We are delighted that REaD Group were shortlisted for the CIM Marketing Excellence Award for Best Use of Data and Insight with Titan Travel!
This nomination recognised the intelligent use of REaD Group data to deliver compelling insight, resulting in an improved customer experience and communication strategy. Through expert analysis, demonstrating how insightful strategies result in brand success and delivering an ongoing competitive advantage for Titan Travel.
Titan Travel reached out to REaD Group to explore the use of multi-channel campaigns using direct mail and email targeting. As a company that pride themselves on offering unbeatable value and quality they needed a partner that reciprocated those values and outlooks. We were given the brief to create a re-newed focus on customer acquistion and targeting, and this is what we did…
By taking Titan’s data and running detailed profiles we gained invaluable insight in to the demographics, behavioural traits and personas of their customer base. Once the macro segmentation was in place, REaD used Titan’s transactional and engagement data to drill down and create micro segments which enabled customised strategies, increased personalisation and relevancy – targeting and engaging their customers with confidence and accuracy at the highest standard.
“REaD Group have supported us with look-a-like prospects based on our customer demographic and we’ve had overwhelming success, which is why this continues to form part of our on-going strategy The data is continually improved by overlaying and prospects that book with us to ensure that the output is even more targeted each time”
– Tom Adams. Senior Marketing Executive – Customer Acquisition.
The project gave Titan the ability to create a market segmentation which provided a much clearer view of the UK travel market to assess market share, areas for growth and possible areas to avoid. The dramatic change in acquisition strategy, driven by REaD data and insight, utilising addressed mail as the primary channel, enabled Titan to achieve some truly spectacular and unprecedented results.
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Riding the subscription wave
Subscription services have always been popular with consumers, but the last twelve months have seen a surge as the world moved to a working from home routine. Now we can get a subscription for almost anything, from toilet paper, food boxes, trendy beers, flowers, cosmetics, and household cleaning products. They know when and how often, delivering weekly, monthly or on a completely personalised schedule to make our lives that bit easier.
Subscriptions and the WFH routine
When we descended into lockdown 1 brands truly went subscription mad. Anything and everything became a subscription service. Brands had to be reactive with the closing of stores and consumers suddenly craved convenience like never-before.
The DMA reported that customers’ interest in subscription-based buying has increased significantly over the last year; consumers are buying more personal hygiene products (15%), clothes (15%), beauty and cleaning products (14%) and alcohol (13%) via a monthly subscription in 2020 – all notable increases. 45% of consumers streamed live television at least weekly, up from 20% in 2017. Netflix even had to reduce their streaming quality to allow for more users at the same time.
REaD Group’s Scott Logie chaired an event on this topic as part of his role on the DMA’s Customer Engagement Campaign. The event shared some research around the surge in subscription during the last 12 months, driven by our change of behaviour in lockdown. There was a discussion with Pact Coffee, who provide a fresh coffee subscription; and Santander Bank, who are using AI and machine learning to remind customers of subscriptions they are paying and may have forgotten about.
A subscription is for life … or is it?
There were several interesting points that came out in the discussion. Firstly, while this surge has been great for subscription businesses, it creates a challenge; what happens when we return to normal? Will people stop using subscriptions as much and create a retention challenge for the brands? Clearly now is the time to be thinking about this and offering the flexibility that will be needed to retain as many customers as possible.
Which brought the conversations on to a couple of other topics. Transparency: it was noted not only in the research but also came through very strongly from the panel that being open and honest with the end customer is vital. Pact Coffee goes as far as to send emails just before each delivery to make sure customers know what they are ordering. This gives them the chance to defer this month’s order, choose something different or even add to the order being dispatched. These are sent out every single day and over 60% of the emails get some form of interaction. They firmly believe that this openness and choice builds loyalty over time. Gone are the days of subscription services using inertia as their main retention policy!
It’s time to talk!
Get on the phone, send out those zoom invites or throw back to more traditional methods with a hand written letter. To embrace Time to Talk Day the REaD Group team took time out of their busy schedules to have a talk with CALM – Our elected charity for 2021. We heard from our CALM ambassador about the amazing work they do, but also how to keep ourselves going, communicating and making the most of what we can do over the next few months:
- Making the most of our lunch breaks with some fresh air
- Getting away from our screens as much as possible
- Staying active
- Talking to friends and family (call, webchat and write)
- And knowing where to turn when we need guidance and advice
Campaign against living miserably (CALM) is a life saving charity dedicated to supporting those that need advice, guidance or immediate help with mental health, wellbeing and suicide. Their help line and web chat services are open from 5pm to midnight every day and offer anonymous, confidential and non-judgemental solution focused advice for anyone that needs it. This past year has certainly brought out a lot in all of us, whether it’s problems with isolation, anxiety, relationship concerns, health worries, financial stress or mental health worries. CALM is always there to give practical and tangible solutions.
As a team we have pledged to raise £5,000 for CALM this year. We’ll be taking on some personal challenges and keeping active, getting ready for a REaD Group talent show, and hopefully signing up to some group activities as soon as possible. We are also celebrating Random Acts of Kindness week with a company wide gifting scheme, raising money for CALM and spREaDing the love this February!
For more information of CALM and the incredible work they do go to – CALM
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement to support mental health, suicide and the challenges many of us are facing in this upside world. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives, 75% of all UK suicides are male . CALM exists to change this! As an all-encompassing charity, 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
As the 2021 chosen charity for REaD Group we are pledging to raise £5,000 for CALM this year; Taking our three year total raised to £15,000. We are taking on CALM’s Task Me Anything challenge to get the fundraising ball rolling; followed by a REaD Group Talent show and a company event for Acts of Kindness week.
In February our employees will be taking part in a session with CALM to discuss what they do, how we can get involved and how to look out for our own mental health and the wellbeing of others this year.
We look forward to venturing out into the great outdoors for some running, walking and cycling events later on in the year – And we will of course be bringing back the REaD Group Bake off!
For more information check out CALM!
Today is Data Protection Day! A reminder of the never ending challenges many marketers and brands face regarding their data. The last year has been interesting to say the least. For many companies it has meant completely rethinking months of strategies and customer communications to aline with government guidance and changing customer behaviours. Needless to say we were all running around like headless chickens and naturally a lot of things fell by the wayside. For Data Protection Day, the team at REaD Group have put together some guidelines to make it just that bit easier to get things done this year and ensure your data is accurate, up to date and protected.
It’s no wonder a lot of confusion stills exist around when and how to use the key lawful bases for processing data for marketing purposes: consent and legitimate interest.
Legitimate interest, based on the ICO’s definitions, is the most flexible of the six legal bases for processing personal data, and it can therefore be applied to many different situations. It is, for example, the most appropriate basis when processing data is of a clear benefit to you or others, there is limited privacy impact on the individual, or where an individual would reasonably expect their data to be used in that way. The balance of fundamental rights is of equal measure and transparency is crucial when making these decisions.
GDPR specifically states that direct marketing may be considered a legitimate interest in recital 47, albeit upon the appropriate and thorough application of a balancing test. By balancing the business and marketing objectives with the rights of the individual – and a good dose of common sense – and documenting it in a professional and trackable manner by completing a Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) , marketers can use this basis for marketing with more confidence.
Applying a balancing test to a legitimate interest and also applies to prospect data and data sourced from third parties as well as first party data. There is nothing in the GDPR that prohibits the use of third-party data, provided that it is undertaken in accordance with the data protection principles and regulatory guidance.
When it comes to consent, this is what the ICO has to say; “The GDPR sets a high standard for consent. But you often won’t need consent. If consent is difficult, look for a different lawful basis.”
This means that, in many instances, consent may not be required. However, some examples of when it is required involve the use of electronic marketing (including email) and this is where GDPR and the Privacy and Electronic Communication regulation (PECR) dovetail, i.e. email marketing requires consent and the requirements for consent are set out in PECR.
Fundamentally the GDPR is intended to build and maintain trust with consumers. That means applying both rigour and common sense when balancing commercial interests with consumer rights and regularly testing that decision to ensure it is the right approach.
The days of privacy being a box-ticking exercise are well and truly gone. The principles of privacy by design and ‘responsible marketing’ have to be embedded in businesses now. Challenging but necessary – but those business that get these fundamentals right will reap the rewards.
For more information and guidance on data and data protection
Or find out more – here!
Direct mail, digital marketing and the space between!
Embrace the power of multi – channel marketing this year! 2020 highlighted the need for marketers to be reactive, responsive and above all keep a level head. By using both online and offline strategies to engage customers – many of whom are now mostly working from home – the two have proven to work effectively and with great success. Now is the time to embrace multi-channel marketing and here’s why!
40% of consumers agreed that direct mail became a part of the new routine!
Direct Mail has seen a huge increase in engagement. With more people than ever working from home and the need for more tangible, compassionate and personal communication at an all-time high, 40% of consumers agreed that direct mail became a part of the new routine. We saw clients increase their mailing volumes month on month, and a recent campaign for a leisure retailer saw a huge 86% increase in sales as a result.
Direct Mail triggered online engagement increased by 64% and online sales increase by 25%!
Direct mail offers a lasting, trusted and tactile form of engagement. Playing an essential driving role for your customers brand journey. Research from Royal Mail MarketReach in late 2020 shows that 88% of consumers engaged more with direct mail in 2020 than ever before. Direct Mail triggered online engagement increased by 64% and online sales increase by 25%! Great stats that can’t be ignored.
However, direct mail can never reach it’s full potential without the addition of digital communication. Email has a much shorter life span but delivers the immediate and up to date content to keep your brand present. When primed with direct mail, customers spend 30% longer engaging with digital communication. The two side by side offer a unique brand experience, increasing brand engagement and instilling brand loyalty. Providing timely, relevant and personal communication throughout.
To ensure this multi-channel approach is utilised to the full, communication must be timely, accurate and compliant. With quality data, correct addressing and relevant content, the two can work seamlessly:
– Drive customer engagement
– Increase ROI
– Promote positive brand reputation
Find out how REaD Group can help you unleash the power of ‘MM’!
Understand your customers with Actionable Insight
A toast to 2021!
After the year we’ve had, predicting what 2021 has in store for us should be a breeze – no? Perhaps Elvis might indeed be returned to us by the aliens who snatched him; our very own Scott Logie could have next year’s Christmas number one despite never having recorded a second of music in his life and, Prime Minister Katie Price will lift new Covid-20 restrictions in time for us all to have a socially distanced Christmas next year. No matter what this year brings – we have at least got a few things right so far.
Predictions that have actually come true:
- Data quality actually was driven faster by the pandemic as more businesses realised that to build longer lasting on-line relationships you need the best data available.
- We had a big increase on basic data cleaning and then enhancement work from the summer onwards.
- And we also saw a significant increase in the use of data to plug the gaps of knowledge that were also lost through not having customers in-store or branch. Or meeting those at events, on the streets or in railway stations.
- Finally more and more interest in on-line and automated solutions for both data cleaning and data appending and I see that trend continuing into next year.
Another trend from 2020 – “old” channels got fashionable again. Direct Mail had a resurgence for example. In their Mail Matters More Guide Royal Mail Market Reach showed that with people working from home mail responses increased with engagement higher than ever at 96%. And it wasn’t just in older groups as well, the biggest rise was from the 18 to 34 year-old age groups. A massive 88% of people paid the same or more attention to mail during lockdown. With many of us now working more from home as we go into next year and beyond, mail will continue to play an important role.
Maybe even more importantly, we saw direct mail response rates increase and were part of the teams who delivered fantastic campaigns across charity, retail and financial services. We leave the year with many clients who had some moments of terror in March but who ended up delivering above and beyond their revised targets.
What else do we see happening in 2021?
Maybe we’ll end up moving towards a more human form of engagement next year. As we become used to teams, zoom and the rest there is a definite craving to talk to a human. While the new ways of working have definitely improved our lives it also leaves a void at times and shows that people can’t be wholly replaced by machines. Clearly automation is important when it comes to efficiency and such like but a balance is required.
Having said that, another trend from this year that I would see increasing into next year is the desire for convenience. Amazon maybe set the bar a while ago for next day, or next hour, deliveries, but convenience has now become the norm.
Our insatiable desire for instant gratification is now being met more often than not. So, what does that mean for service in 2021. Or indeed for any new entrants, or even the behemoths themselves. Could this erosion of a differentiator mean we don’t end up using Amazon as often?
Many people believe that we might begin moving towards a new way of working together to achieve our goals, prioritising the good of community as a whole, increased social awareness and a softer, dare I say, more feminine ideology. We can only hope!
It happened again! Boris said the word…LOCKDOWN! And we find ourselves stuck back indoors for the third time. The novelty of home baking and pub quiz nights has well and truly worn off but the reality of living and working at home has not been a completely gruelling one. After almost a year of ups and downs, make-shift home offices and video calls, we have in many ways made it work.
With out the often long, hot and over crowed commutes to work we have found more time in the day. Hobbies have been embraced, new routines established and we have all found more time for ourselves and our families. For one thing, staying at home has not been a complete drag – but as I’m sure we all do, the idea of a cold pint at the pub on a Thursday night is dreamy!
As a company we have seen an increase in productivity as we migrated to a working from home routine. Teams has indeed been a life saver for daily catch ups and the odd day in the office kept us appreciating the old ways. However, with the end in sight I, as I’m sure many of you do too, are looking for a new lease of life in your working from home routine.
As we are now ‘Solo’ workers in the sense that we work from home, there are many new hurdles we face in the working hours of the day. Prioritising tasks, taking a lunch break and not getting tunnel vision when it comes to productivity, are all challenges that face a solo worker. However, when overcome – a solo worker can create great things! Buddha, Einstein and Nietzsche are a few of the great working from home pioneers. Coincidence – I think not!
Here are some tips and tricks to help you master the soloist routine and get those light bulb moments of productive bliss:
- Establish a designated work space in your house
- Create daily list – prioritising most important to least important tasks for the day
- Drink water!
- Regular breaks from your screen – it is recommended that we should take a break from our screens every 90 mins (make a cuppa, go outside, stretch)
- Move your desk around, or change your designated work space – A new location can help productivity
- Fresh air – obviously within Government guidelines. A daily walk or workout can elevate your mood.
- Stretch! Neck shoulders and back stretches are a saviour – Why not do a group workout on your daily virtual catch ups?
A structured routine is a great way to get you through the day – especially when a lot of us are stuck inside the same four walls. But of course, with all that’s going on at the moment it’s also okay not to be okay. We miss our friends and families, holidays, gyms and pretty much everything that used to be second nature to us. We are bound to get grouchy and annoyed at the people we are around 24/7 – lucky for those with pets they have a personal therapist to confide in.
Let’s beat Blue Monday and appreciate the little things we do have now, and the bigger things we can look forward to in a post lockdown (hopefully) summer.
‘We are all incredible beings, and there’s no shame in feeling a little down every now and then. There is a place, and there are people, you can turn to when you feel like there isn’t. That place is CALM’
For more advice and tips to help get through this strange time go to – CALM
View our Retail Page
Once again we find our selves hunkered down at home, with high streets and non-essential retailers closed for business. It seems that – for the time being at least – late night Christmas shopping is a thing of the past. Marketers must look to alternative channels to engage their customers and – given that many people are working from home and have a bit more time, now is the perfect time to consider Direct Mail. Receiving a catalogue in the post can be a welcome distraction to our lockdown routines.
Consumers crave personal interaction and tangible communication, and, when executed thoughtfully, responsibly and compliantly, direct mail can deliver compelling results. Since we first descended in to lockdown earlier this year, 40% of people either agree or strongly agree that Direct Mail has become an important part of this new routine.
REaD Group’s recent work with an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer provides an example of how direct mail can and continues to be a high performing and effective channel for retailers:
“We are delighted to have seen a 86% uplift in sales from our latest direct mail catalogue, compared to the same campaign last year. This is a really good example of ongoing value delivered by well-executed direct mail – supported by data that is maintained to a very high standard – and is why we will continue to utilise this powerful channel as integral component of our marketing.”
By utilising our quality marketing data, we can help retail brands to deliver relevant and effective communication to engage, acquire and retain the best customers.
Throughout the year we have seen clients not just continue to use direct mail, but actually increase volumes as the years unfolds, and we know it works. This is also true of door-drops and partially addressed mail. Direct mail has proven to be a highly trusted and resilient channel for marketers over this uncertain time; on it’s own and as part of a multi channel approach. Increasing engagement, brand reputation and increasing ROI only scratches the surface of the benefits. Now is the time to back your brand with direct mail!
Get in touch with REaD Group today!
It has never been more crucial to ensure marketing communication is compliant, responsible and ready for 2021! Customer data is decaying at a faster rate than ever before – it’s bad news for your brands decisions, marketing campaigns and reputation. Follow our data guidelines to make this year your ‘data’ year!
You MUST remove deceased contacts to avoid distress to relatives and associated brand damage. especially in these uncertain times. Why not use a credible suppression file such as REaD Groups definitive Goneaways and Suppression files (GAS)
It’s the law to keep your supporters and prospect data clean and accurate! GDPR Article 5.1 (d) specifies explicitly that data must be kept “accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date”
Clean, accurate and good quality data means better, informed decisions and targeted campaigns for your customers this year.
Reduce campaign costs and improve delivery rate.
Good quality data is proven to enhance campaign performance – Recent work with an outdoor clothing and equipment retailer saw an 86% uplift in sales from a direct mail campaign in 2020.
Improve your campaign ROI by sending campaigns that are accurate. For both online and offline marketing, prospects should be addressed and delivered too correctly.
Protect your brand from the reputational damage caused by sending incorrectly addressed mail and mailing gone-aways. REaD Groups GAS Reactive provides verified forwarding addresses and new occupier details.
Improve customer perception and brand experience. Customers expect their data to be accurate, responsible and compliant.
It is now far easier to manage your data responsibly and maintain a high standard of accuracy and compliance. With a range of providers and a choice of services available to suit your brands needs and frequency:
- Integrated via API for real-time screening.