GDPR 'Our Stance' with REaD Group logo

The lack of clarity in the run up to GDPR has been shocking. This statement provides much needed clarity on how to remain on the right side of the legal minefield and make the most of the opportunity that GDPR really presents.

REaD Group have been involved from the very earliest stages of GDPR.  We have been at the forefront of negotiation, lobbying and discussion for the last six years.  Consequently, our knowledge of the regulation itself, the intended meaning and what it means for the Direct Marketing industry is unrivalled.

REaD Group is unequivocally supportive of the GDPR.  All the decisions we have made surrounding the permissions required to use third party data for direct marketing activity under GDPR have been externally validated by Bristows LLP, widely regarded as this country’s leading data protection lawyers.

REaD Group have been working towards becoming a GDPR ready business for the last three years. We have made significant changes to our own data collection methods and how we obtain, retain and maintain our data and data solutions.  Our contributor due diligence processes we believe are unparalleled and unique in the scrutiny of GDPR requirements and we have enhanced our internal IT solutions.

It is important to remember the purpose of GDPR is simple; to give consumers greater control and transparency over the use of their data. Most importantly, GDPR will change marketing communications for the better – more open, more honest and more transparent and in turn that will deliver a more positively disposed, aware and trusting consumer, which has to be good for us all.

Our Stance

REaD Group has enhanced its safeguarding processes to ensure every piece of personal data made available to you has been collected in a GDPR ready manner. This inevitably means there will be changes to our products as we ensure that all data has been lawfully processed in line with GDPR. No data is accepted into our data estate until our due diligence and auditing processes have been satisfactorily concluded. This includes adherence to a number of significant and mandatory GDPR rules established by our GDPR Steering Group.

Permission

In the recent weeks and months there have been conflicting opinions surrounding the level of consent required for data to be available for third party direct marketing post May 2018.

The issue of consent has created an enormous amount of confusion.  What is it? How is it obtained? What channels does it apply to?  Or indeed, do I need it at all?  Consent of course, is only one of six legal grounds to process personal data under GDPR, yet it has occupied a disproportionate amount of the airtime serving only to confuse further.

At REaD we prefer to ask – Do we have permission?  In other words, do we have grounds from one of the six processing purposes?  In most cases with our data assets permission means the processing of data collected either with consent or as a legitimate interest. Both of these grounds for processing are equally valid and our products will be selectable on either or both.

This means if you are planning a postal marketing campaign, you won’t need consent. You can rely on using legitimate interests, if you can show how your use of the consumer data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact and the consumer is unlikely to be surprised or object.  To be clear, within GDPR itself, Direct Marketing is specifically singled out as a legitimate purpose.

Being GDPR ready is about balancing risk.  When you decide to use REaD Group data, we advise you to conduct the necessary balancing exercise between your interests in direct marketing and the rights of the consumers. REaD Group will have conducted this exercise ourselves under our obligations as data controller.  We also advise you to ensure that consumers know exactly how you intend to use their data.  Our experience tells us that the more open and honest you are the better it is received by consumers.

Of course, our in-house experts will be more than happy to talk you through this note as well as your specific concerns or campaign ideas.  We have done the vast majority of the work for you in building a GDPR ready data asset so we can all market ourselves confidently and securely.

Want to talk GDPR?  Contact our team today.

direct mail stat
Direct Mail can be used under the basis of Legitimate Interest under GDPR (or put another way, does not require Consent).

Yes you can! We’ve had it from the only authority that counts in the UK – The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) – who recently provided some much needed clarity on the use of Legitimate Interest for marketing, confirming on their website that states you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities if you can show how you use people’s data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be surprised or likely to object.”  Great to have some clear guidance and a green light for responsible, consumer centric direct mailing.

 

Using Legitimate Interest in practice requires the application of a good dose of…common sense!

OK so the ICO call it a Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) – but essentially what they are looking for is the application of the main principles of the GDPR – openness, honesty and transparency – supported by evidence that you have carefully considered the impact on an individual and made an informed and fair judgement that your interests and the interests of the individual are balanced.

 

Executed well, Direct mail is proven to be an incredibly effective channel for response rates and engagement.

Put simply – it works!  Great Direct Mail will deliver great results.  It can grab more attention, engage and help to create closer relationships and generate more responses.

Recent research by Brand Science confirmed “when mail was included in the marketing mix, campaigns had 12% bigger ROI than those without mail.” Impressive! 

Anecdotally, one of our clients recently reported a consistently high ROI and an average of 1000+ new customers/month from Direct Mail.

 

AND consumers like it!  And we’ve got some stats to prove it….

Respondents to MarketReach research confirmed that mail is more believable (87%), makes them feel more valued (70%) and creates a better impression of a company (70%).

Choosing the right partner will make all the difference!

Choose a partner you can trust.  At REaD Group we have been helping businesses of all shapes and sizes get great results from Direct Mail for more years than we care to remember – and with the advent of GDPR our services have become even more important and relevant to our clients (from optimising data selections and data quality to campaign reporting and analysis).  We’re a safe pair of hands.

 

Sounds good, right? So what to do next?

Contact our knowledgeable and friendly team who can talk you through how we can best support your marketing strategy and help you thrive through GDPR and beyond.