We are now well and truly embedded in the 4th industrial revolution. With the transformative development and adoption of technology has come the dramatic increase in the volume and importance of the fuel that drives that technology – data. Having been working in the data industry for more than 30 years, I have seen ﬁrst-hand the dramatic growth and impact that data is having on consumers and businesses.
The stats are staggering – IBM research from 2019 calculated that 90% of the data that exists today was created in the last two years and the IDC estimate that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created every day at the current pace. Stop and think about that for a moment. That’s a phenomenal amount of data to collect, process and hold, however data savvy you are! And with this vast – and ever growing – volume of data comes greater responsibility. In the GDPR era, that responsibility has legal implications and the potential for business damaging ﬁnes and reputational damage.
The old adage ‘garbage in, garbage out’ has never been more true or more important for businesses. Good quality data means better business decisions, better marketing and more proﬁtable relationships. As a strong proponent of responsible data management and, transparency, I am talking to clients and partners every day about data quality and I am encouraged that this is now very much on the agenda.
Ultimately, the message is simple – treat your data assets with the respect and care they deserve and reap the many rewards.
We are delighted that REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez, has been confirmed as a member of the DataIQ 100 2020 – being recognised as one of the most influential data enablers in the industry, for a third consecutive year.
”I am delighted and flattered to be recognised in the 2020 DataIQ 100. It is an honour to be associated with an impressive and talented list influential data professionals.”
The recognition is keeping with an impressive career in data – spanning more than 25 years – including leading some of the UK’s largest data companies – Claritas, Altwood Systems, Acxiom, Ai Data Intelligence, Communisis and currently and now, as CEO of REaD Group. Jon has built a reputation for driving innovation, best practice and success.
Jon has been CEO at REaD Group since 2014 and is responsible for the strategy that has led to REaD’s growing customer base of A-list brands, across multiple sectors.
Integral to this strategy is his belief that data sits at the heart of everything – and valuing, understanding and interpreting that data is key to success.
In addition to building on REaD Group’s position as market leader in data quality, he has been instrumental in developing the company’s service offerings – including an enviable insight capability, winning contracts for the delivery of Single Customer View and driving the development implementation of REaDConnect – REaD Group’s automated data delivery model.
Jon has been an authoritative contributor to the direct marketing industry throughout his career holding positions on DMA’s Data Council, various working parties and the Institute of Direct Marketing Data Council. A genuine industry influencer, he is sought after as a media commentator and a trusted advisor on data marketing, privacy, compliance and the GDPR.
Congratulation to Jon for this much deserved recognition!
By Scott Logie, Customer Engagement Director, REaD Group
Well, here we are, is this the new normal? Working from home; self-isolating and social distancing; stock-piling loo roll and digestive biscuits and hoping we still have an economy when we get out the other side. There has been nothing like this before and it is really important that we do try and keep our heads up and our industry working.
To be honest, I really didn’t want to be one of those people who jump on a bandwagon and write about Coronavirus. However, we are being asked a lot by clients and prospects about what the best thing to do is in this environment. Stick or twist? Keep marketing or cut costs and save for the future? The answer is not simple and will depend on your business, your sector and the combination of channels that you use.
If, for example, you use TV and pay per impression then bear in mind that impressions will be up across the board and the audience will be very different at all times of day than what you would normally expect. Maybe this is a good time to use the budget differently and test lower volumes of highly targeted TV through Sky Adsmart, All4 or the like? More people will be on social media but time spent on each post or ad will be a lot shorter. Maybe focus on direct messaging rather than generic adverts?
One of the questions we are being asked a lot is our view on whether to keep using direct mail. Again, this is going to be dependent on how mail fits within your overall channel mix but from an audience point of view, with vast majority of the UK population following Government advice and staying at home, that should mean a dramatic increase in open rates – with people making a point of looking at and engaging with their mail every day. This can only be good for open rates cut through and conversion. We are already seeing clients not just continue with direct mail but looking to increase volume. This is also true of door-drops and partially addressed mail.
If you are a charity, for example, key routes to your audience such as events and collections are being restricted, why wouldn’t you use direct mail? You know it works for your audience and you know you will get a decent response. And there will be companies who do well out of people being isolated such as food and fast food delivery companies, home entertainment and gaming, on-line shopping and subscription services. For these companies it is important to compete and be seen. On-line and digital engagement is vital but why not supplement this with some targeted mail as well? With millions of people spending the majority (if not all) of their time at home, mail will deliver a welcome distraction and alternative to intensive screen time for consumers and engagement and activation for brands.
Of course, targeting is key, as ever. Ensuring that you know your audience, can identify them and select them is vital. That’s where profiling and targeting really matters. Additionally, using those profiles across multiple media such as email and digital to enhance and provide a halo impact for the mailing will also help deliver success.
I guess one of the concerns on mail is whether it could transfer the virus to the recipient. Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving letters and parcels are not at risk of contracting the Coronavirus. From our experience of other similar viruses, we know that these types of virus don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels. This complements the very clear and highly publicised guidance from PHE regarding hand washing more often and more thoroughly than usual using soap and hot water.
To a greater extent, there is no point in saving for a rainy day, this is the rainy day. Now is the time to back your brand, make your message stick and mail is a great way to getting in front of your customer or prospects.
In light of the current situation regarding Covid-19, we would like to update our clients and partners on REaD Group’s planning for the weeks ahead.
We are putting in place sensible measures to ensure that we are prepared. Our top priorities are the health and well-being of our staff and the continuity of service for our clients.
We are monitoring the situation closely and responding calmly to Government directives, including continuing to provide our staff with systems and procedures that allow them to work remotely so they are available to support our customers and ensure continuity of essential services.
Please be assured that REaD Group’s remote working environment is protected within our Information Security Management framework covered by technical controls and procedures in line with ISO27001.
We remain committed to delivering the best possible service and are confident that there will not be any disruption to essential services. As the situation evolves, we will issues updates as required.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us here or get in touch with your Account Manager or other usual contacts at REaD.
CEO, REaD Group