The public are becoming increasingly aware of privacy issues and companies using consumer data to inform business decisions, however, provided marketers establish a bond of trust with the customer, they are unlikely to object to their information being used.
Ernan Roman, president of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing, wrote for BtoB that the key to gaining useful customer data to drive direct mail and integrated marketing campaigns is to develop trust and to maintain it by providing targeted and relevant communications.
He stated that there are several points marketers need to bear in mind to ensure that the relationship remains a mutually beneficial one, including making sure that the value customers receive from providing their information is clear to see.
"Customers must have confidence that the company has the ability to execute on the promise of providing this preference-driven information and sustaining this over time," Mr Ernan added.
Once in possession of consumer data, firms must do their upmost to protect it from loss or theft.
Jon Wilby, head of litigation at Band Hatton, told the Coventry Telegraph that the consequences of losing customer data are serious and not just in terms of financial penalties.