Is intrusion the new communication tool in insurance, financial and legal marketing?

This article was originally posted on the Novacom blog

With recorded UK public complaints around nuisance calls and texts reaching 175,000 in 2014, and the UK government threatening to change legislation to fine offenders up to £500,000 (€680,000 / $750,000), can the digital space remain immune?

I think the answer is absolutely not, and given the stringent data protection laws currently governing our financial services, legal and insurance marketing activities here in Europe, I think further legislation is likely coming our way.

Growing scrutiny, increasing legislation

Because, while there’s a big difference between intrusive calls and texts offering everything from payment protection insurance (PPI) to solar panels, and ethical Internet marketing techniques, there are still other, digital storm clouds forming at the periphery of our sector.

Where are we vulnerable?

Where? Well, websites using pushdown display advertising, some intrusive pop-ups and video pre-rolls will eventually likely find themselves as regulatory targets, particularly because this type of intrusion, when tied to cookie tracking and data collection, means intrusion can be seen as getting personal.

And judging by the recent proposed transition to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) here in Europe, I think we should be reviewing our digital strategies with a view to avoiding potential legal issues.

Time for reflection

In any event, I think the time is right for a digital industry-wide communications review as pushdowns, intrusive pop-ups and pre-rolls are to my mind lazy marketing techniques and do not serve clients well.

They’re annoying rather than helpful. So, where do we go from here?

Understanding through interactivity

Do you remember when we in the digital sector called everything in the digital world ‘interactive’ when it really wasn’t? Well everything is now, and we should be using it.

Interactivity in the form of marketing automation (MA), retargeted display advertising and highly segmented, email marketing to ethically-sourced databases will allow the recipient of any communication we send to to decide whether it is helpful or beneficial to them, or not.

An ethical win-win situation

And if your MA campaigns are expertly devised and properly organised with appropriate communication programmes that truly encourage dialogue, your performance measurement systems will tell you precisely who is, and who isn’t interested in communicating with you.

That way, you’ll pick up engaged prospects who really want to learn about your products and services and are ready to become new customers; saving your sales teams time, and avoiding the growing potential for legal issues.

Photography: Clark Kent by Nanagyei. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Photography: Computer Work by VFS Digital Design. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0