Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

Data & Marketing Commission | Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

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News

VACANCY – Board Observer 5th January, 2021

Board Observer

Location: London

Approximately 7-10 days pa.

Closing Date: end February 2021

The Data & Marketing Commission (DMC) is an independent body which oversees and enforces the Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA) Code.  The Code and DMC are there to give effective protection to recipients, users and practitioners of the data driven marketing sector. It aims to ensure companies observe the highest standards of integrity and trade fairly with their customers and with each other. This is achieved by investigating complaints and identifying trends in data driven marketing that might raise issues for consumers and the sector.

As the DMC’s remit is changing, so too is the Data and Marketing landscape. Technology and technological advances are, if anything, speeding up; the collection and use of personal data has never been more important to get right and the regulations and best practice guidelines that marketers must follow is increasingly complex.

It is against this backdrop that the DMC wants to ensure that it not only keeps pace with change but further that we facilitate the development of potential Commissioners of the future. 

The DMC is looking for a Board Observer to contribute thoughtful input at DMC Board meetings and allocate time to reviewing and providing considered feedback on DMC materials including commenting on any emerging issues. This role would not entail any voting rights or decision-making function.  There would be around five Board meetings per year alongside any ad hoc pre-arranged meetings.

The candidate should be on a career trajectory which may be relevant to this role and have around 3-5 years experience in a junior management role. Relevant experience may include marketing, data protection and privacy, regulatory work, legal work.  It would be helpful if the candidate has some understanding of regulatory principles, process and practice or law.

This role is for 18 months and is unpaid.  Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed.

A full Job Description is available on request.

Applications to dm@dmcommission.com.

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DMC Annual Report 2019-20 4th January, 2021

Issues around data management and privacy are the biggest concerns in 2019/20, according to the Data and Marketing Commission’s (DMC) latest Annual Report. In the year ranging from July 2019 to June 2020, the DMC reported a marked reduction in complaints against businesses in the data and marketing sector – from over 130 in 2018/19 to just 63 in the last year.

The DMC investigated 23 complaints involving members of the Data and Marketing Association (DMA), 15 of which were consumer complaints and 8 were about B2B issues. The majority of these issues relate to data, privacy and quality (62.5%), with contractual (25%) and customer service (12.5%) problems making up the remainder.

The remaining 40 objections involved organisations that are not members of the DMA and so were referred by the DMC to other statutory or self-regulatory bodies. However, in some cases, particularly where they involved consumers unable to unsubscribe from unwanted communications, the DMC did reach out to the business to provide a reminder of its legal commitments and request that it unsubscribe the individual.

“Understanding how customers think and feel, and what drives their behaviours, is key to customer management and to maximising loyalty. Underlying all the complaints that we see is the standard and quality of an organisation’s customer service,” said Amerdeep Somal, Chief Commissioner of the DMC. “How does a business capture the right information to get to the heart of what matters to a customer, then act on this information to improve customer experience? This will be more important than ever during these challenging times, the pandemic and post Brexit.”

Over the past year, the DMC Board decided it was necessary to conduct one formal investigation into a business. The case involved complaints from two businesses that paid for a service they felt had not been adequately delivered. The DMC Commissioners did not think that the DMA Member had complied with any of the DMA Code’s key principles. Following further failures to engage with the clients or the investigation, the DMC recommended considering the removal of the company from membership, a sanction that the DMA Board approved and imposed.

Somal continues: “The impact the pandemic has had on our society cannot be underestimated and we all have a crucial part to play in weathering the storm. More important still is the change that is required within the industry itself to ensure it retains, and in some cases regains customer support. That means keeping front of mind the lessons of the lockdown that the success of the industry is founded on customer support, which should never be abused or taken for granted.”

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