In recent inquiries and in one-on-one meetings at our Consumer Forum last week, I’ve had several discussions about the preference management landscape. We’ve written about the trend, but many of the questions relate to the players in the market. Given that I am unlikely to have time to write a landscape report in a reasonable timeframe, I figured I’d outline how we view the market and highlight some of the players.
Conceptually, I divide preference management into managing compliance versus managing preference. I don’t have a problem with compliance management — I would strongly urge companies to focus on it. But I don’t think of it as true preference management.
Compliance management can be further divided into a) complying with legal requirements, and b) complying with consumer requests relating to how you communicate with them. Legal requirements are pretty straightforward and in many cases channel specific — CAN SPAM for email communications, The National Do Not Call Registry for telemarketing, The Telemarketing Sales Rule for telesales, etc. Not complying with these laws has legal ramifications, and we usually find legal departments playing some sort of role in governance and compliance.
Consumer compliance usually relates to opting in or out of communication. That “opt” is sometimes done with the company directly — think “unsubscribe” or opt-in pages for email communication — and sometimes through third parties such as the DMA and many of the catalog opt compilers like PrivacyCouncil.org, Catalog Choice, and the DMA’s DMAChoice.