brands through social media as their US counterparts if it means they can reap rewards like free perks and discounts. In the US 62 percent will connect to get discounts compared with 51 percent in the UK, 50 percent in Germany, and 42 percent in the Netherlands.

Relevancy of marketing content is essential to Millennials. 46 percent of Millennials in the US and 35 percent of UK respondents are willing to provide more data to businesses if it means they wouldn’t have to waste their time with offers that aren’t relevant.

“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,” said Paige O’Neill, CMO at SDL. “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. 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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