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Matt Scott
July 06, 2017

Why Age Matters When Gaining Marketing Consent


As brands begin to knuckle down to the task of gaining consent under GDPR rules, it’s becoming ever more important to understand what it takes to win this valuable permission to market. 

The biggest factor influencing a consumer’s decision to give consent to receive marketing information is the customer’s perception as to how safe their data is in the hands of their insurer.


Consumer Intelligence’s survey found that of consumers who felt their insurer kept their data safe, 34% agreed to receive marketing information, compared to just 15% of consumers who did not think their insurer would keep their data safe.


Meanwhile, 31% of consumers who felt their insurer was either trustworthy or very trustworthy gave permission to receive marketing information, compared to just 18% of consumers who thought their insurer was either somewhat trustworthy or not trustworthy at all.


Research from fast.MAP, specialists in marketing consent has found that the effect of these factors varies across different age groups.


“Younger and older age groups have different priorities,” says David Cole, fast.MAP Managing Director. 

“The over-55s need to feel they are in charge, their data is secure and not shared, they trust the organisation and they aren’t contacted too often. The main barriers to giving their consent are worries about data sharing, security and over-contact.


“Meanwhile, 18 to 34-year-olds share the first three concerns with the over-55s, but over-contact is not such an issue, while offers, rewards and exclusive extras are higher on their list of ‘wants and needs’."


All of this feeds into companies achieving different levels of consent from the different age demographics, with the younger age groups more likely to give consent to receive marketing material.


This means that insurers cannot approach designing their permission statements with a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead they need to adopt a segmented approach depending on the profile and make up of their customer base.


“Having a single approach to permission statements for every customer is not going to work,” Consumer Intelligence CEO Ian Hughes says. “Insurers need to be clever in their approach to permissioning and target different messages to their key target audiences based on their specific preferences, even if they eventually ask for the same permission. With some customers insurers would talk more about security and with others they would talk more about reward benefits.”


Cole says that one thing the different groups do have in common is that they are all consent-poor, with 70% of over-55s, 51% of those aged 35-54 and 27% of consumers aged 18-34 giving consent less than 20% of the time.


When asked to tick a box allowing a company to market their goods and services to you, how often would you say that you agree?


“You can see how infrequently some consumers consent, and all of these age groups are consent poor, and the chance of being a brand that wins consent from an over-55 is particularly low,” Cole says.


“Some brands will win consent, most probably because they persuade the individual they are trustworthy, will keep their data safe, offer a choice of contact route and importantly promise a desirable benefit, and then deliver on their commitment”.


“Many brands will fail and the privilege to market will be withheld. The attempt to persuade consumers to consent should not be considered a boring legal chore, it is a challenging marketing task – arguably the most important marketing campaign of the year.


“Insurers need to remember that consent is a limited and precious commodity.”



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