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Supporting vulnerable consumers


The key to responsible, productive marketing is a 360 view of your consumer.

And fully understanding the needs and challenges people face when you market to them is a crucial element of that rounded vision.

To help marketers serve the communities they reach out to, the DMA’s vulnerable consumer taskforce – backed by crucial funding from the DM Trust - set up a series of hands-on workshops.

The first ran in September last year, with four more set to run in 2017.

The workshop was led by DMA vulnerable taskforce members Elaine Lee of Reynolds Busby Lee and Jacqui Crawley of KMB Marketing, and sought to train managers of contact centre teams with a high level of interaction with the public, and therefore vulnerable consumers.

The session taught techniques to help recognise consumers in vulnerable circumstances; instructions on how to adapt conversations and interactions to suit the acute needs of the consumer; and a guide to using the DMA’s training materials.

These training materials - entitled ‘Caring for the vulnerable’ – were crafted by the DMA’s taskforce as a package of advice, guidance and expert-led best practice for marketers to dip into and apply to their work, straight-away. You can find out more here.

Feedback from the training session was overwhelmingly positive and highlighted the appetite within the marketing industry for guidance around vulnerable consumers. Attendees included Amnesty International, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Save The Children and the WWF-UK.

The taskforce also released a whitepaper entitled ‘The vulnerable consumer’, defining vulnerability and packed with best practice advice for brands. You can download a PDF version here.

We want to maintain the momentum created by this collaboration between DM Trust and DMA’s vulnerable consumer taskforce.

If you have a project that aims to help vulnerable consumers, you can apply for The Consumer Grants fund via the DM Trust. There is more information and application guidance here.

And as we plan out our training schedule for 2017, register your interest about upcoming vulnerable training workshops by emailing the DMA’s Elizabeth Tan.

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