5 brand tips to marketing despite the DNC

The Do-Not-Call Registry went live on 2 January 2014 and businesses which relied heavily on telemarketing as well as SMS marketing now have to actively check the DNC list before sending out marketing blasts.

The Straits Times reported that some marketers, in a bid to make the most of the time they had, tried to spam consumers with advertising text messages before the registry kicked in.

Lisa Watson, chairman of the Direct Marketing Association of Singapore, along with several other marketing heads of financial institutions, outlined several processes to help make the transition a smoother one.

Here are some tips:

1. Seek consent at various touch points

With the current processes in place it is vital for brands to seek consent from consumers at various touch points. Gaining consent from the consumers to send across marketing materials will also help marketers reach a more targeted segment group.

“The consent brands receive now from consumers will be extremely valuable to marketers as it is sending a clear statement that your consumers are interested in your marketing and engaging with your brand,” Watson said.

This can be done over a quick survey over the counter or even a simple SMS following a purchase. However, the tone and language used in these messages have to be right.

2. Language is crucial

If a brand chooses to seek the consent of consumers remaining on their marketing list or notifying them of a new product through a phone call or text message, it has to make it clear that it is indeed for the benefit of the consumer and not just another promotional message.

A spokesperson from DBS Bank also added that customers should also understand the difference between marketing-related calls or SMSes and transactional notifications or alerts, hence wording is crucial.

On 26 December 2013, a new exemption also kicked in which allowed organisations to send text or fax messages on related products and services to customers and members with whom they have an ongoing relationship. Brands can do so without having to check the DNC Registry.

This rule makes it especially crucial that marketers word their messages right because the lines between customer service and promotional messages can sometimes be a little blurred.

“Marketers work hard for the consent of their consumers and hence using the right language is critical. It ultimately comes down to trust when asking for consumer consent,” Watson said.

3. Explore other mediums

“Telemarketing and SMS marketing are just one of the platforms for engagement with our customers. We employ other channels of communications such as direct-mail to inform our customers of new products or services,” Priscilla Loke, head, marketing communications & Branding, Maybank Singapore said.

Loke added that with the implementation of the DNC, organisations should now seek alternative modes of communication with their customers via email or eDMs.

Other marketers also added that online marketing and search marketing are also some platforms brands should seriously consider as consumers might now turn to the internet to gather information on the latest launches and deals.

4. Don’t go crazy on email marketing

While email is a less intrusive method of communication, spamming consumers with eDM blasts will just cause them to drop off your mailing list. A healthy balance and a tad bit of creativity might be helpful.

The online realm is now filled with infinite possibilities and the rise of social media and mobile marketing makes connecting with audiences easier.

DBS Bank said one of its main methods of connecting with its consumers has been through social media and mobile lifestyle apps such as DBS Indulge, DBS Shopper and DBS Rewards.

These apps, said its spokesperson “help customers receive exclusive content, highlight relevant promotions and services to customers, which they can download and enjoy at their own convenience.”

This then empowers consumers to make their own decision.

5. Internal processes

Lastly, Watson added that vigilant internal processes also need to be placed to ensure that those who have explicitly demanded to be off the list stay off it.

A clear process needs to be created to ensure that when a customer touches base with the company to declare that he/she no longer wants to be on a list, everyone on the marketing team should be made aware and take the required course of action to ensure he/she is removed from all future campaigns.