OPINION: How can marketers in financial services make the most out of the DPDI bill?

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Stephen Lester, CTO at Paragon, explores the implications of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDI) for marketers.


Marketing has gone through a vast and fast digital shift – and the new Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDI) is emerging as a pivotal piece of legislation to guide, control, and govern the next phase of digital innovation. With GDPR, marketers felt a significant restriction on their ability to execute data-driven campaigns, resulting in major changes to their day-to-day operations. The revisions proposed by DPDI therefore, understandably, evoke uncertainty and scepticism. But once these changes are understood, the true potential of the opportunity will create excitement because it delivers greater freedom to use previously locked-in data for highly effective campaigns.

As DPDI undergoes its final stages of parliamentary approval, it emerges as a forward-looking extension of GDPR. It protects consumer data while also opening up fresh avenues for growth within UK organisations. It does this by lifting restrictions on data usage for direct marketing, which were abruptly imposed by GDPR.


Complementing Consumer Duty regulations

For marketers in financial services, the DPDI Bill will complement the existing Consumer Duty regulations launched in 2023, which set higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across the sector. Consumer Duty requires firms to deliver good outcomes for retail customers, with rules and guidance around four key areas: governance, price and value, consumer understanding, and consumer support.

However, two interrelated sets of regulations don’t have to be a daunting prospect for marketers in financial services. The FCA sees Consumer Duty and DPDI as complementary. The Duty focuses on firms’ relationships with customers, while DPDI will empower them to harness data to drive better consumer outcomes.

By delving into content delivery, customer behaviour insights, and the cultivation of stronger customer relationships through personalisation, we will unpack how DPDI can work with the Consumer Duty to propel marketing efforts to new heights.


Delivering targeted and relevant content with confidence

Effective marketing lies in delivering content that resonates with the target audience. Before DPDI, organisations struggled to interpret the definition of ‘legitimate interest’ within marketing campaigns, leaving them uncertain about potentially significant penalties. DPDI empowers organisations to deliver targeted content confidently, providing clarity on legitimate interests and data usage and removing the ambiguity that previously hindered direct marketing efforts.

The newfound confidence DPDI creates in data usage will help financial services firms lever data insights to improve experiences throughout the customer lifecycle – a key expectation of the Consumer Duty. With greater clarity under DPDI, organisations can harness a combination of print and digital channels to efficiently improve their marketing efforts. Financial service firms can achieve this improvement while still following the Consumer Duty requirement to put customer needs and outcomes at the heart of their business.

Direct mail in particular stands to benefit from the resurgence enabled by DPDI. According to a JICMAIL Attention Study last year, direct mail boasts improved engagement rates and longer attention spans compared to digital channels. Because direct mail is a tangible medium, it offers a unique opportunity for organisations in the financial services industry to capture audience attention and drive action.

With DPDI paving the way for a more certain regulatory environment, marketers can harness the strengths of direct mail and digital channels to create campaigns that resonate with their target audience. And by delivering content that speaks directly to consumer interests and preferences, organisations will enhance brand visibility and drive meaningful interactions.


Gaining insights into customer behaviour and preferences

Understanding customer behaviour and preferences is vital in data-driven marketing, particularly in the financial services industry where Consumer Duty has to be taken into consideration. DPDI provides the opportunity to gain deeper customer insights through clearer regulations around data collection and usage. By implementing robust analytics strategies, marketers can then exploit that data to tailor their campaigns and speak to specific segments of their target market.

The DPDI Bill will also allow financial services firms to use data-driven insights to deliver more personalised products and services, through both direct and digital channels. For example, integrating QR codes and links into print materials makes them conduits to immersive digital experiences. They will improve the entire customer journey while enabling tracking and assessment of campaign effectiveness across various platforms. This fosters a cohesive brand experience, provides consumer insights, and helps firms meet the requirements of the Consumer Duty while building a clearer picture of their customer base.


Building stronger relationships through personalisation

Personalisation within marketing cannot be neglected. It allows organisations to deliver tailored experiences that align with individual preferences and interests, improving loyalty and trust among their audience. In the financial services industry, the DPDI Bill aims to facilitate private sector data sharing across the economy, which will enable firms to unlock new use cases and business models through greater access to data. This increased access and portability, similar to the Open Banking initiative, will allow financial firms to develop a deeper understanding of their customers and deliver tailored products and services.

With the assurance of compliance provided by DPDI, marketers in financial services can confidently leverage customer data to create bespoke marketing campaigns that resonate on a personal level, driving long-term engagement and satisfaction.


Preparing for success under DPDI

As DPDI moves closer to implementation, all marketers must take proactive steps to prepare for success under the new regulatory framework:

– Communicate with teams to ensure a clear understanding of any new requirements.
– Assess direct mail capabilities.
– Invest in skills and innovations.
– Consider the geographical distribution of the customer base to ensure GDPR compliance is considered alongside DPDI.
– Conduct a thorough review of compliance practices.
– Engage with supply chain partners to initiate discussions around DPDI compliance.

By embracing DPDI and aligning marketing strategies with its principles, businesses can position themselves for success within the existing Consumer Duty regulations. As marketers navigate the complexities of data protection and privacy, DPDI offers clarity and opportunity in equal measure.

Overall, the DPDI Bill represents a significant milestone in the evolution of marketing regulation in the UK. It will provide the data-related clarity and capabilities that financial firms need to effectively implement Consumer Duty and deliver the expected customer outcomes.

By understanding the implications of DPDI and seizing the opportunities it presents, marketers in financial services can unlock new avenues for success and drive business growth in a digital age. As DPDI continues its journey toward implementation, now is the time for marketers to prepare, adapt, and thrive in a landscape shaped by data protection and privacy.

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