Over Third Of Marketing Heads Shift DPA Responsibility To Other Departments

October 28, 2003
By Colin Marks

More than a third (37%) of UK marketing heads rely on other departments, such as IT, legal, finance, sales, HR or compliance to ensure their organisation’s compliance with the Data Protection Act (DPA) according to a survey by CRM Technologies Ltd.

Entitled “Achieving ROI on Marketing Spend”, the report surveyed over 100 heads of marketing in £50m-plus-turnover businesses and shows that 72% do not train their marketing staff on the issue of DPA compliance and 77% have no ISO-accredited internal procedures in place to ensure compliance.

Almost one fifth (19%) say they encounter difficulties keeping their database(s) legal – especially in the business financial services sector (40%). A shocking 14% are not sure how their company ensures compliance, and a further 2% confess to not really making any effort at all to comply.

“Retaining control over DPA issues can be incredibly hard for some organisations,” commented Andrew Freeman, managing director at CRM Technologies Ltd. “Data can be stored across disparate databases and altered or maintained by several different departments. In the absence of a single customer and prospect management system, some organisations will inevitably suffer the fines and public embarrassment associated with falling foul of the law,” he added. “It’s not surprising that many organisations are now outsourcing this function to ensure optimum efficiency of direct marketing and customer relations. Indeed, 16% of the marketing heads our survey interviewed don’t have complete control over their organisation’s databases anyway,” concluded Freeman.

One marketing controller in the distribution sector commented during their interview, “It’s cumbersome to maintain a 100% accurate database; it’s labour-intensive and often involves other departments as well. So, I would say it’s like wrestling with a small crocodile.”

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