2021 end of year wrap-up

It’s almost the end of 2021 and what a year it’s been. Despite the pandemic disrupting daily life again and again, we have continued to work incredibly hard, providing our clients with our market-leading data products and insight services, and we have seen some excellent results. Here’s a rundown of this year’s significant events and activities.

This year’s highlights

We have welcomed 82 new customers to REaD, providing thousands of data cleanses, customer enhancements and direct marketing campaigns.  These include some household brands such as Tesco, Joules, Carnival Cruises, and Animal Friends, as well as many other companies across the many different market sectors we serve.

We want to thank all our new customers and repeat customers (over 300 of you) for choosing REaD Group as your Data Insight, Enhancement, and trusted Campaign provider. We have delivered, on average, 2.5 times ROI target on multi-channel campaigns, with our data cleaning services saving customers, routinely, over £60,000 per campaign from mailing incorrect, deceased or gone-away records.

Response rates on campaigns have shown an increase of over 275% of response rate target with a 50% increase in revenue for our customers. We’ve also created some fantastic life-changing campaigns this year (and even planted 42 trees as a result of out Green Paper).

Our top 5 most used services this year:
  1. Data cleaning with GAS and TBR
  2. Direct Mail Data, Execution and Planning
  3. Data management with REaD Online
  4. Single customer view
  5. Customer insight and segmentation

Product updates 

Throughout the year we’ve continuously worked on our products and services to deliver the best possible experience for our customers. Here are just a few of the changes we’ve made.

REaD Enhance: We are imputing data across our REaD Enhance product, our solution for enhancing customer data. This allows the users to gain more value from the product for customer insight, profiling, and data modelling.

Data from social: We are collecting more and more data via social listening platforms that offer clients specific, relevant and timely indicators, giving customers the opportunity to reach more customers.

Pet Data: From age, occupation, income, presence of kids, outdoor space, and local area, we understand pet owners. We are collecting data to understand the profiles of dog owners, cat owners and both, even down to brands of food they buy, to provide detailed insights at a local or national level.

Home Movers: We have more accurate home mover predictions which take into account the local geography, the property size, type and value, and even the conveyancer.

The Cube: We have created a new database, enabling faster loading and aggregation of data, creating more frequent product releases in 2022.  Plus, new B2B data will be available via our REaD Online platform in January 2022.

Compliance

We are proud to report that we are still the most trusted data organisation in the UK!  This year we had our regular ISO audit with the auditor seeing: ‘Positive evidence of continual improvement to REaD’s security procedures’, and all planned security objectives achieved.

Data Protection Office 

The DPO team have successfully managed, logged, and recorded almost 11,550 DPO enquiries this year without any delays or adverse effects (based on nearly 200m pieces of direct mail sent by REaD’s clients in 2021).

Online Permission Library

Our Online Permission Library continues to receive great feedback from clients. In 2021, we added 33 new clients and conducted 23 demos. At present, we have 101 clients logged as users of the platform.

SAR Tool 

This year our Subject Access Reporting (SAR) tool was built and delivered, enabling better, more accurate and quicker search functionality for data protection enquiries.

Due Diligence

Several new policies and procedures were set up and distributed to contributors to ensure a continual compliance of data supplied to REaD.

What we’ve learned and our predictions for 2022

So what can we expect for the year ahead? We know consumers are expecting brands to understand their needs more and more and they will expect brands to close the ‘experience gap’ even further. Data will play a huge role in the growth of these brands and is an essential piece of the puzzle in helping them to understand consumers’ behaviours, mindsets and attitudes. The focus is shifting to accessibility and actionable insights to ensure meaningful and valuable personalisation that will create lifelong customers.

What other trends can we expect for next year? Here are our predictions for the top six trends in marketing for 2022.

Trend 1: Faster progression towards multi-channel comms

Multi-channel comms is changing, and teams are now looking at data to be used across all channels with the same profiling, models and selections being applied where the permissions allow it.

Trend 2: Customer decision-making driven by sustainability and/or diversity

There is a lot of research, including the DMA’s recent Customer Engagement:  Consumer Mindset in Acquisition research, that shows that diversity and sustainability are becoming more important  to consumers when deciding which brands to buy from. With a higher profile after COP26, younger audiences are increasingly engaging with green concerns and consumers are demanding that representation is recognised in advertising.

Trend 3: More direct-to-consumer comms and sales from brands in retail

One thing that accelerated during lockdown is some brands engaging directly with consumers rather than relying on their retail estate or sales partners. Retailers created a direct-to-consumer offering quickly and efficiently, and the outcome: a new audience who are loyal to the brand.

Trend 4: More intermediaries in other sectors

Many household brand names in insurance and utilities have almost stopped recruiting customers directly because they rely so heavily on the intermediaries to provide their new customers. Expect to see other sectors disrupted in 2022, such as train travel and the financial services.

Trend 5: Greater demand for improved customer service post-pandemic through automation and AI

The challenge for many brands will be how to fund extra staff after cutting them previously. It is possible that the drive for automation, more realistic chat functionality and AI-based solutions will be the solution.

Trend 6: Finding a balance between localism and impatient nation

While the pandemic revitalised shopping local resulting in a healthier high street, we also invested more in the need to get products delivered to our door as quickly as possible. Together, that creates a very interesting dynamic, a confluence of fast and slow shopping – it will be interesting to follow how the two develop over the next twelve months.

Charitable support

This year, we’ve raised a fantastic amount for our chosen charity, CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) which takes a stand against suicide. By riding bikes, running miles and baking amazing cakes and savoury goods, we’ve raised more than £16,000!

Onwards to 2022…

Year on year, we work hard to provide the best possible service to our customers by offering the most compliant, quality data available. Next year we’ll be continuing to offer the same quality service with the same personal approach. We look forward to working with you again and in the meantime, we wish you a very Happy Holidays.

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