Do you feel like you’re constantly being bombarded with marketing outreach you didn’t ask for and have no interest in? I know I feel that way—I’ve been getting emails for a few months now about taking sailing lessons in Florida…a hobby I have no interest in in a place I live pretty far from. Needless to say, I’ve become very familiar with the “Mark as Junk” and “Unsubscribe” buttons in my email, as I’m sure many of you have as well. Well, according to new findings from The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), it turns out that we’re not alone in this predicament.
According to the research, 42 percent of people surveyed say that they receive marketing through social media channels at least once per day, and 36 percent stated that they receive phone calls once a week or more. That seems like a lot of outreach, but it wouldn’t be quite as annoying if the marketing efforts were relevant. However, that’s usually not the case, as 61 percent of respondents said that they mostly receive irrelevant marketing about a hobby or interest they don’t have. On the same note, 35 percent stated that the promotions aren’t even offered where they live or visit. So, not only is the general public being bombarded with marketing, but it’s unwanted, irrelevant marketing, and that’s not acceptable.
The issue of relevance begs the question: how and where do these companies find customer information? I for one have never signed up to receive promotional offers about sailing lessons in Florida. So how did they find me, and why are they sending me emails without my consent? Again, this is a concern most other people have as well when it comes to marketing efforts. The study points out that 55 percent of people receiving promotional outreach believe that the majority of the companies obtained their contact details without their consent.
So, we seem to have a bit of a problem here. Companies are sending unwanted marketing material to customers, and customers are therefore losing trust in brands and industries as a whole as a result. In fact, the fast moving consumer goods sector was only believed to be trustworthy by 1 percent of respondents, and media wasn’t much better at 2 percent. As it turns out, those extra marketing pushes are harming rather than helping businesses. As Chris Daly, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, points out, “In our interconnected, 'always on' world, being bombarded with irrelevant materials has become the expected or the norm. It's not good enough and it's eroding the trust between customers and businesses.”
In an effort to solve this problem, CIM is taking the initiative to help companies better manage their data. Better data management means that customers will once again only be receiving relevant, wanted outreach, which will ultimately improve consumer trust in brands. That’s why CIM has launched a new campaign called Data Right, which encourages companies to be more responsible with the way they manage data.
CIM’s Data Right pledge asks business to:
“Businesses have a responsibility to their customers to be transparent, respectful and clear about how they use their personal information. Not only is this best data practice, but it ultimately will help consumers feel more confident and enjoy the benefits of sharing more personal data with businesses. The more data is shared, the easier it is for companies to provide relevant, targeted communications to consumers. But until businesses step up and show their commitment to best practice, they risk alienating their customers and damaging their brand,” Daly stated. Hopefully by following the four best practices laid out by CIM, companies can improve their failing relationships with customers.