Brands that are upfront about how they intend to use personal data are far more likely to gain the trust and loyalty of consumers, according to a survey commissioned by Intent HQ, which examined consumer attitudes toward the gathering of social data to aid the personalisation of content and advertising. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

Well over three-quarters (79%) of those who expressed an opinion in the recent poll said they are more likely to respect an honest brand that gathers data via a social login, rather than one that resorts to using behind-the-scenes cookies.

In contrast, 86% said that they don't like online advertising which is personalised through data from cookies, either ignoring the ads, finding them irritating or feeling as though they are intruding on their privacy. At the same time, 59% said that providing basic login details in return for personalised offers and information is a 'fair deal'. Some 71% said they were prepared to give some data to login even if it was just a name and email address.

Overall, the survey of over 2,000 consumers demonstrates that the 'value exchange', where internet and social media users give certain details to enable more accurate personalisation and targeting of advertising and content, is beginning to overcome worries about privacy. Although 84% said they were concerned about online privacy, almost half (47%) admitted that this doesn't stop them giving personal details if they want certain information.

"Consumers have had enough of the blunt-edged personalisation of ads and content targeted using cookie data. Consequently, advertisers and publishers are now increasingly using permission-based social logins to collect this information. By combining this with online behavioural data and then applying sophisticated new methods involving artificial intelligence to target ads and content more accurately, they are enjoying a dramatic rise in conversion rates," explained Jonathan Lakin, CEO of Intent HQ.

These results follow an earlier report by MinedIntent, also sponsored by Intent HQ, which suggests that trust - or its erosion through the irresponsible use of data - should be taken into account when assessing the value of a brand.

"This latest survey underlines that consumers really do value brands that gather and use data responsibly, knowing that their actions will have a long-lasting effect on customer relationships," concluded Lakin.