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Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

DMA pensions marketing toolkit

8th April, 2015 at 17:30pm

From April, new pensions rules will give hundreds of thousands of those aged 55 and over direct access to their pensions and large sums of cash for the first time.

In the first four months, pensioners will remove an estimated £6 billion of cash from their pensions, which will in turn create many new selling opportunities for brands. However, lessons from PPI and accident claims should serve as a warning.

With this in mind, the DMA has created a toolkit for marketers.

This guide will help ensure your marketing activity meets the expectations of consumers.

We have included helpful at-a-glance information for brands to share with their customers including some to help them understand what to do, should their retirement be disturbed and they receive unwanted one-to-one pensions-related marketing.

 

Advice for brands to share with customers

Consumers generally object to nuisance calls, which are usually the result of poorly targeted or irrelevant marketing. Such calls are often illegal and in breach of the DMA regulations.

Annoyance is an issue but problems can be worse, particularly for vulnerable consumers. Consumers must be reassured that they can opt-out of future telemarketing calls if they wish.

The DMA runs the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) on behalf of Ofcom. Consumers can register their mobile or home telephone number to the service free of charge and opt-out of future marketing. Consumers can sign up to the service here

If a person continues to receive unwanted nuisance calls in spite of TPS registration then they may complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is the regulator in charge of enforcement, to report the offending business. The more information a person can provide to the ICO the better, in particular:

  • the organisation responsible for the call
  • the number the call came from
  • the date and time of the call
  • the nature of the sales/marketing that occurred during the call

Complaints can be made directly to the ICO by ringing their helpline on 0303 123 1113 or by visiting their website

 

Financial Scams

Beyond nuisance calls, financial scams are another potential problem. Such calls may start as nuisances, but develop into something else. Such calls are likely to fall outside our remit, and may be more appropriate for the police. However, there are two more sources that can be helpful for consumers:

 

Government assistance

The Government will provide free, impartial advice to anyone who wants to know more about the pension changes, to help people make informed choices.

This advice will be available:

 

Lead generation activity and marketing calls

Firms engaged in lead generation work should be up-front about the purpose of calls and be clear about the identities of those parties they intend to share information with. They should not call TPS registered consumers unless they not only have consent to do so, but can also demonstrate they have this consent.

If your firm uses data supplied by third parties (such as lead generation companies) then your marketing activity is not exempt from TPS responsibilities. Your firm could be held responsible for calls made to consumers registered with TPS without named consent. Action could include action by the ICO and dismissal from the DMA if our laws and Codes are wilfully broken.

 

Responsible marketing

DMA Code – Marketers should use the DMA Code and how-to guides when creating their marketing campaigns, especially when targeting the over-55s. The DMA Code contains five aspirational principles:

  1. put the customer first;
  2. respect privacy;
  3. be honest and fair;
  4. protect your customers’ data; and
  5. take responsibility for your actions.

Good one-to-one marketing is an exchange between business looking to prosper, and the customer looking to benefit.

Telemarketing guide – The DMA has produced channel-specific guides, and marketers should read these to learn about industry best practice. Telemarketing will come under intense scrutiny once these pension changes come into force. Marketers need to uphold the highest possible standards.

Picking up the phone and having a conversation can be a tremendously powerful way to convert a consumer into a customer. As the experiences around PPI demonstrate, it’s also easy to get it wrong. Getting it right is more important than ever. The Telemarketing Guide will help you get it right.

Vulnerable consumer guidelines – Those aged 55 and over are more likely than the rest of the population to be considered vulnerable, due to age-related illnesses. Marketers should factor this into any campaign aimed at older consumers. This guide is for call centre staff who may come into contact with vulnerable consumers. It includes a step-by-step guide to spot a vulnerable consumer during a telemarketing call, and how to best communicate with that person. The guide includes details for managers on how to ensure their staff behave responsibly in their contact with vulnerable consumers.

Data guide – This guide gives marketers the lowdown on data privacy and the best ways to collect and use customers’ data for one-to-one marketing.

Ad mail guide – Rules and regulations for ad mail and the right ways to target the right letter boxes

Email guide – Email is generally something consumers have opted into, so consumers have already consented to contact, which makes email less of an issue. This guide contains great tips for using this channel effectively.

Mobile guide – Like email, SMS is another opt-in channel, so consumers will expect contact. The mobile guide takes marketers through many of the other communication channels available via mobile and other devices, including proximity marketing, geolocation and more.