Marketing in SA under the CPA

As a marketer in South Africa, has the Consumer Protection Act got you quaking in your boots?

Opted-In DataThe CPA is, in its entirety, a good thing… let’s be honest, we all hate being spammed!  Notwithstanding the excellent protection it offers us as consumers.  



But as direct marketers; how will we get our message out without contravening the Act?


From 1 April 2011, we join the likes of the United Kingdom where the law is opt-in; i.e. unless you have opted in to receive a communication from a brand or product; they cannot to communicate to you.  So that brings us to the question above, how can we communicate without the breaking the law?  Especially if your marketing is focused on customer acquisition?



You are allowed to communicate once to a potential customer by inviting them to receive further communications from your brand.  (Before doing so however, the target list must be checked against the DMASA’s “National Opt-Out Register” and any duplicates removed before send… or you will be in contravention of the Law.)  If they respond positively, great!  If they ignore your message, they are no longer ‘tacitly’ opted-in, as in the pre-CPA days - they, along with consumers who actually do so, are opted-out! 



The problem here is that most people don’t respond to marketing messages (on average 95% of the recipients of the message will neither respond nor opt-out).  Along with the actual opt-outs received, that’s the bulk of that data set now opted out!  The door is then closed on communicating to them again!



So getting your message out once is great; but we all know that frequency (without spamming, so there’s a fine line here!) is the key! 



The real trick is to partner with a database supplier with opted-in data.  



Not so easy to find, I hear you say?  Well, that’s where the huge opportunity lies!  The CPA will be great in that it will remove the ‘rats-and-mice’ database suppliers!  (Those dodgy database owners who promise you ‘verified’ or ‘profiled’ data that is not all that!)



This leaves the reputable suppliers.  The ones who have spent a lot on money, time and resources to build good data that is kept up to date… and more importantly now; that is opted-in.   The largest opted-in base in South Africa currently stands at over 15million consumers! That’s a lot of people who have said “Yes, you can market to me!”.  Chances are; your target market is here! 



Get in Touch if you’re interested to hear more…



For more info on the Consumer Protection Act, visit the Direct Marketing Association (DMASA).

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