Tech company Salesforce have recently issued a report on consumer trust trends.

Martech experts say this reinforces what they already knew. Transparency can go a long way to allay the fears of consumers who are torn between the allure of personalisation and any risks involved.

The report says that millennials and Gen Zs are more willing to give up personal data in exchange for more personalised experiences.

The report was generated from a double-blind global survey of 6,723 consumers this spring and defines Baby Boomers/Traditionalists as born before 1965; Gen X as born 1965–1980 and Millennials/Gen Zers as born 1981–1999.

Consumers are at a crossroads and are wary. Though a slight majority, 54%, say they don’t believe companies have their best interests at heart, they are still willing to give up personal information if they see a benefit.

Recent giant data breaches and social media scandals mean that many consumers are still getting used to balancing their desire for personalised experiences with the very reasonable fear that their data would be mishandled.

Though all generations say that personalisation techniques such as connected processes and instant on-demand engagement are important to winning their business, the statistics show an increased willingness along generational lines. For example, 75%  of Gen Z/Millennials say they want to work with businesses that have instant on-demand engagement as opposed to only 53% of Baby Boomers/Traditionalists.

Transparency is another factor that divides the generations. 63% of those born after 1981 say they understand how companies use their data. Only 47% of those born before 1980 say they understand how their data is used.  Also 67% of millennials, but only 35% of baby boomers expect offers to be personalised.

Consumers also expressed real fears around the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in personalisation.

60% of all those surveyed say they are concerned about their information being compromised because of AI. But 75% of Gen Z and Millennials say they can see the good that comes from it. Only 56% of baby boomers agreed.

With only about 35% of consumers saying they don’t trust AI, businesses have a real opportunity to connect with their consumers by providing experiences that are valuable to them.

The study also found that building trust with your customers can pay off. Nearly all 95% of those surveyed said that they are more likely to be loyal to a company they trust, and 93 % said they’d be likely to recommend that company.

To build trust, businesses need to be as transparent as possible. 92% say they are more likely to trust companies with their personal information if they are given control over that information.