Bespoke marketing may be the aspiration of leading retailers, but new research indicates that most of their increasingly prolific messaging is wide of the target.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), a leading professional marketing body, revealed details this week of how the general public is being bombarded with marketing materials.

“42% of people surveyed say they receive marketing via social media at least once a day, and over a third (36%) receive calls once a week or more,” says their report, based on interviews with 2,000 adults across the whole country.

“Although customers receive a high level of marketing materials, half of those who have ever received them say it is never relevant to them.  Of those who receive promotional materials, it is most common to receive marketing about a hobby or interest they don’t have (61%) or for them to receive promotions for offers in areas they neither live in nor visit (35%).”

The research found that over half (55%) of people receiving promotional material believe the majority of these organisations obtained their contact details without their consent, a perception that could ultimately be costly for brands, CIM argues.

CIM’s research also reveals the sectors that are the most and least trusted when it comes to data management, sobering news for those of us in the news business.

The lowest ranking sectors are fast moving consumer goods – only 1% deem them trustworthy, followed by media, including publishers (2%).

Meanwhile there was some positive recognition for the work of financial services (34%), healthcare and pharmaceuticals (25%) and professional and business services (16%) on the way they manage people’s data.

CIM says it is committed to working with organisations to ensure best data practice is embedded; to raise standards and help to rebuild customer trust. To do this, the Institute has recently launched a new campaign entitled Data Right – calling on businesses to be more responsible with the way they manage data, in order to improve the relationship between businesses and customers.

Chris Daly, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, commented: “What’s most worrying about these results is that they are unsurprising. In our interconnected, ‘always on’ world, being bombarded with irrelevant materials has become the expected or the norm. It’s not good enough and it’s eroding the trust between customers and businesses. We need to act now and this is why we are asking organisations to take the Data Right pledge, to commit to showing greater respect and accountability to their customers.”

“Businesses have a responsibility to their customers to be transparent, respectful and clear about how they use their personal information. Not only is this best data practice, but it ultimately will help consumers feel more confident and enjoy the benefits of sharing more personal data with businesses. The more data is shared, the easier it is for companies to provide relevant, targeted communications to consumers. But until businesses step up and show their commitment to best practice, they risk alienating their customers and damaging their brand.”