Content wonât make customers buy, suggests new research | DMA

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Content wonât make customers buy, suggests new research

Consumers are at best only mildly interested in exclusive content as an encouragement to share information with a brand, according to a new study from the DMA and The Media Octopus

We asked 1,072 consumers about when, where and why they are disposed to become customers. This was supplemented with marketer surveys and focus groups.

While content marketing remains a popular way for brands to reach potential customers, only 10% had shared their data with a known brand over the past year, dropping to 9% for an unknown brand.

More popular were:

  • Loyalty schemes- 46% shared with a known brand, 21% with an unknown brand
  • Competitions - 33% for a known brand, 23% for an unknown brand
  • Coupons – 31% for a known brand, 20% for an unknown brand
  • Free products and/or services – 27% for a known brand, 17% for an unknown brand

Consumers do want choice and control over their data when considering buying but marketers are less willing to give consumers these choices compared to last year.

63% of consumers want just the company they deal with to use their data, 2% find third party consent acceptable.

Rachel Aldighieri, managing director, the DMA said, “Marketers are erecting obstacles to building trust, which concerns us. The relationship between trust and success is well established. Trust is not a vague concept, but to consumers it’s concrete, and so essential for business success. If businesses apply the DMA Code to their marketing activity, this will build consumer trust, and so make it easier to acquire customers.”

Last year 93% of marketers gave clear opt outs at every stage of their marketing and the same number clearly stated how consumer data would be used. This year, those with clear opt-outs at every stage fell to 56%, and despite being one of the principles of the Data Protection Act, those using clear descriptions fell to 62%.

Andrew Colwell, head of strategy, The Media Octopus added, “For most brands, the bottom line is critical. Ultimately, marketers tell us that they want their customers or prospects to share their information with a view to them buying more of their products or services. The CAB insight provides the intelligence to marketers on how best to achieve this. Surely, they should listen?”

There is a noticeable ‘gap’ between the approaches of B2B and B2C marketers, B2B marketers lagging behind.

  • 55% of B2B marketers clearly stated how data would be used, rising to 74% for B2C marketers.
  • 47% of B2B marketers explained why they needed data in the first, compared to 80% of B2C marketers.
  • 48% of B2B marketers offered opt-outs at every stage, compared to 69% of B2C marketers.
  • 36% of B2B marketers have abandoned small print, compared to 54% of B2C marketers.
  • 14% of B2C marketers never conduct marketing audits, falling to 7% for B2C marketers.

According to Paul Seabrook, managing director of Beautiful Insights, who managed the consumer research warns marketers, “Don’t get complacent and take prospects for granted. Get it right and one to one marketing presents significant opportunities. Get it wrong and it not only impacts on your brand and your performance, but also that of the industry and the ultimate ability for direct marketers to have direct conversations with their market place.”

Ed Owen, PR and Content manager
T: +44 (0) 207 291 3324 |M: +44 (0)7813 664656 |E:

About the DMA:
The DMA is a UK trade association for the one-to-one marketing industry - those companies that speak directly to their customers and those companies that help them achieve this. The DMA provides best-practice guidelines and legal services for its members, who are typically marketing, advertising and data-driven organisations.

More than 1,000 companies in the UK are DMA members. The DMA also holds industry events, conducts research and publishes reports, lobbies for legislation to support its members’ business practices and has a close working relationship with the Information Commissioner’s Office. All DMA members must comply with the DMA code, which is available to read here:

About The Media Octopus

The Media Octopus has a rich multi-sector heritage in marketing data and customer acquisition. They grew out of data intelligence and information is their bedrock.

TMO helps businesses understand, engage and nurture their audiences.

They not only help brands acquire new customers, but also gain a deeper and more meaningful understanding of their existing customer base so as to drive efficiencies in their business and opportunities in their sector.

TMO deliver strategic and tactical customer acquisition programs for blue chip businesses, including amongst others, G4S, Travelers Insurance, and UK Central Government.

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