41% of people say they are more confident about how brands treat their personal data, according to a new report
Two in five consumers (41%) say they are more comfortable and confident that brands are handling their data correctly thanks to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018. Furthermore, fewer people find themselves often questioning how a brand got their data in the first place than a year ago, according to the ‘Consumer email tracker 2019’ report released today.
The research, conducted by the DMA and supported by dotdigital, delves into consumers’ perceptions and preferences when it comes to the channel most (59%) prefer brands to get in touch through – email. In 2018, consumers believe they received less email than ever before, estimating this at around 57 per week to their personal inboxes – down from 73 in 2017 – and less than half of these (44%) are actually from brands.
In addition, consumers estimate they’re signed up to receive email messages from around nine different brands, which has also declined from 12 in 2017. The figures are a potential by-product of the new laws and consumers’ belief they have more control over the marketing emails they receive.
Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, said: “Despite the challenges that the GDPR may have brought to marketers and their organisations, it has clearly had a positive impact on consumers. The fact that so many of the people we surveyed said the new rules have made them more confident about how brands treat their personal data should be seen as a very positive step. This year’s report highlights the power of email to be at the heart of brands’ communication with customers, being the central channel that others can then be built around. However, it’s fundamental that marketers combine convenience and relevance, building relationships based on transparency and trust.”
Phil Draper, Chief Marketing Officer at dotdigital, said: “Creating powerful, two-way relationships with consumers should be at the core of all modern marketing strategies. It’s what consumers want, and what marketers are working to deliver. The fact that brands have reduced the number of emails they’re sending is an indication that brands are focusing more on delivering relevant and interesting content.”
In what seems like no time at all, the variety of channels available to consumers and marketers has exploded, offering all sorts of routes to market for brands, and myriad ways for customers to engage, try and buy. Despite the challenges in keeping pace with this change, what’s most important is that these are all within an organisation’s own power to resolve. By putting the customer first, organisations can focus on experience and journeys they want, aligning their digital futures to these.
Unsubscribe doesn’t have to mean unsubscribing
The most predominant reason for unsubscribing from a brand’s email programme is receiving too many messages (59%), followed by the information no longer being relevant (43%) and not recognising the brand (43%). Most people (70%) take action via the brand’s website or the button within an email, with 40% expecting to never hear from that brand (via email) again or only receive transactional emails (23%).
However, almost one in five expect to be taken to options where they can change their email preferences (9%) or to some form of survey (7%), offering marketers the opportunity to retain that customer by changing their approach or, at the very least, better understand why they’re leaving. When offered this opportunity for control, around a third (36%) say they would like to reduce the frequency of emails they receive or specify the products/services they hear about (31%) – two of the key reasons they may have clicked unsubscribe in the first place.
Marcus Gearey, Chair of the DMA Email council’s research hub and Analytics manager, Zeta Global, added: “The management of the inbox is an attempt to maximise utility and minimise disruption. The right message of the right value still wins: too many of the wrong one makes it difficult to get that consumer to change their mind that your brand belongs in their spam folder rather than their inbox.”
To read more about the DMA and dotdigital’s research, including the full ‘Consumer email tracker 2019’ report, visit: https://dma.org.uk/research/consumer-email-tracker-2019
An unprecedented Black Friday: How can retailers prepare?
Retailers must invest heavily in their online presence and fight hard to remain competitive as a second lockdown stirs greater uncertainty
With an unprecedented Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend on the horizon (27th – 30th November), eCommerce hosting and consultancy expert, Sonassi, advises retailers to strengthen their online presence and make the necessary preparations for a fatigue in consumer spending.
James Allen-Lewis, Development Director at Sonassi, explains: “This year’s golden quarter has squeezed together three of the biggest sales periods like never before, meaning retailers will have to fight harder than usual to remain competitive this Black Friday. With greater discounts over a longer period of time, alongside the fact that a second lockdown has moved everyone and everything online, retailers will be battling it out for a share of decreasing consumer spending.
“However, this sense of uncertainty should not deter merchants from implementing their sales strategies this Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Instead, they must go further than simply providing online discounts and tackle challenges head on by re-focusing their efforts on creating a highly competitive user experience. Successful merchants will make the necessary preparations for a change in consumer demand and invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure.
“One way in which retailers can do this is by using last year’s Black Friday as a case study to inspire their future response. For example, retailers should take note of the key consumer behaviours that transpired throughout last year’s mega peak in discounting and plan accordingly for the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber-Monday weekend.
“Tactics such as providing the ultimate online delivery service and secure payment methods will also be pivotal for retailers looking to survive a fatigue in online spending. Consumers will look to retailers who do not overpromise on items like next-day delivery and ensure their checkout process is safe and frictionless for all. It is the retailers who embrace this fact and meet the needs of the conscious consumer that will win their share of consumers wallets.
Allen-Lewis concludes: “With Black Friday and the build-up to Christmas just around the corner, retailers must adapt to changing consumer demand, invest more heavily in their eCommerce infrastructure and focus their efforts on creating the ultimate online experience. The only way to plan ahead amid challenging times is to listen to the needs of the customer.”
Optimistic outlook for 2021 public M&A
Optimism is returning and the outlook is positive for the Australian M&A market in 2021 after a COVID-induced crash in deal activity in 2020, according to Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s tenth M&A 2021 Outlook report.
The special report reveals that an environment of historically low interest rates positions M&A as a significant means of achieving growth and generating returns, including for private equity firms looking to deploy capital and strategic buyers focused on complementary acquisitions.
With the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, global political instability and arguably the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression, M&A 2021 Outlook details somewhat surprising trends emerging for the next 12 months and analyses a number of common COVID-19 myths and their influence on future M&A deal making.
Corrs’ detailed examination of the Australian M&A market draws on data taken from the firm’s proprietary database of transactions combined with in-depth research for the 12-month period ending 30 September 2020.
Key trends identified in the report include a rapid escalation in M&A levels and an increase in creativity in pricing and speed in closing deals, while also highlighting the critical need for support from target shareholders. Conditions also appear to be set for a continued rise in equity prices as a result of the ongoing influx of capital into Australian equity markets, making it imperative that bidders employ strategies to move quickly on M&A transactions.
Discussing the M&A 2021 Outlook, Corrs Head of Corporate, Sandy Mak, said “Despite a challenging year, our research indicates that 2021 could well see the volume and value of deals continue to grow. We are already witnessing this uptick in activity and while some industries and sectors are seeing a faster rebound than others, early indications are that the wider public M&A market will continue to strengthen over the coming months.”
Based on its detailed research, the M&A 2021 Outlook report discusses further key findings including:
- Deal volume and value is the lowest since 2016, however volumes have shown significant recovery since June 2020.
- More than 50% of deals in 2020 were ‘hostile’ and not recommended at the outset.
- 71% of deals over A$500 million were structured by way of a takeover – a significant increase from prior years – largely as a result of increased competition for assets through rival bids.
- Despite border closures and the tightening of foreign investment regimes, the percentage of deals with foreign bidders has increased materially since April 2020.
5 steps for SMEs to budget properly for the coming year
By Fabio Comminot, Head of Dealing, Switzerland at Ebury, one of Europe’s largest Fintechs, has provided a five-step guide to make sure budgeting is done on time.
During the challenging times of COVID-19, it is difficult to forecast orders and costs. This is especially true for SMEs that operate internationally and therefore are exposed to currency fluctuations and market movements. So budgeting is immensely important.
Autumn is budget season for most companies. Upcoming project costs, sales and fixed costs must be defined or forecasted. Budget planning should be as accurate as possible right from the start of the process to avoid unexpected consequences at the end of the year..
With the effects of the COVID pandemic it has become difficult for all companies, no matter their size or history, to plan and make sales forecasts. Early planning and hedging are especially important for companies that work internationally and are therefore particularly exposed to currency risk.
These five steps will help SMEs take the right measures for the coming financial year, in time for budget season:
Step 1: Estimate your costs or sales in foreign currencies
As difficult as it may seem, every company must estimate its expected fixed and variable costs for the coming year. Most companies can forecast their revenues based on experience or existing orders.
However, start-ups or young companies should also be able to at least estimate their costs including rents, insurance, wages and production costs. Special attention should be paid to costs or revenues that are spent or received in a foreign currency.
Step 2: Profit or cost assurance – define the strategy
As soon as an approximate plan for the coming year is in place, the company should consider the importance of currency management. Regular earnings or expenditures in foreign currencies are exposed to movements in exchange rates. If costs in a foreign currency are to be forecasted until the end of the year, the company needs to minimise volatility. This means that the exchange rate should be fixed so that there are no unexpected negative consequences at the end of the year.
Another option would be to protect the operating profit. Fluctuating exchange rates can rapidly ruin intended profit margins. In this case the company could aim to define the forecasted sales in the foreign currency and fix the margin based on this.
Step 3: Fix your budget rates
The budget is set, the currency management goals are defined, the major part is done. Now it is a matter of defining the budgeted rates for the various currencies based on the current exchange rate. A buffer of about 5% can be useful when doing this – for example. instead of fixing the exchange rate from US dollar to Swiss franc at the current 91 cent, a rate of 95 cent could be budgeted. In this way, the minimum budget rate is defined and any negative exchange rate movement can be at least partially compensated for.
Step 4: Define the hedging strategy
With the targets and the budget course set, the next questions are: What currency developments can be expected? What is the industry outlook? Is the order situation relatively secure? Or is there practically no empirical data?
This step is where Ebury can support the company. Our experts in FX markets help answer these questions and begin to define the individual hedging strategy.
Step 5: Ensure a flexible fit
It’s done: the measures have been defined, now it’s time for implementation.
Ebury will implement the previous steps and , so that the company focuses on its core business. In contrast to traditional financial services providers such as banks, Ebury constantly monitors international trade and political events in order to assist clients with strategy adjustments. The Ebury team is supported by state-of-the-art technology and international currency analysts. It makes no difference whether the changes are driven by the currency market or whether the company’s order situation itself is changing. This allows the SME to focus on its operational business, which is worth a lot in uncertain times like these.
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