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New industry lead generation research to highlight best and worst customer acquisition practices

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is to launch a three-month research project into lead generation to provide the marketing industry’s first ever benchmark of customer acquisition practices.

The DMA is partnering with lead generation specialists McDowall to produce the Customer Acquisition Barometer (CAB) to help raise industry standards for collecting consumers’ data ahead of the introduction of the draft EU Data Protection Regulation

The CAB will canvas senior marketers, as well as survey a panel of more than 1,000 UK adult consumers, to assess current trends and critical issues facing the customer acquisition process.

The report, which will be the most comprehensive of its kind, will cover how key vertical sectors such as utilities, automotive, finance and travel are acquiring customers through online and offline consumer contact. It will identify trends in acquisition channels, budget allocation, cost-per-acquisition and consumer privacy concerns that are shaping the future of gaining new customers.

The findings of the research will be unveiled at a launch event for senior marketers -Taking the lead: Customer aquisition barometer 2014 - on 27 March in central London next year.

Chris Combemale, executive director of the DMA, welcomed the survey:

“The CAB will put a spotlight on the way in which companies gain new customers in the fast-changing worlds of online and offline marketing. The draft EU Data Protection Regulation could well usher in a more stringent data protection environment.

“The proliferation of media channels has increased the number of cost effective and legal practices for attracting new customers. It’s important to learn which methods companies are finding most effective and to share that knowledge across our community. With so much choice of how to attract new customers there are no excuses for approaches that go against best practice, or even break the law.”

Graham Bate, McDowall’s founder and chief executive, said the CAB would be a:

“…state-of-the-nation report into the activity of attracting new, profitable customers - an essential part of every company’s success that is more regulated than ever by compliance requirements”.

He added:

"McDowall is delighted to be partnering with the DMA on the development and launch of the CAB. New customers are the lifeblood for any company: if you don't get enough of them, you could put yourself out of business; if you don't go about getting them in the right fashion, then a regulatory body could put you out of business. It's that simple."

The partnership between McDowall and the DMA follows Rethink TV, the association’s recent summit on data-driven TV held at Channel 4’s HQ, which explored the evolving opportunities for using one-to-one broadcast to acquire and nurture new customers.


Based in Watford and Manchester, McDowall was founded in 2008 by Graham Bate. As the UK’s leading independent customer acquisition and lead generation company, McDowall is committed to giving clients the best chance of success, offering customers at less cost, with less risk while delivering greater profits. Clients include npower and Honda.

The firm’s senior management team includes leading figures in the data and telemarketing sectors, including Barry Leeson-Earle, founder of Acquity (formerly Tri-Direct) as business management director and group operations director Richard Hudson, a former national head of telesales at Telefonica O2.

Andrew Colwell, who held senior marketing roles at Trinity Mirror, Bank of Scotland and Cable & Wireless before becoming marketing director of LBM, is McDowall’s marketing and commercial director. Luke Reid is McDowall’s sales director, having previously led sales teams at some of the UK’s biggest blue chip brands including Yell and BT.

Media enquiries:

Noelle McElhatton, consultant editor, McDowall

Tel: 07827 982168


Ed Owen, Head of PR
Tel. 020 7291 3324

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