The latest HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) marketing campaign was ineffective at reaching micro employers, according to research by BDRC, commissioned by HMRC
Less than one in five (16%) of respondents recalled at least one of the campaign formats after prompting, with press advertising being slightly more effective (12%) than online advertising (5%).
The research is part of an ongoing project to monitor the effectiveness of HMRC campaigns and public awareness campaigns.
HMRC also commissioned research to test the effectiveness of two versions of its RTI400 letter aimed at encouraging employers who had not yet started to begin reporting in real time. The first version contained ‘softer’ messages about the consequences of non-compliance while the second version contained a more robust, ‘harder’ message.
The research, conducted by Opinion Leader, a London-based market research agency, found that while the letters were generally clear, they needed a stronger call to action, with some respondents suggesting that the tone relating to missing payments and their Full Payment Summary should have been more forceful.
Not having a title line was perceived by some to be a missed opportunity to explain why they have been sent the letter and what they need to do.
Respondents also felt that the most important messages which encouraged action were those that explained what they needed to do and that the message about Universal Credit was out of place with the rest of the letter.
HMRC says the findings from the research have been used to improve the tone, design and layout of the letter so that employers are clear on what they need to do.
The findings of the research on Real Time Information Campaign Tracking and Customer testing of the RTI400 letter is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/321324/report298.pdf.
The findings from the RTI400 letter research are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/321328/report299.pdf