The Consent Elevator Pitch

Permissions marketing

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? Overwhelmingly, the logical answer should be “no”. Yet the starting point for many ten second attempts to persuade customers to agree to receive marketing (e.g. in a permission statement) is not only the same for all customers, but even worse, is often copied from a competitor.  I know you sense many logical flaws in this argument, so to inform your debate with colleagues and lawyers here are some numbers. For the quantitative research,. we interviewed 2,000 adults asking if they bought or donated to a named list of 18 top companies across four sectors (which effectively created a customer data-set for major UK brands in charity, publishing, banking and insurance). We then asked these customers to describe the specific ‘consent’ attributes of each brand they engage with e.g. data safety, appreciation, interesting content. The results below demonstrate that under GDPR, consent has become a marketing challenge, not just a legal issue. ‘Consent marketing’ is now a thing.

Index of perceived brand’s consent attributes by own prospects

Two things immediately jump-off the page.

Inter-sector difference.
There is a big difference between sectors. Publishing is perceived to be better at providing exclusive extras, but generates more concern about over-contact. Bank customers are relatively confident their data will be safe, but less convinced communication will be interesting. Charity donors are more concerned about over-contact, but accept they will feel appreciated.

Intra-sector difference.
But possibly more instructive is the difference within sectors. Just look at the gulf between highest and lowest indices for “rewarding” within charities (low index 75-high index 105, where 100 is average) or for “interesting content” (low index 95–high index 110).

Remember this data is at a generic level for all customers regardless of their demographic profile or the strength, longevity and nature of their relationship with the brand. Some of the customers’ opinions are fact-based e.g. an organisation’s ability to provide “retail extras” such as memorabilia or exclusive offers. Others are based more on abstract perceptions, such as a charity’s ability to keep its donors’ data and details safe. These findings matter. Under GDPR consent must be treated with the customer in mind and consider why they would want to receive marketing and what might put them off. When I enter the elevator next Monday and have ten seconds to persuade my customer to receive marketing from me, my pitch must be punchy, relevant and bespoke.

For more information on GDPR consent and how to optimise your permission statements, please see our guides on ‘The Complexity of Consent’ and ’11 Steps to Your Consent and Permissions’ or contact David Cole, Managing Director +44 (0) 20 7242 0702

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