A New Code of Conduct for Direct Marketers
The latest news from the DMA (Direct Marketing Association) is that they have produced a new code of conduct. The new DMA code replaces the fairly weighty and brittle existing code with 5 principles of responsible marketing.
The new code comes at the same time as the DMA are publishing a new and more interactive website to aid marketers to achieve responsible marketing strategies.
The 5 Principles Code
This is an aspirational agreement that all DMA members are required to adhere to over and above all legal requirements. It serves to enable a true ‘exchange of value’ between a business and its customer so that both benefit. The principle codes are exactly what we at Bubble Towers practice anyway, but they have been laid out in a clear and concise way with headings and then outcomes:
Put Your Customer First
‘Value your customer, understand their needs and offer relevant products and services’.
This is to ensure that companies provide a fully transparent service; that they send marketing information that reflects their preferences and that offer exceptional customer service.
‘Act in accordance with your customers’ expectations’.
The privacy code is there to protect customers and the data they provide. Members must be clear about how they will use the data they collect. Also customers should be able to see clearly the value of exchange when giving their data. This part of the code also gives guidelines on how marketers should be sensitive and avoid marketing that is extrusive, excessive or is irresponsible to the vulnerable.
Be Honest and Fair
‘Be honest, fair and transparent throughout your business’.
An important one this. That companies are clear about all costs and processes throughout. They must not mislead by being scant with the truth or through exaggeration and that they must deliver what they promise.
Be diligent with data
‘Treat your customer’s data with the utmost care and respect’.
Companies have to be totally transparent about why and how they collect data and what it is to be used for. Data must be kept or moved safely and securely and held for no longer than necessary.
‘Act responsibly at all times and honour your accountability’.
Companies must have systems in place so that they can deliver on agreed contracts. They must also protect their customers by offering a service that they take responsibility for, even if part of the service is contracted out to a third party. Honour commitments and fix things quickly if they go wrong.
The right message
Although created by the DMA for its members, it is actually a very good code for all businesses in general. All the principles laid out are what all companies ought to aspire to in order to grow their business and retain a loyal customer base. The full code can be read HERE
In this age when digital as well as traditional marketing is on the increase, it’s good to see these core principles published in this way. They are, after all, about delivering your company’s message honestly and fairly. We at Data Bubble embrace and welcome these changes.