Brands have been urged to make sure they use only appropriate and truthful data in their marketing content.

According to Scott Stonham, General Manager of RootMetrics in Europe, this is crucial if they are to build consumer trust at a time when competition is growing.

“Combined with the increase of information available to consumers and the ability to quickly blast complaints over social media, attempting to pull the wool over consumers’ eyes with dubious data puts brand reputations at risk,” he commented.

Mr Stonham said organisations are therefore wise to be upfront about the nature of marketing data and state whether or not it is representative of a particular market segment.

Otherwise, he believes businesses could alienate customers and see a loss in revenues and regulatory fines.

He was speaking after the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed it would change the rules to make broadband speed advertising more transparent, as providers can currently promote a headline speed if it is achievable by just ten per cent of their customers.

This has opened up many companies in the sector to complaints that they are misleading customers and failing to manage expectations.

“As consumers become more tech-savvy and aware of the shortcomings in services they receive, they are challenging organisations that display false or misleading data, putting brands at risk of legal and financial repercussions,” Mr Stonham said.

He went on to acknowledge that organisations will not wish to use data that doesn’t support the message they want to push.

However, he said this means many may be inclined to use a fundamentally flawed sampling methodology and repurpose the results as an “accurate reflection of a national market.”

Mr Stonham added broadband providers must understand connected customers are paying increasingly close attention to issues such as speed, coverage, reliability and cost.

Never underestimate the importance of good marketing data, MarketingTech