Download Are you addicted to bad data

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.

To read more about the legal and business imperative to maintain data quality check out our latest whitepaper

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!

See the 2020 DataIQ 100 

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.

At REaD Group we have been supporting brands with direct marketing for 30 years – we’d love to discuss how mail can help you in these challenging circumstances so please get in touch.

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.

Best regards,

Jon Cano-Lopez

CEO, REaD Group

 

We are absolutely delighted and hugely proud that REaD Group and Marie Curie have won the Best Use of Insight Award at National Fundraising Awards!

Hosted at the stunning and historic venue, The Brewery, and organised by the Institute of Fundraising, the National Fundraising Awards celebrate the very best in fundraising and are a unique opportunity to showcase excellence in the Charity fundraising sector.

It is a genuine honour that REaD Group and Marie Curie have been recognised in these prestigious awards – a reflection of the power and impact of this data and insight driven project, the Big SHIFT.

Marie Curie delivers nursing and care services across the UK, with people interacting with it through many touchpoints, from hospices to shops.  The Big SHIFT project aims to model the effect of these services on fundraising income. A team of senior analysts was established, both internal and external, comprising Steve White from Marie Curie, Scott Logie and Diane Dao from REaD Group, Colin Stewart from Caversham Analytics and Andrew Lockett, Natural Data Insight.  An example of successful collaboration and team work.

A carefully constructed methodology enabled the creation of a baseline fundraising landscape onto which Marie Curie-specific variables were overlaid. Analysis of these ‘layers’ generated predictive models that were then mapped, highlighting areas where fundraising performance is above or below expected levels, in the context of service provision in the locality. A strategically powerful tool, it has already delivered surprising and extremely effective insights.

Well done to everyone involved – a fantastic example of data and insight in action!

For the full list of winners: http://www.nationalfundraisingawards.org.uk/and-the-winner-is

6 months on post-GDPR

By Jon Cano-Lopez

So, it is 184 days – or six months if you prefer – since The General Data Protection Regulation – aka GDPR – became enforceable.

In the run up to the enforcement date – and in the months following – there has continued to be a huge amount of uncertainty and misinformation around GDPR and in some cases some down-right panic mongering.  The avalanche of re-permissioning messages in the weeks preceding May 25th was testament to a prevalence of some database damaging advice.

One data protection lawyer we know likened it to watching lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff!

However, despite the hysteria and here-say the threatened “GDPR data apocalypse” has not materialised.  And as we reflect on 2018 and the period since “GDPR day” here are some reasons to be cheerful…

Embracing the spirit of GDPR

REaD Group have been consistent in our view that GDPR is a good thing for consumers – and for business.

And six months on, our view has not changed.  In fact, we are even more confident that embracing the principles of the GDPR will only enhance direct marketing – increasing transparency and trust and leading to more positive, long term and profitable relationships between consumers and brands.

The Regulations are not about catching out businesses (who are doing the right thing!).  They are about the enforcement of practices that should be in place anyway.  Keeping your customers and their rights, privacy and preferences at the heart of your business and being transparent in how you are processing personal data will not only help to protect you from the risk of fines but also enhance your brand reputation, value and relationships.  Ultimately, if you are doing things right, it will be reflected in your bottom line.

The Data Economy is thriving

And although the reference to data being the “new oil” has been somewhat over-used, there is truth in the concept.  Projections from European Data Market Study for the growth of data economy are extremely positive, with the value of the data economy in Europe projected to be worth €739 billion by 2020.

 

The rise of the CDO!

Gartner have predicted that through 2019, 90% of large organizations will have hired a CDO.

Another indicator of the growing importance of data is the rise of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) – elevating data strategy to Board level.  The appointment of a CDO in many organisations – and across diverse industries – indicates a growing recognition of data as a driver of value and competitive advantage.  Data driven decisioning is increasingly becoming a business imperative.

Results from the latest IPA Bellwether Report also provide cause for cautious optimism, with total marketing budgets revised higher during the third quarter of 2018, extending the current period of growth to six years.

After an initial period of post-GDPR caution and inertia, there has been some signs of resurgence for direct marketing, with many businesses successfully utilising third party data and direct mail for acquisition marketing campaigns under the Legitimate Interest basis.

The industry view is also optimistic. In independently conducted research, over 78% of direct brands asked have projected equivalent or an increase in spend on data driven marketing.

Third party data – use it responsibly and reap the rewards

Well, we have been saying this for some time, but to borrow from the recently published DMA advice: Using third party data under the GDPR.   

There is nothing in the GDPR that prohibits the use of third-party data provided that it is undertaken in the right way, with the appropriate safe guards.”

The message is clear – and provides much needed clarity for marketers.   The direct marketing industry should have the confidence and conviction to continue to use responsibly sourced and permissioned third party data to optimise the quality and value of their data and data strategy.

Plus, new ways of utilising open source data have provided more opportunities to target direct marketing to addresses – using postcode level data to send partiality addressed mail.

GDPR data quality obligations – don’t bury your head in the sand!

There is a growing realisation that the data quality obligations introduced by GDPR cannot be ignored.  Article 5.1 (d) is clear – reasonable and demonstrable efforts must be made to keep all personal data held and processed by a business clean and up to date -or deleted.

Our independent survey indicated those who utilise data quality services appreciate “not having to worry about the accuracy of contact lists when launching marketing campaigns”.

And data quality is now being seen as a ‘must do’ to ensure compliance with GDPR, minimise wasted communications and limit potential reputational damage.

Rapid innovation in technology is also impacting positively on data driven marketing – with developments in DaaS, AI and machine learning delivering even greater opportunities for data optimisation, enrichment and real-time interaction.

Key take aways from the last six months?  Businesses and marketers should see GDPR as an opportunity to be more responsible and accountable, to get their data and data strategy in order – get it right and the future is bright!

The REaD Group Team accepting the Apteco Rising Star Award 2018

We were absolutely delighted to be acknowledged as Rising Star 2018 at the Apteco Partner of the Year Awards last night.

Winning this Award is the culmination of more than two years of innovation and endeavor at REaD Group and reflects a true team effort.

Having been one of the industries leading data providers for more than 25 years, adding to our service offering to help clients to maximise the effectiveness of data and how it is used, was a natural next step in the evolution of the business.

As a result we made the strategic decision to increase our capability and client base. We recruited a talented solutions team,  invested in our technical stack, defined a series of key objectives and focused our efforts in achieving them.

This Award is the culmination of more than two years of strategic endeavour at REaD Group and reflects the true team effort.

REaD Group Chairman and Founder, Mark Roy is extremely proud of the achievement, commenting : “The real triumph is in how far we have come in the last two years.  The solutions reflected by this award, that are delivering so much value to our clients, are a fantastic achievement for REaD Group – well done team!”

To be recognised as their fastest growing partner by Apteco is a credit to everyone involved and firmly establishes REaD Group as a trusted partner for the delivery of complex engagement solutions.

Much credit and congratulations to everyone involved!

by Jon Cano-Lopez, CEO at REaD Group

In response to the DMA Advice: Using third party data under the GDPR

After almost six month  since the enforcement date for the GDPR, we welcome the publication of this much needed advice from the DMA.

The clarity it provides on the use of third party data should dispel some of the hysteria and business damaging inertia caused by the ambiguous messages and conflicting advice that has abounded before and since the GDPR became enforceable in May this year.

The advice reflects a strong consensus of view from the DMA and a panel of highly experienced data industry practitioners and subject matter experts which provides further weight and reassurance to the content.

At REaD Group we have been very clear and consistent in our views on the value of the responsible use of third party data and this advice paper reinforces what we have been saying all along.

Ultimately, a responsible and common sense attitude to marketing is what is required.  If processed with respect to consumers’ interests and privacy and according to the obligations of the GDPR (appropriate LIAs etc), third party data delivers huge benefits to – and in the interests of – consumers and society.

Recent campaigns using our GDPR ready database have delivered extremely positive levels of engagement and ROI for our clients. Consumers are responsive to direct marketing IF the campaigns are targeted, relevant, timely and non intrusive.

Using the right third party data – in the right way – does work!

The direct marketing industry should have the confidence and conviction to continue to use responsibly sourced and permissioned third party data to optimise the quality and value of their data and data strategy.  As the DMA reiterates: there is nothing in the GDPR that prohibits the use of third party data provided that it is undertaken in the right way, with the appropriate safeguards. 

My key take-away from this advice?  Time for marketers to get off the fence and get marketing!  

Read the full DMA advice document here

Find out about our GDPR ready data

Photograph of REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez named on dataIQ 100 leaders 2018

LONDON 1 March 2018

We are absolutely delighted that REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez, has been confirmed as a member of the 2018 DataIQ 100 which profiles the most influential people in the data industry.

Announced at a Gala Reception at OXO Tower last night, Jon joins an impressive list of people acknowledged to have the influence, profile, experience and knowledge to drive the data-driven marketing industry.

I am delighted and flattered to be selected for the DataIQ 100.  It is an honour to be recognised and to be associated with such an impressive list of data and analytics professionals – particularly at such an exciting time for the data industry.

Jon has worked in the data industry all his career, with an impressive CV 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 and success in data communications.

He joined REaD Group in 2014, as part of the company’s exponential growth and is responsible for the strategic direction and continued success of the business – including adding some top brands to its A-list client base.

At the heart of this strategy is his belief that data sits at the heart of everything and understanding and interpreting that data is key to any brands success

In addition to building on REaD Group’s position as market leader in data cleaning and quality, he has been instrumental in developing the company’s service offerings – including an enviable insight capability and winning contracts for the delivery of Single Customer View solutions reflecting a real benchmark for REaD Group.

An advocate of utilising technology to drive innovation and deliver optimum results for clients – Jon is the driving force behind the implementation of Data as a Service (DaaS) at REaD Group.  As well as raising the bar for data quality and provision in the industry, the implementation of the GDPR throws up significant complexities for data processors and DaaS provides an elegant and equitable solution to that challenge.

Jon has been an authoritative contributor to the direct marketing 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 trusted advisor on data marketing, privacy, compliance and the GDPR.

Congratulation to Jon for this much deserved recognition!

The full 2018 DataIQ 100  can be found here

 

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.