New Statutory Direct Marketing Code; heads up!


New Statutory Direct Marketing Code; heads up!

The new Digital Economy Bill 2016 will introduce a new statutory direct marketing code of practice.

What's it all about?

Lots of stuff actually, but importantly for the marketing profession, the regulation of direct marketing.

"A Bill To make provision about electronic communications infrastructure and services; to provide for restricting access to online pornography; to make provision about protection of intellectual property in connection with electronic communications; to make provision about data-sharing; to make provision about functions of OFCOM in relation to the BBC; to provide for determination by the BBC of age-related TV licence fee concessions; to make provision about the regulation of direct marketing; to make other provision about OFCOM and its functions; and for connected purposes".  Digital Economy Bill

Why do we need this?

According to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for DCMS and Minister for data protection, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, it's all been driven by rogue telemarketing companies and nuisance calls. "Research has shown that unsolicited calls have left 9 million British adults feeling stressed or anxious, and a further 3.2 million adults afraid to answer the phone as a result".

Thanks rogue telemarketers :-(

How will it affect me as a marketer?

You're going to have to read the direct marketing code, relate it to your current work streams, and comply! The code being statutory will make it easier for the ICO to fine non-compliant companies. No, it's not out yet! But for a foretaste, I hope you have all read the current ICO guidance? No? Follow the links below.

We foresee the major challenge being to improve your consent models. This is also a key challenge for complying with GDPR, so you might as well face up to it.

Consider how you obtain and manage consent. You're going to have to PROVE that you got consent, so start planning for the kind of documentation and systems you think you will need. How will you store, record and retrieve evidence of consent?

Stop thinking about consent as a compliance issue and instead think of it as key performance indicator (KPI) for your marketing team. Use your marketing skills (split testing) to optimise your consent mechanisms. The way you write your consent mechanism, the channel choices your provide, and the method of consent (opt-in and opt-out) will all have significant impacts on your overall success rate. Add channel choice, for example, and measure the increase in opt-in rates.

Measure your opt-in rates. Equate Consent to Revenue. Seek it remorselessly, guard it jealously.

Oh and don't let legal write your consent devices, they're c*!p at marketing, good at law.

Further reading:

Current ICO Direct Marketing Guidance here

You can read the Bill  and the fact sheet (on nuisance calls) here

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