22nd June 2016Back to Blog
B2C marketing has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent times and opposition to unwanted telemarketing in particular has fuelled a lot of negative media attention. For good reason many would say, but when sourced and managed responsibly with consideration to DMA best practices and ICO legislation, targeted B2C marketing can be an invaluable asset to any business that has the foresight and core integrity to do it properly.
Databroker have been at the forefront of industry best practice regarding B2C data for many years. We care a great deal about our clients and the importance of their credibility in the market place, so we ensure that we source our B2C data from ethical sources using reputable data owners who are DMA members and ICO registered.
Here, I’ve put together some of my ideas surrounding B2C marketing and I hope that you will find these useful if you are considering a B2C marketing campaign in the future.
As an independent and impartial data broker, we will not source B2C data lists in the following areas:
The reason why we don’t provide data for the above list is because we consider these to be either unethical by definition or intrusive as much of the subject matter here is of a highly sensitive nature delves into areas that we don’t consider to be appropriate for marketing purposes. So, simply avoiding marketing involving any of the above areas would be a good step towards responsible B2C marketing – but let’s look at some additional considerations and recommendations.
1. Always source data through a credible source
Whether you are going direct to a supplier or sourcing data through a broker, ensure that you understand where your data lists are coming from. Is your supplier or broker a DMA (Direct Marketing Association) member? Are they ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) registered? How do they source their data? Where does the information come from and how often is their data verified, cleansed and updated?
For example, how often are their lists checked against the telephone preference service (TPS), the mail preference service (MPS) and the deceased register? Any reputable organisation will be happy to discuss all of the above with you and demonstrate how their data is source and maintained. If the party you are considering sourcing data from cannot or will not impart this information, then simply do not purchase data from them.
Also, always ask for written guarantees on the performance of their data whether it’s postal delivery rates, telephone connectivity rates or email delivery rates – get some form of guarantee that clearly sets your expectation and underpins the quality of their data e.g. 95% delivery rate on emails against hard bounces with a 1 for 1 replacement on any records exceeding this threshold. Again, any credible supplier or broker will be happy to put this in writing for you.
Finally, don’t just be drawn in on price. If someone is offering you 50,000 consumer emails for £300, then you have to seriously question how credible the data is and how has it been sourced, verified and refreshed and of course what is the quality like. We all appreciate a bargain, but data that is so obviously cheap will inevitably be of a very poor quality, will not be well managed and maintained and will almost certainly damage your campaign – remember where data is concerned, quality is king.
2. Make sure you’re ICO Registered
Before you consider purchasing B2C data for a marketing campaign, you should register your company with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Applying for registration is easy and you can contact the ICO directly in order to register. This is a key step in responsible B2C marketing and as an ICO registered organisation, this demonstrates your intent to use the data responsibly and in adherence to the law. This is a must for any business considering B2C marketing, as it demonstrates that you are serious about marketing responsibly and protecting the credibility of your business.
3. Profile match your campaigns to your target consumers
This is key when sourcing a data list and the success of your campaign depends upon how well your supplier can match the profile of the consumers that you are seeking to target. If your profile is very broad, then consider what filters you can apply to narrow down your criteria. If you’re unsure of what options are available when building a consumer profile, speak to your supplier or broker and they’ll be happy to talk you through this to ensure that the profile is tailored to suit your requirements.
4. Make sure your supplier has carried out regular MPS checks
Make sure that your supplier carries out regular mail preference service (MPS) checks on their data so you do not run the risk of receiving complaints and potential prosecutions due to sending postal marketing material to consumers who are registered.
5. Make sure your supplier has carried out TPS checks
Poor quality telephone data and the misuse of it by rogue organisations has resulted in B2C telemarketing getting a lot of negative publicity and for good reason. When using telephone data for B2C marketing, consider these points before you embark on your campaign.
6. Ensure your mobile lists are HLR checked
7. Check your email broadcasts have been fully approved by your supplier
When doing email broadcast you will need to consider these points before sending your campaign.
Responsible B2C marketing sits with you, the person using the data and it’s really important to manage your campaign in adherence with industry best practice as many of the points I’ve listed here reflect.
In summary, if you’re ICO registered, have a good data supplier or broker who are providing good quality data and you are using the data correctly supported by good marketing collateral, you have all of the ingredients required for a successful campaign.
If you deviate from these best practice recommendations, then you run the risk of damaging your company reputation and brand, receiving a lot of complaints from consumers you have contacted and even prosecution and heavy fines from the ICO for any breaches of data protection laws.
If you need help with your B2C marketing plans, please contact the Databroker team for free, independent and impartial advice.