Consumer preference management systems more important than ever, yet only half of businesses have them in place

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA UK) and OneTrust PreferenceChoice have published the ‘Data Management for Marketers: Breaking Down Consent and Preferences’ report.

The report reveals that the importance of customer and preference management is seen as more crucial than ever, with 73% of marketers saying it is important, up from 60% in 2020.

In addition, awareness of consent and preference management has increased since the previous edition in 2020, with those marketers personally involved also rising from 60% to 78% in 2022.

However, only half of organisations (51%) have a specific consent and/or preference management system in place.

“Our research highlights the increasing awareness, perceived importance and value of having the right data, consent and preference management processes and systems in place. It is an imperative for businesses that want to guarantee and gain the maximum value for and from their customer data. However, just half of businesses have them in place. Many organisations are clearly not maximising the value of their most important resource, which must change if they want their marketers to stay competitive, innovative and responsible,” says Tim Bond, Director of Insight at the DMA.

Benefits received make them business critical

Those organisations with a consent and preference management system reported an increase in customer database size (61% stated this), engagement rate (55%), sales revenue (54%), conversion rates (47%), and opt-in rates/sign-ups (47%). 40% have even found that complaints have decreased while having them in place (see chart below). All significantly higher than those without these systems.

Marketers estimate that the return on investment for every £1 spent on consent and preference management is just over £38. In addition, those with consent and preference management systems in place also report higher customer lifetime value (£57.76) and lower customer acquisition costs (£44.87) compared to those without these key processes (£53.31 and £46.78 respectively).

“People now, more than ever, demand greater control of their data, unlocking an opportunity for organisations to use these moments to address privacy compliance obligations and build trust through transparency, choice, and control. Therefore, implementing a reliable consent and preference management solution is imperative and as we see in this report, there can be strong returns on investment,” said Ashlea Cartee, Product Marketing Manager – OneTrust Consent and Preferences.

How have the following trended over the past 12 months? (Consent/preference management ‘in place’ segmentation – ‘in place’ only)

Bond concluded: “Marketers state that for every £1 spent on consent and preference management systems, they receive around £38 in return. The benefits are extensive, with many professionals stating that they have higher customer lifetime values and lower customer acquisition costs. There can be no doubt why this is the case, as data management systems help businesses to offer enhanced personlisation and increased transparency, which are key factors in driving customer loyalty and trust.”

Further information about the report can be found on the DMA website:

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