Study: Digital natives lead the pack on sharing info

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While many Canadians are becoming ever more comfortable with sharing their information online, some might still balk at the idea of putting it all out there. B2B firms interested in collecting information on clients would be wise to pay attention to new research on this challenge.

According to a new study by the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms, “digital natives” are leading the way into an age of greater information sharing, but they aren’t willing to do it for free.

The term digital native refers to people who grew up with access to digital technologies and center most of their digital activities online.

According to the CCPRF study, 18 percent of digital natives always share their personal info online, whereas only 8 percent of digital visitors (people who only occasionally use digital tech) do the same. When it comes to the non-tech savvy people polled in the survey, only 5 percent were willing to share.

It’s important to note that people aren’t willing to give away their information for nothing. Digital natives are always looking for something in return like a discount rate, or some sort of special deal to make it worthwhile.

Building up strong relationships is also important for businesses reaching out to digital natives. In the study, an average of 41 percent of all people polled said they would be willing to share their personal info with a brand with a good reputation. That number shoots up to 60 percent, however, when we look at just digital natives.

It’s also important for companies to maintain strong security around their data stores. A data leak can be damaging to a brand (look at Ashley Madison) and can keep people from sharing their info. In the poll, 43 percent said they would be less likely to share their info in the future with a brand that had a data leak.

A Pew Research study from 2010 showed some findings that do jibe with this recent survey. The experts who were polled said that by 2020 most Gen-Yers who happen to be digital natives will continue to share their information, although not as widely as they did in their younger days.

If B2B marketers want to reach out to the growing demographic of digital natives, they are advised to offer something in exchange for their information, and give assurances that the info is well-guarded. Otherwise, that valuable information will soon live in a silo never to see the light of day.

Flickr photo via Creative Commons license, user dawolf-

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Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell is a freelance journalist, copywriter and poet from Mississauga who now lives in Montreal. His byline has appeared in many newspapers and websites such as The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The Montreal Gazette, and Torontoist. He's an expert profiler and has interviewed many notable personalities such as KISSmetrics founder Neil Patel, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray, and Hollywood actor Michael Rooker. If you want to find out more about him, visit his website and follow him on Twitter @riddellwriter.