Businesses are risking losing sales and brand loyalty by over personalising their marketing efforts, according to new research.

Despite the benefits of personalisation widely being talked about in marketing in recent years, 50% of consumers sureyed by Amaze One said they were in fact less likely to spend money with a company that included too much personal information. Instead, they said they were happy with general, informative and understandable marketing materials that add value.

Paul Kennedy, data strategy director at Amaze One, said: "There is a fine balance between digital creepiness and a great personalised experience. Now that data and technology is mature and available to deliver and measure this, marketers need to concentrate on fine tuning that balance to unlock that untapped potential."

Mr Kennedy said that as consumers block brand communications in ever-increasing numbers, there has never been a more urgent need for brands to understand how consumers really feel about the data they share and make content, data and communications work harder.

Just over half (51%) of consumers said they were aware of when and where their data is collected, but 70% do not feel in control of how that information is used. Those that do feel in control are more willing to share their data, with 46% saying that ability to delete data that companies save would encourage them to share more insight.

The value exchange

Consumers who do provide personal data do so on the understanding that they will receive something of value in return. The research proves that the key to encouraging consumers to share more information is transparency on how the data will be used, overall reputation and the ease of deleting data.

Generally, respondents were most willing to share their name (76%), followed by their age (68%) and email (66%). However, a very low number will share social media data or connect via social login (7%), given that so much of their personal life is invested in platforms like Facebook, there is a tendency for consumers to be very protective of that data.

When questioned which factors would make them more willing to share information with companies, 30% said rewards and 12% wanted enhanced services. Consumers who like to be referred to by name are even more likely to want frequent contact from brands and those who favour tailored deals are more likely to want frequent contact from brands - but not to intrude.

Janet Snedden, deputy managing director at Amaze One, said: "In today's age of the connected customer, a strong blend of rigour is required from brands and marketers to manage communications effectively - we have huge opportunities as consumer curiosity grows - but also so much at risk from getting it wrong.

"We need to earn the trust of our customers by making each and every interaction count. Intelligent data drive personalised, insightful communications that add value and enhance the customer experience. To get this right, we must better understand the tone of voice tailored to the individual."