The GDPR came into effect well over two years ago, but understanding its finer points still remains a challenge for many marketers. The lawfulness of processing data (covered in great detail in Article 6 of the GDPR) and in particular the appropriate application of consent and legitimate interest, continue to present challenges and questions.

For example, assessing which is the most appropriate basis to apply  and how this might impact their marketing activities, including direct marketing, advertising and so on.

While the scare stories of hefty fines and pre-GDPR panic has largely died down, many businesses are still getting to grips with GDPR. It is unlikely that many are fully compliant as they try to interpret the regulations and how best to apply them to marketing activities.

It is important to remember that the GDPR is a principals-based regulation and while the definitions are explicit, they do not provide specific directives of how to apply them when collecting, processing, storing and using data. That means that responsibility for these decisions sits with the data and marketing professionals who are processing the data on behalf of their businesses Because GDPR doesn’t say how to apply the definitions, marketers still need to know how to make informed decisions and justify them.

So, how can marketers ensure their data processing is transparent, compliant and responsible? And how do they align their legal, compliance, governance, IT and marketing teams in order to meet the data protection regulation and educate them on how to use and process data?

It’s a case for education and process. Marketers must now be very well acquainted with data protection law and know how to apply the regulations to their specific activities. But they also need to be able balance their business objectives and KPIs, while not contravening the regulations. Data Controllers and Processors must now be more responsible and accountable when it comes to processing personal data, and they must be able to record processing activities and evidence the rationale for the legal basis they select.

Even experienced marketers and data and compliance professionals are questioning every action and decision regarding customer and prospect communications in the context of the GDPR:

  • What is the best lawful basis to use or choose from?
  • How do I choose which is the most appropriate?
  • Do I need to write an LIA?
  • Does my organisation need to be named when purchasing data for prospecting?
  • How do we ensure we have protected the consumers’ fundamental rights?

The list goes on….

So it is no wonder that 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.

Already a double award winning project, the Marie Curie Big SHIFT project continues to get well deserved recognition with a shortlist spot in the hotly contested Transformation with Data category in the 2020 DataIQ Awards.

It is testament to the impressive execution and outcomes of the project that has seen it shortlisted together with an impressive list of brands and Agencies, including ekino, JCURV, Looker, Ralph Lauren and Highways Agency.

A genuinely unique and ambitious insight project, the Big SHIFT (Services and Hospices Impacting Fundraising Teams) was the culmination of an investigation launched to understand and model how the provision of Marie Curie’s services on the ground affects localised fundraising performance.

The project used advanced predictive modelling and mapping techniques, using anonymised Marie Curie datasets, Open Source and third-party data.

Mapped income data suggested that a relationship between fundraising performance and the provision of local services existed.  The challenge was to model fundraising income at a local level and to better understand the potential for growing fundraising.

The results provided Marie Curie with unique insights, proving that fundraising income is impacted by the charity’s services, and identified powerful links between:

  • the location of branded shops and legacy income
  • in-home nursing services and hospices and local fundraising
  • numbers helped by Marie Curie and donations from that area

For the first time, Marie Curie’s fundraising performance can be related directly to the distribution of its service provisions, engaging and motivating the entire charity.

The insights derived from this analysis have helped Marie Curie to make some key strategic decisions that have transformed their ways of working.

Congratulations to everyone involved for the much deserved recognition and kudos reflected in being shortlisted for this award.

REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez commented: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Marie Curie and be involved in this unique and transformative project. The Big SHIFT is a fantastic example of the power of data led insight and team work. We look forward to continuing to support Marie Curie with this and other projects.”

Read more about this multi award winning project.

Get in touch to explore how the right insight can transform your business.

Coming out of lockdown is presenting many challenges for businesses and organsiations of all types.  Of course, being aware of your business environment has always been key to success. Knowledge of your customer base at local and national level has in the past been focused on maximising marketing and sales opportunities and operational efficiencies.

You can now add on to this the fundamental requirement of customer and staff safety – how to open and operate safely within a Covid-19 world.  And clearly, decisions made regarding the re-opening of business will be key to a responsible and successful emergence from lockdown.

To support businesses to make more informed decisions, REaD Group data partner More Metrics have developed a new set of models to track Covid-19 risk factors. For these models, More Metrics has used its existing and new datasets to create 20 risk measures relevant to Covid-19. The risks cover a number of dimensions, including:

Age and Household Composition
Mortality and Co-morbidity
Economic Resilience
Risk Engagement
Infection Rate

By combining this data with Ppublic Health England (PHE) Pillar 1 and 2  test data More Metrics have created risk models at a range of geographic levels.

These unique models can help you to answer key questions, including:

  • What is the infection risk now in any of the areas that I operate in and where my customers and staff live?
  • What is the infection risk going forward in these areas and how might it differ with other areas?
  • How should I vary my actions over the coming weeks to minimise any infection risks and help get our operations up and running as soon as possible?

The data will also:

  • Provide up to date estimates of key information at local level
  • Support risk assessments for reopening customer facing and other business locations
  • Support resource allocation and management focus based on reliable data for specific locations
  • Allow you to benchmark your own area against other areas in the UK

See the data in action using our bespoke interactive dashboard of the Covid-19 risk model.

If you are interested in licensing this unique data to make more responsible and informed decisions please contact our team today.

Data quality is more important than it has ever been. Ensuring that the customer and prospect data that you hold is accurate, up to date and compliant is a benchmark of responsible data management and marketing. Consumers expect it, the law requires it and it delivers massive cost savings, better ROI and reduces the risk of brand damage.

A key part of maintaining the quality of the consumer data you hold is the identification and suppression of individuals who have moved from the address you have in your database – using a credible suppression file such as REaD Groups definitive Gone Away Suppression file (GAS).

Why compromise the success of your campaigns and risk the reputation of your business by continuing to send communications to individuals using their old address?

Using a credible gone away suppression service will bring many business benefits:

• Reduce campaign costs and improve ROI
• Prevent the brand damage  caused by sending mail addressed to previous occupants
• Help you to adhere to the data quality requirement under Data Protection Act 2018
• Help you to keep in touch with customers and supporters and maximise retention and LTV

Read  more about Why gone-away suppression is a must!

Contact our team to find out more about using the Gone Away Suppression file (GAS) 

We are delighted that our data and insight work on The Big SHIFT project – with  our fantastic charity client, Marie Curie – has now also been recognised in the 2020 DataIQ Awards shortlist for the Transformation with Data category.

With two awards under its belt already, the Big SHIFT aka Services & Hospices Impacting Fundraising Teams represents a powerful data and insight project that is unique, collaborative and genuinely transformative.

The outcomes of the insight provided have fundamentally shifted assumptions within the charity and enabled greater collaboration between different teams and more informed decisions.

“We believe the Big SHIFT is the most robust and detailed insight project ever carried out by Marie Curie’s Fundraising division. Not only do we better understand the main drivers of fundraising, but we also have the capability to apply this understanding operationally at a local level.”

Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement, Meredith Niles, Marie Curie

The awards ceremony is being held as an online event on 30th September.

Read our case study to find out more about this unique and transformational insight led project

Part of Rare Consulting’s COVID-19 Emerging Trends Series and with contribution from REaD Group’s Customer Engagement Director, Scott Logie, Grey Expectations: How Brands can Create Sustainable Growth with Consumers Aged 55+ explores why businesses need to get serious about targeting the older generations – particularly online, where many have shopped during the pandemic and now intend to stay.

This means showing more empathy of what marks them out as being different to other age groups; recognising their needs and desires; and understanding their choice drivers. Our findings have implications not just on how we communicate to them but also how we build services that create long-term value for brands and consumers.

“The industry talks about over-55s as being one group. But to treat 17 million people in the same way is madness. Segment and research them as a non-homogenous group of people.“There will need to be some experimentation with customer engagement and experience for this age group, depending on your product type. One of the things they still crave is human experiences. A challenge for retail and e-commerce is to humanise engagement. If they want to chat, they want to chat to a person, about price and options. You can’t yet do that with an automated chat function.”
Scott Logie Customer Engagement Director, REaD Group

Find out how empathy, engagement and customer experience are the keys to marketing to the over-55s

Download the paper

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Keeping your data clean and accurate has never been more important for your business. Removing deceased contacts and gone-aways is the right thing to do to to adhere to legislation and responsible marketing practices. Ensuring data is accurate will also improve campaign targeting, reduce costs and increase ROI. And it has never been easier to achieve  and maintain.

Here are just 10 good reasons to make data quality a priority in your business!

Your data is decaying at a faster rate than ever before – bad data is bad news for your business decisions, marketing campaigns and brand!

You MUST remove deceased contacts to avoid unnecessary distress to relatives and associated brand damage caused by continuing to contact deceased individuals.

It’s the law to keep your customer 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, more informed decisions and more targeted campaigns.

Good quality data is proven to improve campaign performance.

Reduce campaign costs and improve delivery rate by removing inaccurate data.

Improve campaign ROI by only sending campaigns that are accurately addressed and delivered to the right individual.

Protect your brand from the reputational damage caused by sending incorrectly addressed mail and mailing goneaways.

Improved customer perception and brand experience. Consumers expect their data to be accurate and managed responsibly and compliantly.

It has never been easier to manage your data responsibly and maintain a high standards for accuracy and compliance. With a choice of providers and a range of services available to suit any requirements and frequency – managed, self-service, automated, integrated via API for real-time screening – there really is no excuse not to keep you data clean, compliant and ready for action!

DOWNLOAD CHECKLIST

To talk to the data cleaning experts at REaD today to find the best data quality solution for you .

By Scott Logie

One of the outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic and daily reporting of related stats is that we have probably all become quite a bit better acquainted with data. At the very least I’m pretty sure that almost everyone understands what the ‘R rate’ is.

Given that all this data is available, it is a surprise then that few organisations seems to be using this data in a marketing context. Now, more than ever, tailored, sensitive and responsible marketing communications are crucial. And the point is that we have the data available to drive it.  Despite this, examples of organisations who are doing so seem to be few and far between.

For good example of how data can be a powerful driver for impactful decision-making – take what has happened in Leicester in the last week.

As has been widely reported, Leicester is the first city in the UK to have their lockdown status increased. This situation could potentially have been avoided had the data been available so that local authorities could have sent out early warnings to help to minimised the chances of infection and lockdown.  Having the right data to hand allows one to be reactive to an ever-changing situation and to make better decisions. 

The world has changed dramatically – with less face-to-face contact and a corresponding increase in digital services – at the same time many individuals are newly suffering from financial difficulties. More than ever, brands need to be targeting different audiences according to their different needs, and the data exists to help them do just that.

Research from Kantar shows that only 8% of consumers think brands need to stop advertising during the COVID-19 outbreak, but their expectations of how a brand should be helping them are huge: 78% believe brands should help them in their daily lives; 75% said brands should inform people of what they are doing and 74% said companies should not exploit the situation.

We’ve talk often about the power of direct mail to reach people at home. Mail reaches everyone, engenders trust and gives reassurance, has a tangible impact, drives interaction and gets people online – there is plenty of research and stats from the Royal Mail to back this up.

Direct mail should never be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. As with all communication, it should be tailored differently to different audiences – especially those who are vulnerable audiences, the recently unemployed, the furloughed and the self-employed. Each of these audiences has very different needs, and brands must be aware of these. And identifying these is now very easy, thanks to data!

Since April 2020, REaD Group data partner More Metrics has made available datasets that estimate COVID-19 risk factors and infection rates across the UK at a neighbourhood level. These datasets contain 20 different measures of risk at a range of local geographies, using open source and GDPR-compliant data from REaD Group.

Not only can this data give you a greater insight into your customer base at local and national level, enabling you to maximise marketing and sales opportunities and operational efficiencies, but as you prepare to come out of lockdown, you can now add to this the fundamental requirement of customer and staff safety: in other words, how to open and operate safely within a COVID-19 world.

This data is free to use for a range of geographical areas including Parliamentary Constituency, Ward and CCG. If more granular data is required, the data is available at Postcode and attached to over 50m individual consented consumers.

Find out how REaD Group can help you to apply this data to make sensible, sensitive decisions and inform your marketing strategy, supporting data-driven decisions and responsible marketing.  Get in touch today! 

Scott Logie is customer engagement director at REaD Group.

 

 

 

 

While perusing Twitter a couple of weeks ago, I came across a tweet that caught my eye.  No, not another amusing clip of dog chasing its tail or a cat in a hat but a note from a women who had just received a letter addresses to her husband. The letter was to advise him that, as he had been identified as being in a vulnerable category – due to an underlying condition – he should self-isolate to protect himself from Covid-19.

Why is that worthy of a post on Twitter you may ask?  Well, it turns out her husband had sadly passed away 4 years ago – yes FOUR YEARS AGO!  From the tone of the Tweet it sounded like she didn’t know whether to cry or laugh but ultimately, she was left with a negative impression of the sender – as would anyone in a similar situation or just reading the tweet.

This is a shocking example of bad data management having a very real impact on an individual.  Clearly, the potential for causing unnecessary distress is huge – and I suspect this experience is being replicated in thousands of households across the UK.  For many, sadly the loss will be a lot more recent than four years ago – and as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  With even more potential for causing pain and creating the worst impression!

And it is not just local authorities who could be inadvertently sending out communications to deceased individuals.  Retail, financial service and utility providers and not-for-profits are also sending out communications to deceased individuals via mail and email.  Everything from mail order catalogues, special offers, subscriptions, charity appeals to travel brochures and other well-meaning communications. These are, naturally, being received, opened and read by relatives and loved ones.  A formula for distress and bad press.

Of course, any distress and damage is unintentional –  as you would assume that no businesses would knowingly send communications to a deceased individual.  Here lies the biggest frustration of this scenario – it is very easily avoided if the right data management practices are in place.

It may not be the sexiest aspect of data –  but data cleansing should categorically be a fundamental aspect of data management practices for all government bodies, businesses and not-for-profits.

With a choice of different providers and a range of services available to suit any requirements and frequency – managed, self-service, automated, integrated via API for real-time screening – there really is no excuse to be contacting deceased individuals!

Don’t be the cause of unnecessary distress and protect your reputation by implementing a regular deceased screening service ASAP.  Especially given the current circumstances – why risk it?

Find out about REaD Group’s market leading data cleaning and deceased screening.

More about The Bereavement Register and TBR Daily

REaD Group team at the start of the Thames Bridge Trek 2019 supporting CALM

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.