Research reveals the shocking amount of irrelevant marketing sent by brands

Waste paper

Consumers are being overwhelmed by irrelevant marketing campaigns and are losing trust with brands over their misuse of data, according to a new Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) study.

Of 2,000 CIM members surveyed, exactly half said they received a high level of irrelevant communications on a daily basis.

Worryingly, 55% state they receive promotional material from brands they believe to have obtained their contact data without consent.

In recent weeks, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has taken a combative stance to brands found to be misusing data, with the high profile announcement that it had fined Flybe and Honda Motor Europe a total of £83,000 for misuse of customer data via email, and further fines for eleven charities over personal data use.  

However, the CIM’s latest findings will provide further concern to the ICO as it continues to crackdown on brands in the build-up to the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) enforcement next year.

“What’s most worrying about these results is that they are unsurprising,” says Chris Daly, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

“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.”

CIM’s recent research report, ‘Whose Data Is It Anyway?’ revealed that 92% of consumers “do not fully understand how marketers and organisations use their personal information”, and that 57% do not trust an organisation to use their data responsibly.

Of those sectors ranked by consumers for their data trustworthiness, the financial services sector scored highest, in contrast to other consumer trust indexes in recent times which have often ranked the sector much lower.

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