'Me Marketing' Surmounts Canadian 'Don't Call' Rules

16 December 2004

Marketers in Canada are devising ever more inventive ways to circumvent government telemarketing rules.

The nation's 'Do Not Call' regulations, expected to be ratified by Parliament shortly, follow the US model where people register their home and cellphone numbers to avoid marketers' sales calls.

Increasing numbers of consumers are opting to block offers for replacement windows or requests to take part in surveys or courtesy calls from the bank, often coming at inopportune moments.

In a bid to surmount these hurdles a digital-marketing company, based in Toronto and working for bluechip clients such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson, is offering personal consumer websites.

A postcard to the home encourages the consumer to view an exclusive site. Once the marketer has the consumer's attention online he asks for permission to make further contact.

Says Bob Woloshyn, chief operating officer of N5R: "If you do it right and have a message which resonates with your audience, they will definitely give their permission. This is not an intrusive telemarketer calling you at dinner time."

Woloshyn claims his approach generates a 10% to 20% response rate, compared to 1% or 2% by direct mail alone and adds: "Instead of doing mass marketing, you do 'me' marketing."

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff