Marketing News from the Wonderful World of Words

Small print woes, the latest DMA findings and wonderful words for curious phobias. It’s the latest marketing news, a few cool stories to inspire you to greater things.

Vodaphone ‘small’ print isn’t so small

As consumers we’re supposed to read terms and conditions, contract details and legal stuff carefully so we know where we stand. It’s our responsibility. But organisations rarely make it easy.  Take Vodaphone whose T&C, received the other day in a ‘welcome’ email, runs to more than 6500 words. Like most people, there’s no way I’m going to wade through it unless there’s a very good reason. Most of us only resort to the T&C when something goes wrong.
On the bright side:

  • The email body content itself was friendly and clear, written in plain English and containing all the details I could possibly need, in one place
  • The legal information is presented in reasonably plain language, an impressive feat in a landscape where most companies seem incapable of using language non-lawyers can easily understand. Congratulations to the person who a. realised it was the right way to do things and b. actually pulled it off

All the same, shortening the damn thing would make a huge difference.

The DMA / Media Octopus Customer Acquisition Barometer is out

The Direct Marketing Association has released this year’s Customer Acquisition Barometer study, revealing all sorts of useful digital and direct response marketing nuggets.
As they say:

“Beautiful Insights asked 1,072 consumers about their attitudes to different media on behalf of the DMA and The Media Octopus. We then asked marketers for their perspective in a survey and in face-to-face sessions. This year we opened the marketers’ portion to include B2B as well as B2C marketing.”

Here are some of the most interesting findings.

  • People love to share content – in 2014 just 26% said they share information, this year it has leapt to 48%

The top channels for sharing?

  • 35% of those asked share information by email, up 10% on 2014
  • 30% share information on company websites, up 4% on last year
  • 25% share insight from price comparison sites, compared to 19% in 2014
  • 19% share stuff on social media, up 10% on last year

Who appreciates email marketing, and from whom?

  • 74% of people questioned want emails from brands they know
  • 60% want emails from brands they don’t know, and 58% like sharing information via email best
  • 84% of marketers use email, but just 36% say it’s their best-performing channel

Spot the disconnect? It hints that while marketers widely use email, they’re not confident about the results. It’s clear email marketing works… but you have to get it right. Which means having a good grounding in direct marketing, knowing exactly how to elicit a direct response. If you’re failing at email marketing, don’t blame the medium.
About opting in and out
Fewer than 66% of marketers provide clear statements about what their data will be used for. It really isn’t good enough. Experienced direct marketers know it’s a vital part of the customer acquisition process. If you treat people fairly and give them the information they need up front, they’ll be more likely to engage with you and buy from you. If you try to pull the wool over their eyes, you will lose their trust.

  • Only 56% of marketers quizzed give a clear opt out at every stage
  • Just 60% of marketers tell people why they need their data
  • Only 62% explain what people’s data will be used for
  • Just 35% get their data process checked for compliance
  • 12% never do a data audit
  • 25% have no idea if their data process ever gets audited

If I’d behaved like that in my old direct mail days, I’d have been in real trouble. If you’re lost in space about your permissions obligations and have no idea about best practice, there’s no excuse. The information you need is on the DMA website. Here’s a link to the DMA Code.
The acquisition / retention situation
In the B2B arena, marketers spend 61% of their budget on new customer acquisition and just 9% on retention. Which is odd when you consider the 80/20 rule in marketing as related to profits. Typically, businesses earn around 80% percent of their profits from the top 20% of customers. The operational word being ‘customers’. Not prospects.
Knowing this enables savvy companies to focus on building relationships with their top customers, and driving more existing customers into that desirable bracket. According to the DMA’s research, it appears savvy marketers are in the minority.
In conclusion, as the DMA says:

“Consumers will be better disposed to become customers that trust your business. Since last year, marketers have built barriers to trust by including small print, not making it clear why they need personal data, and not offering opt-outs every step of the way. Giving consumers more choice and control will make them trust you more. Putting the customer at the centre of your marketing works.”

DMA membership price fail

As a digital marketer, you might want to join the DMA. It’s an excellent organisation. But having said that, a quick look at their website doesn’t reveal how much it costs to join, and a much closer examination doesn’t maker things any clearer. Is it free? I have no idea!

Weird words for our deepest fears

People are scared of the oddest things. If your nerves jangle at the thought of any of these everyday objects and situations, there’s a word for it. Here are seven of my favourite phobias.

  • Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – fear of the number 666
  • Koumpounophobia – fear of buttons
  • Omphalophobia – fear of navels
  • Pogonophobia – fear of beards
  • Sesquipedalophobia – fear of long words
  • Turophobia – fear of cheese
  • Trypophobia – fear of holes

If you’re a digital marketing agency in need of a direct marketing-savvy copywriter, I’m your woman. In the meantime, I’ll be posting more marketing news and views soon.

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