Marketers are spammers by Law


In different workshops and casual settings here in Saudi,I have discussed this idea of ” Stop Spamming and do real communication in your varied marketing efforts, traditional and digital”. Now CITC (Communications and Information technology Commission ) has clearly announced that continuing this practice will make you a criminal by law! this is the official document

This is harsh huh! In a simple example for a marketing activity scenario we can see this conversation

” Marketing staff

A:  We have finished the TV Ad and ready to air based on the timelines planned.
B:Cool what about the other communication channels?
A: The agency will send email shots and SMS blasts to 3000000 people (youth, travel, music, football, etc ) for a good price.
B: Great then , good job.”

Have you noticed!  It’s a Blast and Shot! So expressive enough to tell its a SPAM and intrusive kind of communication. So these are so common among most of marketers unfortunately, but luckily not for long now this has to be corrected by the power of law not marketing science or ethics!

Why not do it right, and build your own customer database for email and SMS as well. Simple engaging ideas can earn the trust of current clients or new customers to give their permissions to share their contact details and opt-in for your newsletter and promotions. Just ask them, but before you go and ask them, make sure you have set up the strategy for CRM as part of your marketing and digital marketing operation. Well, it doesn’t need to be so complicated, it is always cool to start with simple execution for CRM (customer relation management) program, call it newsletter database or clients database if the acronym “CRM” makes it complicated or scary – for you – to do it right.

Here are some simple ideas that could be used. You can get the clients’ contact information by asking them to fill a small form/application at the point of sale if you have a shop or by a form in your website if you sell online too. Else you could do a small contest where you can collect customers’ entries and send them an invite to opt-in later on or send them a thank you letter for their purchase offline or online and invite them to sign-up for your newsletter. There are many ways to do it, I am just stating basic ones here, but of course you are creative enough to create more interesting ideas for this.

Make it clear that you will not sell or share their data with anyone else and it will be used only to share cool stuff or may be offers, but not useless spamming messages that are irrelevant. Make sure you ask them for their permission to opt-in, as if you don’t then they can NOW file a complaint that you are a spammer and then you become a marketing criminal, not professional, then the new regulation will catch you. Of course you don’t want this to happen. So it is important to have these written proofs that the customer has opted-in and has given you permission  to communicate with them.

Why it is important to be clear and transparent about customer data and contact details! Actually there must be a true privacy policy inside the organization that everyone has to understand well. Because privacy is a priceless asset and once you show any conduct against the rules of privacy and international common practice of saving customer data, then earning the customers’ trust back is close to impossible. When they switch to a competitor or just stop buying or doing business with you, then this is a result of being arrogant and ignorant, not because your product or service wasn’t good enough!

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