A consumer study has revealed just how devastating any move to make marketing communications opt-in only would be, by revealing only 6% of consumers would tick the box to continue contact.
The issue of consent for marketing is one that has been vexing direct, digital and data marketers ever since the proposed EU data reforms were first published in 2012.
However, even at this late stage in the negotiations – the EU General Data Protection Regulation is expected to be passed this year – no one has a clue whether opt-in will be mandatory.
The European Commission’s position is as clear as mud, while the UK Information Commissioner’s Office is also none the wiser, just recommending the UK firms “do the right thing” and keep their customer data clean.
However, the latest FastMap Marketing-Gap Tracking Study reveals just how devastating an opt-in regime would be, with David Cole claiming it could set the industry back 20 years and wipe out the already fragile third-party list broking sector.
Cole added: “Many marketers seem oblivious of the data elephant in the room and are therefore not only failing to prepare for the forecast legislation change, but also missing out on the potential profit increases delivered by improved opt-in rates.”
According to the FastMap reprot, marketers consistently underestimate people’s level of concern about potential misuse of their contact details. Only 45% thought consumers might be worried about their details being passed on to another organisation, while 85% of consumers said they would be concerned or even very concerned.
In fact, (based on responses from 1,180 consumers and 310 marketers) the professionals underestimate all people’s areas of concern by up to 100%. And they massively underestimate (by a third on average) consumer nervousness over data security and privacy, even when it comes to the second most-contentious issue – a failure to keep permission statement promises.
Between seven and eight people in ten are worried about six of the seven areas of intrusion and security mentioned. Fewer, though still almost two thirds, are concerned about receiving irrelevant information.
For more information visit the FastMap website >
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