Now / Next / Why

Now / Next / Why

Highlights from Contagious Magazine's event


I recently attended Contagious Magazine's Now / Next / Why event at the LSO St Luke's in London where the use of data by brands and people's privacy were hot topics for discussion.

Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA set the context for the event's agenda with particular focus around people's perception of how they are being monitored both online and offline. The rise in the sheer volume of data that now exists poses new challenges for brands and how they use this to speak with their consumers.

The speakers were keen to reinforce the point that brands need to avoid the trap of looking like 'Big Brother' when it comes to how they use personal data. There are 3 potential rules that brands should look to explore and develop:


1. Value Exchange:

Brands should look at rewarding consumers for giving personal data. A recent example was Major League Baseball's 'Ballpark Express' app which personalises their experience and rewards customers for handing over their data.


2. Increase Relevancy Not Frequency: 

Now that brands have more access to information about their consumers they should use this wisely through being more relevant & targeted to their lives as opposed to sending generic blanket communication to their customers.


3. Collaborate on Engagement:

Brands should look for more ways to work together to speak to the same consumer, why compete for their attention when you can link up with a partner brand to deliver a more targeted message.

An example being Pantene Pro-V's recent link up with Walgreens and The Weather Channel to bring you contextual advertising with downloadable vouchers all linked to the weather and your location.



Contagious Magazine also commissioned bespoke research through Opinium on the topic of privacy and data which generated some interesting insights into consumers mindset regarding this area. Here are a few of the key stats from this research.


Of people in the UK and 28% in the US expect that it is realistic for any information about themselves online to remain completely anonymous.


Of people in the UK and 11% in the US believe they are completely in control of the information about themselves that is online. Around one in 10 think they have no control (9% UK, 8% US).


Of people in the UK and 44% in the US would be willing to pay something in exchange for total confidentiality when buying products or services online.


More than 4 in 5 people in both US and UK say they would always choose a brand that has a clear and simple privacy policy over one that didn't.


Of people in the UK and 42% of people in the US have stopped using a product or service because they are worried about how it is using their personal data.


Of people in the UK and 49% in the US are equally worried about their online privacy and their offline privacy.


Of respondents in the UK and 57% in the US say they invest time and money protecting their online privacy.


Of people in the UK and 89% in the US believe their privacy should be protected online without them having to do anything (this is consistent across demographics in both countries).

(This quantitative research which was carried out by Opinium in March 2014 through online surveys. A nationally representative sample of 2,000 people were surveyed in each of the US and UK).