By Jon Cano-Lopez, CEO, REaD Group
Looking after staff health and wellbeing during the current global pandemic is something that we have sought to manage from the outset. People are at the heart of everything we do at REaD, especially our people. Our internal motto is “Inspiring People” and we are striving to maintain that throughout lockdown.
We shifted to a home working environment a week before the lockdown began, and everyone has adjusted really well, despite the unfortunate circumstances in which we all find ourselves. We have found some definite positives in our new working environment. Our Microsoft Teams video calls are much more sociable than a usual business meeting: and this applies not only to calls with colleagues but also with clients, suppliers and partners.
All line managers are obligated to contact their furloughed staff every week on the medium of their choice: we try to encourage this is carried out face-to-face if possible. For those not working, we have continued to support professional development both financially and through study time, and we are encouraging them to take up online learning. There are prizes on offer for this too!
Communication and transparency have always been at the heart of what we do. We’ve continued our monthly update meetings, which are now carried out via Teams. We have maintained our usual pre-lockdown Friday afternoon social gathering but now we do it on Teams (drinks are optional), and there’s a quiz or talent contest, which staff are volunteering to run. We have also instigated an internal weekly newsletter, which emphasises the social and fun elements of what REaD is all about. It has recipes, gardening advice, tips on which TV programmes to watch, workout recommendations, book club and more… there’s something for everyone and many of the team are contributing.
We are passionate about supporting mental wellbeing, and for the second year running, we are proud to be supporting the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK (find out more their life-changing, life-services here). We have continued to support them throughout lockdown with our first ever REaD Group talent show taking place this afternoon – with all proceeds going to CALM.
We are continuing to maintain close communication with everyone, keeping them apprised of good news and client wins, but to also just get together and have a giggle. We are all affected by the current situation: what’s important is that we don’t feel like we’re alone in it.
To support CALM with their crucial work please go to our JustGiving page.
Its Mental Health Awareness Week – and given all the anxiety, stress and grief triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic we want to highlight the crucial work being done by the great team at CALM – our chosen charity for a second year.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. CALM is an all-encompassing charity, and any money raised goes to help fund their life-changing, life-saving services:
- Providing frontline services for men, including a free and confidential helpline and webchat
- Promoting cultural and societal change, enabling conversations and encouraging everyone to speak out about their mental health experiences
- Campaigning for better understanding of the causes of suicide and its prevention.
REaD Group are proud to be supporting CALM in 2020 by taking part in events both big and small throughout the year. From Random Acts of Kindness Day, office baking extravaganzas, quiz nights and our more epic and gruelling sporting challenges – bring it on!
One of the interesting – and worrying pieces – of feedback we have been getting here at REaD Group during the Covid-19 crisis is around use of data hygiene products. As more and more businesses move on-line to reach and engage their customers, there seems to be a feeling that this removes the reason to clean the customer base.
The logic seems to be that if there is no mailing planned, and therefore nothing physical going to the address, then there is no need to ensure the person is still at that address, hasn’t moved or passed away. We have had this feedback from a university, a major retailer and a smaller charity.
I’m sorry, but I have some news for you – this isn’t a choice, it is the law!
Under section 5.1 (d) of GDPR, copied for interest below, the guidance is to ensure you keep any names and addresses you hold up to date. And not just because you might want to mail them or send something to them.
But don’t take our word for it, check with your compliance team.
Of course, there is a reason for this and it is about consumer trust. If I share personal details with you, I expect you to keep that information up to date. It is the least you can do really. As a consumer, I will try to share with you information on when my circumstances change but sometimes I will forget. So, using available tools to do so makes sense.
And that trust manifests itself in many ways, I will buy more from the brands I trust, that I believe are doing the right thing, that treat me in the right way.
Talking of brand, there is another side to this. One that is sadly very relevant right now and that is that some of your customers will have passed away. If you do not put measures in place to ensure you are screening your data to identify deceased contacts, could cause serious distress and brand damage. At REaD Group, we feel this is so important that we have created The Bereavement Register (TBR) Daily. TBR Daily allows you to match your data against the deaths that have been registered the day before to keep your data as up to date as possible.
So next time you find yourself thinking that you don’t need to clean the data that you hold – because you are currently not mailing – please think again! For your benefit and for the end consumer.
Relevant statement in the GDPR Article 5.1 (d):
Personal data shall be;
(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);
REaD Group acquires UKChanges assets to create the perfect blend of market leading technology and data
REaD Group have acquired UKChanges’ key assets, including their market-leading data management platforms from its administrator.
Due to difficult market conditions exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis, data specialists UK Changes was forced to go into administration in April. Having reached agreement with the administrators, we have taken over ownership and management of UK Changes’ assets, including its data management platforms, ukc>online and ukc>connect.
Taking ownership of these key assets enables us to combine UKChanges’ technical platforms with its leading data products to create the perfect blend of market leading technology and data.
The platforms will be incorporated into our product portfolio with immediate effect, and REaD’s experienced Operations and Account Management teams are working hard to ensure a smooth transition for current users of the products and delivering the high-quality service levels that REaD prides itself on.
We are, of course, saddened by the liquidation of UKChanges, however, the opportunity to acquire these technically excellent platforms could not be overlooked. The combination of these first-class platforms and REaD’s unparalleled data and seamless API connectivity creates a unique offering for UK businesses and marketers.
Naturally, our immediate priority is to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for users as we incorporate the new technology. The acquisition accelerates our development plans to provide seamless access to our broadening portfolio of assets giving both our existing and new customers greater choice and capability with which to deliver their campaigns.
This is an exciting development for REaD so more news and updates will follow over the coming weeks.
Using open source data, More Metrics has created a bespoke set of data models that explore the impact of COVID-19 on the UK population. These models can help brands ensure they are targeting their marketing messages, optimising contact with customers and increasing ROI. Data used to create these models is publicly available – ideal for the current situation.
More Metrics has used existing and new datasets to create 14 risk measurements relevant to COVID-19, including Age and Household Composition: Mortality and Co-Morbidity; Economic Resilience; Risk Engagement and Infection Rates.
These bespoke models can be used for:
- Screening to deselect vulnerable consumers for campaigns
- Attaching codes to inbound contact data to understand the consumer they are talking to
- Adding the data to models to ensure these factors are considered when selecting consumers for campaigns
The data is available at a range of different geographic levels: the application of each is dependent on usage. At the lowest level the models are created at OA (Output Area) level and can be attached to any individual or household with a postcode: the recommended level for most marketing applications.
REaD Group can advise marketers on how to best apply the models to make sensitive decisions and inform their marketing strategy, supporting data-driven decisions and responsible marketing.
With some key marketing channels impacted by the Coronavirus lockdown -and a massive potential audience – there has never been a better time to consider using Direct Mail as part of your multichannel campaigns!
More people than ever are 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.
To get you on track to tap into this powerful channel, we have created a handy checklist – successful direct mail in just 7 steps!
Step 1 How to choose your target audience
Step 2 How to avoid mailing your existing customer base
Step 3 How to set a call to action (CTA)
Step 4 How to decide on the format of a direct mail pack?
Step 5 How to determine the campaign look and messaging
Step 6 How to decide which partners to use
Step 7 How to determine what other marketing activities to run
Step 8 How to tell if your campaign has worked
Step 9 What results you can expect
Want to find out how REaD can help you implemented a highly
effective direct mail campaign? Contact our team today