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ECONOMY | Contributed Content, Singapore
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Jayden Chu

What Singapore's 'Do Not Call' registry means for B2B marketers

BY JAYDEN CHU

It’s not so much of a good start for the coming new year in the B2B marketing world.

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) of Singapore will officially launch its Do Not Call (DNC) Registry on January 2 which will regulate telemarketing messages that cover calls, text and fax messages.

Under the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA), all businesses must confirm if the people they are trying to reach have been registered with the DNC Registry.

PDPC Chairman Leong Keng Thai says that with the setting up of the registry, marketers for business can target more productively on people who are “interested to receive information on products and services".

Since December 2, the commission has already opened its gates to consumers and businesses that wish to be part of the ‘untouchables’ list.

However, it will most likely be policed by another department, called the Data Protection Commission (DPC). Those who have been registered but still continue to receive unsolicited messages from businesses can file their complaints to the DPC.

Impact on businesses

Aside from the additional (and potentially hampering) responsibility of businesses to check with the registry if their list is DNC-free, there are also additional costs that go with it. A company would need to apply for an account and pay a one-time fee of S$30 (US$24).

Each number submitted for checking will require 1 credit, which costs between S$0.01 and S$0.025 (there are different payment packages to choose from, i.e. 10,000 = S$150). The DNC Registry may impose additional compliance costs on organizations.

This also reaffirms the inevitability that businesses need to undergo changes – drastic or otherwise – to adjust to the new policy. Marketers who are used to impassively utilizing their contact lists for cold calling and lead generation may find themselves tip-toeing their way to new game plans.

More online activities?

It’s hard to imagine that marketers would entirely abandon their telemarketing operations on account of the new policy, but what’s certain is that it could somehow limit the fervor that sustains it. As a consequence, business people may turn to something more indulgent: the web.

Singapore is an avid fan of social media, as both SocialBaker and Experian would agree: at a 62% penetration level for Facebook and 49.4% for Twitter, a whopping 74% of Singaporeans use social media regularly, 51.2% of which use it for purchasing decisions.

Singapore marketing post-DNC launch

Business would never dare (consciously, at least) to violate any laws come January and beyond. Up to S$10,000 (US$8,181) can be fined per customer complaint, and the maximum penalty is S$1 million (US$818,150).

So consumers and business owners who value their privacy are in for a revolutionary treat. As for marketers, a new challenge lurks in. Aside from the monetary punishments, the real issue is risking the downfall of a company’s name.

It only takes a few seconds of phone time to forever destroy a reputation that took years to build.

You can download the steps here.

The views expressed in this column are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect this publication's view, and this article is not edited by Singapore Business Review. The author was not remunerated for this article.

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Jayden Chu

Jayden Chu

Jayden Chu works as a Business Development Consultant for Callbox Singapore. He helps businesses improve and maximise their marketing campaigns by providing expert advice on lead generation and appointment setting. He provides tips and trainings on telemarketing, email, social media, and other marketing strategies.

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