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United as Europeans, divided on consent – fastmap

United as Europeans, divided on consent

permissions marketing

United as Europeans, divided on consent


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 EU data protection regulations into marketing speak, it’s now about ‘being unambiguous and obtaining clear affirmative action’.

The implication is that now consumers will understand what they are committing to and therefore need to be persuaded of the merits of continuing to receive your marketing.

Lethargic lawyers (and marketers) may assume a unified permissions marketing statement will work for all consumers in all countries but times have changed.  This logic worked in years gone by when consumers didn’t get to see the statement and their inaction was enough to win legal consent.

Now the first duty of the marketer is to generate enough marketing consent to enable a brand to survive. The most effective place to do this is at the point when consent is requested – i.e. the marketing permissions marketing statement.

To investigate the difference or similarity between consumers from a range of European countries, fastmap conducted quantitative research interviewing over 27000 European adults from seven different countries. The first thing we ascertained was how often consumers from these different places gave consent. Are the French as likely to give consent as the Spanish or the British?

So fastmap asked people how often they agree to companies marketing to them.

The diverse results present potential cultural challenges.

Consider this; according to fastmap research, while 40% of 18-34 year olds in the UK give marketing consent, only 24% of the same age group do so in France.

And while 34% of over-55s in Spain consent to receive marketing, in France it’s only 18%.

So a European marketing director overseeing multiple countries and cultures might be quietly confident about collecting marketing consent from older people in Spain, but terrified about the implications in France.

What’s the answer?  Well, just as in ‘proper’ marketing, if you wouldn’t market in the same way to two demographics which exhibit different consumer behaviours, why would you present different groups with the same permissions marketing statement when marketing your company?

For consent marketing to be effective across different countries, its effectiveness must be adapted and tested.

For more international market research insights download our international marketing insights report and watch our international marketing webinar. If you would like more marketing insights on 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 david.cole@fastmap.com.

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