Recent Articles
True or False: Debunking DRTV myths

With TV being a popular medium for marketing, it’s important that marketers understand it and are not misguided by misconceptions in their TV campaigns.

To help you distinguish TV truths from illusions, here are 3 myths about DRTV: Myth #1: Only older age groups respond to TV adverts

Though young people generally do not tend to watch as much TV as older groups, findings from our recent fast.MAP study reveal that they’re the most likely to take action in response to TV adverts. Our research shows that 18-34 year olds are most likely to buy a product in response to a TV ad, whilst 35-54 year olds are most likely to research in response.

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12/04/2016
United as Europeans but divided on consent

Three cheers for a good idea- the intention to create a unified data protection framework across the European Union.

Yes the law will be the same, but inconveniently those living and reacting to it are not. fast.MAP has interviewed over 27,000 European consumers and asked them about marketing consent. The result is problematic.

Until now many companies have worked on the basis of 'it's ok to have consent statements that are not only difficult to understand but also difficult to find'. Translating the forthcoming regulation into marketing speak, it's now about 'being unambiguous and obtaining clear affirmative action'."

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12/04/2016
True or False: Debunking Email Myths

Having debunked direct mail myths, fast.MAP research shows many marketers make the same mistakes when it comes to email. Have you fallen into any of these traps in your email campaigns?

Myth #1: Older age groups aren’t as engaged with email as younger groups

It’s no secret that Millennials tend to be seen as the digital, ‘tech-savvy’ generation. This notion often results in the perception that those born before 1980s are less in tune with technology and email.

Still, findings from fast.MAP’s Fundraising Media DNA report suggests that this is not necessarily the case. Our study reveals that those aged 55 and over engage more with email than 18-34 year olds.

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05/04/2016
Consumer Consent Gaps are not cool!

Horror of horrors; thigh gaps are apparently a de rigueur subject at my 13 year old daughter’s school. Not history, maths or sport but thigh gaps! At fast.MAP we try never to even discuss thigh gaps, let alone measure them. We do, however, measure another type of gap – the “Consumer Consent Gap”.

It’s not cool or helpful to have a Consumer Consent Gap, but most brands have one. And for many, the size of your Consumer Consent Gap will be the most significant metric over the next three years.

Let me explain. While legal experts deliberate on the way EU law should be applied, one thing is very clear - the legislation requires brands to obtain “clear and affirmative consent” before they market to consumers. This important change means consumers will be more in control of the brands that market to them. Few will agree to everything.

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21/03/2016
True or False: Debunking Direct Mail Myths

We all have preconceptions and beliefs which shape our daily decisions and actions. Research can help to track-down evidence to ensure our campaigns are based on facts not misconceptions.

When it comes to marketing decisions, it is especially important to identify the origin of our information. Research can help to track-down evidence to ensure our campaigns are based on facts not misconceptions.

The wisdom of this is highlighted in research which has revealed that commonly-held assumptions about direct mail are not always accurate.

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16/02/2016
Consent marketers - be more anthropomorphic!

Gaining marketing consent goes beyond gaining trust.

Marketing conferences are full of wide-eyed marketing gurus proclaiming trust is the next big marketing thing. Without trust, they say, a brand cannot survive in the modern commercial world. With trust, they infer, everything is possible. Well I’ve got news for you; it takes more than trust.

suggest marketers should be a little more anthropomorphic (the attribution of human traits, emotions, and intentions to non-human entities) when considering concepts such as marketing consent, marketing trust and marketing relationships. Or more specifically, think about their own human relationships and consider what makes them work.

It was fast.MAP’s marketing consent research that got me thinking. We interviewed more than 2,000 consumers about brands they buy, or donate to. People were asked if they would like to continue to receive marketing from each brand and what they thought of its marketing programme.

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16/02/2016
Tuning into DRTV. How well do you know your channels?

How well do you know DRTV? See if your expectations of DRTV match research findings and discover how you can gain better insight into this channel.

What do you think of DRTV as a fundraising medium? Maybe you would describe it as interesting, attention-grabbing, memorable?

While fast.MAP’s confirms these perceptions are shared by the majority of donors, the fast.MAP Fundraising Media DNA study reveals that not all assumptions about DRTV are correct.

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09/02/2016
The Consent Elevator Pitch

Just imagine what would happen if office geography dictated that every morning I, as a marketing director, shared the company elevator with a different customer.

In the ten second ascent to floor three, perhaps I’d try and convince my co-traveller to continue to receive our marketing. I wonder if I’d vary my pitch for the old lady who’d been a loyal advocate for half a century or the youth who clicked from Facebook last week.

Now imagine I’ve changed jobs. Next Monday I’ll be representing a competitor’s brand in a different lift.

Would my pitch be identical?

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15/01/2016
The Good, The Bad, The Missed Consent

Marketers, before you retrain to be accountants, teachers or, heaven forbid, data compliance officers, I have something that might cheer you up.

A melancholic mood pervades marketing departments these days because changing data volumes mean revenue plans are unlikely to impress the boss. The volume of consented marketing data is now predicted to drift downwards when most were expecting it to drift upwards.

The gloomy forecast is based on announcements from the ICO and respected experts who say the "direction of travel is towards more explict or unambigous consent". Let’s be honest here. For far too long marketers have gained legal marketing consent by either hiding the opt - out box or confusing repondents . The result has been data sets described as “legally consented”, but contain ing many responde nts who did not actually intend to consent . This game is now drawing to a close . Hence the gloom.

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17/11/2015
YOU could be a Consent Marketing Hero

Permission statements – easy! Until the need to increase opt-ins becomes crucial; then the wisest marketers can be overwhelmed, but Consent Marketing Heroes will save the day.

The sheer number of statement permutations is enough to make anyone feel queasy. Combine that with the immense financial importance of getting the right outcome and it’s not surprising some regard it as a challenge too far.

Don’t be that marketer! Step forward “Consent Marketing Hero” super-powered by a test matrix. The test matrix, when applied to the benchmarked research process, allows brands to objectively compare the performance of their own statements with others. A multi-phased research process allows a ‘test and learn’ approach which delivers insights at each phase to drive improvements in the next.

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30/10/2015
GDPR Consent: Channel Choice and Priority

It may come as a given but, overall consent tends to increase, as you offer your customers greater flexibility. A higher level of overall consent can be achieved if people are offered a choice of channel.

However, certain channels are more profitable than others and some supporters are more likely to agree to be contacted through their preferred routes. Permission statements can be worded to boost consent to brands most important channels. A statement which increases consent for one medium may suppress it for another. This means media priorities must be set, difficult choices made, wording and order changed and tested until a statement is fine-tuned to achieve the best compromise.

When reviewing the performance of each statement, the challenge is to take account of each channel’s relative importance to the organisation. This can be accomplished by creating...

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31/05/2017
Consent: Not just what you say, but how you say it

Now that people are increasingly seeing consent as a marketing challenge, people accept words and language in your statements matter – both for providing clarity and to give compelling reasons to receive your communications.

However, marketers writing statements have to think about not just what they say – but how they say it. It’s essential for motivating people to act.

Language and wording is a key element of the ICO guidance on writing statements: “The request for consent needs to be prominent, concise, separate from other terms and conditions, and in plain language.” Clarity is king.

Beyond that, there is a lot of scope for marketers to experiment with the proposition that forms their statement – provided it is clear and jargon free.

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27/06/2017
Opt-in, Opt-out: Don’t misstep in the 'marketing hokey-cokey'

GDPR did not lead to the mandatory opt-in that many had feared. However, many are going all opt-in, either through choice, pressure or compliance (farewell pre-ticked boxes).

Some persist with a combination of opt-in and opt-out offers within a statement – something many wags call the 'marketing hokey-cokey'.

Regardless of whether you are in, out, or indeed shaking it all about, here are some potentially uncomfortable truths that marketers must grapple with when it comes to consent and permissions.

Opt-out generates far greater permission rates than opt-in

Opt-out is the passive option; if respondents fail to tick a box to stop further marketing contact, they remain on the database.

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18/05/2017
BREAKING NEWS - The Three Pillars of Consent

After years of researching hundreds of consent statements, we now know what factors most influence consent

Major charity, financial, retail and insurance brands have tested their consent statements using fast.MAP’s Consent Optimising Benchmarks concocting every conceivable statement structure. fast.MAP have diligently recorded the absolute level of consent by channel and ascertained why consent was given.

Whilst there are an abundance of factors that can be changed in permission statements, this article highlights the three most important. We refer to these as the Three Pillars of Consent.

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25/04/2017
Permission Glue

A disabling inertia tends to overtake marketers' who resolve to improve permission statements,as they face commercial, technical and process obstacles. I am peculiar. I get excited by data permission statements, but I am self-aware enough to recognize normal people don't.

I got to wondering why so many otherwise efficient marketers who energetically develop complex marketing campaigns put off the task of updating permission statements. It is no coincidence that 75% of our clients have not changed their permission statements for more than three years before they worked with us...

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01/09/2015
Consent is good

Revenue-hungry clients tend to brief their marketing departments / agencies to do whatever is necessary to gather more opt-ins. But I suggest they ask themselves:""Do we really want to maximise consent? Consent is good. Let's assume the imaginary client is Gordon Gekko, the myopic money-focused trader, who (to only slightly misquote him) says: "The point is ladies and gentlemen,consent is good".

A view often echoed by clients who are intent on increasing permissions-to-contact. So at a time when consent is increasingly difficult to obtain, why check whether brands are truly prepared to use all and any means to maximise marketing permission?

I shall restrict my explanation to entirely commercial rather than ethical arguments; shunning motivations driven purely by desire to do the right thing rather than to make money . B ut (of course) I shall always stay on the correct side of data protection law. Constant review of fast.MAP Consent Optimising Benchmarks results has tutored the fast. MAP team in the dark art of maximising consent by creatively using astute language , appealing design and increased choice of communication channel . An uncomfortable truth. While perfecting these dark arts an uncomfortable truth was discovered - confusion can increase consent . Take a look at the attribute scores (below) for a statement deliberately created to confuse by mixing opt - in tick boxes for some media and opt - out boxes for others

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25/08/2015
Please! Database and Research you must talk!

In the local cafe two people discuss the village's future. One is a wise old man with a lifetime of local experience. He has never ventured far from the village and has little interest in the outside world, but his longevity convinces many he has seen it all and his judgement is often sought.

His adolescent granddaughter, her head hard-wired to the world's real-time news channels, is animated by the latest bulletin and the implications for their community.

He listens, but does not appreciate the insights his well-informed grand-daughter describes to him. And she is frustrated that her experienced grandfather is so unmoved by her analysis...

The grandfather is a database of deep local knowledge, while the grand - daughter is a real - time research window to the outside world . It’s a mighty shame each can’t appreciate the value the other brings to the discussion .

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18/08/2015
Permission Communism

A single permission statement is a well-meaning idea advocated by slothful marketers and ambitious administrators,but deeper thought reveals it's wrong on so many levels.Why remove a brand's competitive advantage? Permission communism! Crazy!

Consider the concept of share of wallet (the idea that a customer has limited spending power). This cash limit forces him/her to decide which products or services to buy. Some brands will win others will lose.

The new marketing battleground is consent. It's competitive,ruthless and volatile. Indeed it displays all the market forces of a bazaar or city trading floor; except the currency is not money, but permission to market.

There is a limited amount of permission around particularly among some profiles, for example, 70% of over - 55s provide consent less than 20% of the time – and overall, the level of permission is declining.

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11/08/2015
Consent is Power

When I worked as head of database marketing, at The Telegraph 15 years ago, we held huge meetings around its splendid polished board room table. The team and I felt popular. The great and the good certainly wanted their say about the database.

I wondered why we attracted so much interest. Organisations are driven by targets. There are managers and targets for sales, products, channels and cost. Data is the enabler, the oxygen that allows the managers to hit their targets. So I suppose, it’s easy to understand why the great and good took a healthy interest in the database. Data is power.

Marketing consent used to be an annoying legal chore that bluntly excluded 5% of the database. No managers were interested in it because it could neither increase nor diminish power. But times have changed, consumers know they have choices and this and legal pressures is fuelling a move towards more explicit consent. Brands can no longer play “hide the opt-out statement” because consent is not passive. It has implications and decisions are required.

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14/06/2015
GDPR: Wake up and smell the consent!

Imagine your most financially-important marketing campaign of the year, the success of which affects every other campaign your brand undertakes.

Then try and picture the passion your creative team, marketing director, analysts and CEO would direct to every part of that project. No lack of energy, agency expertise, analytical process, consumer testing or insight would be spared to guarantee success, because a low response resulting in failure is not an option.

Now contrast this with the way brands develop consent statements. Consider the lack of creativity, analysis and testing this ‘legal chore’ is given.

Tick, tick, tick, goes the GDPR clock as the 25th May 2018 deadline gets ever closer. According to our research 69% of senior marketers (source: fast.MAP post-event surveys) do not know the level of consent achieved by their current consent statement.

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03/05/2017
How good is your gut instinct? Can you spot the winning permission statement?

Proposed new EU legislation threatens to set targeted marketin g back by more than two decades by replacing the current passive opt - out rule on permission to contact with stringent opt - in rules. Such a change could spell instant death to third - party data collection companies and an end to prospect - driven direct marketing. And without third - party data much of today’s direct marketing could not take place.

The majority of marketers did not initially grasp the m agnitude of this seemingly small change fr om an opt - out to opt - in regime until the tenth wave of the annual fast. MAP Marketing - GAP tracking study revealed that only 6% of current prospects and customers would...

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30/06/2015
Back to basics of consent: Age + Gender

At first glance, it appears that males and females provide marketing consent at similar rates.

But when you dig deeper, the situation becomes more complex. Surprise, surprise, males are different from females! Before my 12 year old daughter accuses me of sexism; I promise I will stick to the facts - which sometimes keeps me out of trouble.When females give their consent for a company to market to them their most important reasons are a belief their data will be safe and that they have choice in the type of consent they give.

But when males give consent their most important reasons are a process which is both honest and trustworthy.

This is neither the time nor place to draw any broader conclusions about the expectations either males or females might have in other situations, but it is the ideal place to consider the impact this has when a brand is trying to persuade someone to consent to ma rketing. I use the word “persuade” deliberately because this is a marketing process and as marketers we need to engage with it: Wake up and smell the consent. As a marketer, I conclude different messages should be sent to males and females

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22/06/2015
Detached arrogance about creativity

If the marketer is doomed to play piggy-in-the-middle between creatives and clients, it’s far less stressful (and more profitable for the brand) if he can prove his points.

My earliest exposure to marketing’s creative process occurred when I was precariously placed between two alpha - females in a 1990 direct marketing agency. As account executive, I was sandwiched between a dogmatic creative director who paid the wages and a demanding client with hands on the purse strings.

The creative director wa nted a blue advert; the client are done . The creative director though t red would mimic The Economist . The client disagreed. I was troubled, powerless (possessing neither the seniority nor personality to affect the outcome) and trapped between two forces of nature. I guessed then my career lay outside a creative agency and presumed there was a better way to negotiate creativity rather than personality and purse strings . The next 20 years became a cathartic reaction to that challenge ; trying to shed objective light - let’ s call it research and analysis - into the creative process . Stripping back creative output to its component parts to understand what works, what doesn’t and for whom?

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04/08/2015
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