Why marketing needs a third summer of love!
The original Summer of Love took place in 1967, when hundreds of thousands of people embraced free love, community-based ideals, mind-expanding drugs and what we would now call prog rock. The epicentre was San Francisco’s neighbourhood of Haight-Ashbury but its impact was felt all over the world and it heralded a new era of free expression and respect for social norms. Of course, the counterpoint to all of this was punk, post-punk and the birth of the best music ever made but let’s not go into that here.
The second Summer of Love was 22 years later in 1989 when acid house inspired baggy music and baggy jeans, long nights of sweaty clubs and “illegal” raves, smiley faces, Ralgex, Lucozade and a desperate need to rehydrate. Of course, the counterpoint to that was Oasis, The Strokes, Meanswear and some of the dullest music every made but again, let’s not get into that.
As lockdown lifts…
It feels like we are well overdue another Summer of Love. With the end of lockdown and the opportunity to see friends, meet people, go to festivals, enjoy a drink or three, and just be happy, is it time for a third summer of love? It might be too late for me but I am convinced there is a generation of kids desperate to make this happen, and we have seen evidence of the start of this with huge gatherings in parks and a massive outpouring of relief that people can meet again.
Obviously, this is purely speculation and maybe it won’t happen as a social phenomenon but it should happen from a marketing point of view. We have just come through some of the toughest times as an industry. People have lost jobs, agencies have closed down, we have lost some of the biggest brands on the high street and others are really toiling.
However, there have been a few things that I have seen which gives me great hope that we can not only return to pre-pandemic spend levels but, maybe, supersede these.
Loyalty is key
First of all, loyalty has really come to the fore in the last year. I don’t mean gathering of points and air miles but real, genuine, love for brands, locations and people. I live near a small market town and the way that the community has rallied round the local businesses has been astounding. People have been visiting the town every day even with nothing open. Click and collect is thriving, the coffee shops are run off their feet with takeaways and there have been small markets popping up to sell local produce.
People are choosing the brands, stores and more that they want to see survive and are effectively paying to make sure that happens. I am sure we are not the only household to have bought stuff we don’t really need (clothes to wear for imaginary nights out for example) because we want to have the choice to buy from these places again in the future. Surely this is a sign of real love?
Secondly, the pandemic has forced a huge amount of innovation. For example, my friend who runs a small brewery had always planned to have a direct to consumer offering but had no need until last summer. Now we can buy direct from him (and we do, regularly) and drink his fine beer at home. Many smaller retailers have done the same. Granted, it was out of necessity but as a result, consumer choice has massively increased. We can spread our love, as it were.
Does this mean the death of the high street? I am not convinced. Clearly it will mean a rationalisation of the high street, but when you see the queues of people outside shops in recent days and weeks, you can see that physical shopping is a hobby for many people and that won’t change. But it does mean much more choice for the consumer and more variety in the ways that we engage with brands.
Engage with consumers where they are
Which brings me to my third reason for hope. Over the last year we have seen a rise in more traditional marketing techniques. For example, the ongoing decline in the use of direct mail has stopped and we saw a small increase in spend in 2020. That’s not a surprise as consumers were at home, some other media channels – such as outdoor and events – had had to stop, and it makes sense to speak to people where they are based.
What I do hope is that it makes marketers, and agencies, consider their audience and where to engage with them rather than just following a trend and the latest thing that is new and exciting. I have heard much more talk of customer journeys, audience segments, matching want and need, and multi-channel approach than in a long time. Marketers have always known that these principles are what should be getting followed but that didn’t stop massive amounts of money being spent on mass targeting through Facebook or Google because it was fashionable.
And, of course, as a data geek, I am always happy when customer knowledge is at the heart of decision making.
When you combine all of these factors, from a marketing point of view we have a fascinating summer ahead. A summer where the loyalty that consumers have shown to the brands they have supported through all of this is rewarded; where brands and consumers can connect directly without the need of an intermediary; and where marketers focus on the people they want to have a relationship with, and embrace them while knowing more about how they are and what they are interested in. Quite possibly the recipe for a third summer of love perhaps?
To find the full article go to – Why marketing needs a third summer of love | CustomerThink
The Coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdowns has seen a boom in pet ownership across the UK, and this has seen more consumer spending on pets than ever before!
Spend on pet food, treats, medicine, insurance, vet care, bedding, toys, day care, grooming and related charities have spiked dramatically, creating a growing opportunity for associated brands.
To support this key trend in consumer behaviour, REaD Group have developed a series of in-depth data sets to support brands who want to target pet owners for relevant products and services.
REaD Group hold data to identify:
- Pet owners
- Pet insurance renewal dates
- Has pet insurance
- Owns Cat
- Owns Dog
- Pet food purchases
- Animal charity supporter
- And social media listening to identify those that post about a pet
With our depth and accuracy of pet specific data we can provide a host of insight, enhancement and linking products to help your brand engage and acquire the best customers for you!
To find out more about our bespoke data services go to our pet suppliers page or please contact us today!
Phone: 020 7089 6400
Your data is decaying at a faster rate than ever before – bad data is bad news for your business decisions, marketing campaigns and brand!
- Make more informed decisions and more targeted campaigns
- Improve campaign performance
- Reduce campaign costs
- Improve delivery rate
- Increase ROI
- Protect your brand
- Improve customer perception and brand experience
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 your data clean, compliant and ready for action!
Discover REaD Group’s suite of data cleaning products here
Or explore our trusted data solutions here
And that’s the way the cookie crumbles!
With the data landscape changing at an immense speed, the news that third-party cookies will be no more by 2022 is BIG NEWS! But let’s not despair. The data bots we use for tracking, measuring and personalisation may not be the be-all-and-end-all for digital marketing.
So, what are cookies?
Cookies are analytical data stored on your computer, phone or tablet through a web browser to enhance digital experiences for consumers and aid marketers in measuring activity. Cookies and other tracking assets enable personalisation through adverts and pop-ups by collecting information about consumer behaviour. They come in all different shapes and sizes and enable brands, domains and browsers to tailor what information is presented to a particular consumer based on their data history.
- Zero-party data – is data that a consumer has proactively shared with the brands, collected through purchasing, or signing up to communications
- First-party cookies – are created by the brand or website whenever a user visits the site.
- Second-party cookies – are transferred from one brand (the brand or website that collected the data as first-party cookie) and transfers it to another company via a data transfer
- Third-party cookies – refer to the data that is collected by a third party (not the brand or webpage). These cookies are typically used for advertising purposes. For example, when you search on a web browser for a red jumper and then the next time you read a blog online, there is an ad for red jumpers? That is based on third-party cookie tracking.
However, giving advertisers, agencies and brands the opportunity to track consumer behaviour has raised concerns. With consumers demanding more privacy and power over their personal data since the introduction of GDPR; laws, regulations and big tech organisations are addressing the way third-party cookies should be used. Or indeed, if they should be used at all.
What are the main drivers pushing changes for third-party cookie tracking?
- Consumer privacy
- Browser changes
- Ad blocking
- Laws and regulations
80% of consumers state that they are more likely to spend with a brand that they believe uses their data responsibly. And 70% of consumers say more personal forms of brand engagement such as DM and email makes them feel more valued than third-party cookie personalisation.
Companies that process personal data must comply with GDPR regulations. This means consumers must give consent for their cookies to be used, and by the sound of it, the majority are already looking to brands that use more personal channels of communication.
Many big tech companies such as Google, Safari and Firefox are now taking
ownership of their own cookie tracking.
Safari are blocking all third-party cookie tracking.
Google has always allowed users to block third-party cookies. By 2022 all Chrome browsers will block third-party cookie tracking.
Firefox sells itself as a secure browser and as of 2019, blocked all third-party cookies.
To date, 30% of internet users already use an ad blocking service. With the rise in consumer privacy awareness, this number will only rise as we move towards a cookie free 2022.
So, what does this means for the future of cookies?
Over the years marketers and advertisers have relied on cookies for website tracking, improved consumer journeys and data collection for ad targeting. The removal of third-party cookies will become a roadblock for many marketers and advertisers, but, it is also an opportunity to build consumer trust and transparency. Businesses should now look to acquire first and zero-party data allowing them to directly identify personalisation preferences and progressive profiling directly from the consumer.
How can you do this in your organisation?
Overall, marketers need to shift to a privacy-first policy; apply open, transparent, and trusted messaging on how the brand will collect, share and process data moving forward. With the reduction in performance data from online and social media, marketers need to create new strategies to report on customer engagement via browsers, and with a plethora of online metrics suites, this is a walk in the park.
In conclusion – ensure privacy, trust and transparency is now at the forefront of your marketing plans.
Here are the 8 questions you should ask when choosing a data provider!
Businesses need data to survive. And that has never been more true than it is today.
The first party data you collect and hold is an extremely valuable asset – as long as you are applying the right insight! But when it comes to acquiring new prospects and customers, why limit the scale and profitability of your campaigns? If you choose your data partner wisely, third party data can help you to find more of your best customers, drive more informed decisions and deliver ROI.
54% of business leaders asked believe third-party data is valuable for enhancing the data that they hold in their organization.
The devil is in the due diligence
So, it’s clear that third party data can help businesses to gain even more value from their marketing activity. But how do you find quality data?
As with any important purchase it is imperative to do thorough research. When it comes to buying marketing data you should apply strict due diligence before you select a supplier – or repent at leisure.
Here are some of the qualifying questions you should always ask when you are choosing your data provider:
Source and provenance
How is the data collected and what is the source? You should also ask for confirmation of the collection methods and audit trails to ensure the principles of the regulation have been meet and the data is being processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
Your supplier should be able to provide you with the permission statement used at the point of collection.
Validation and Due Diligence processes
Ask for confirmation of the validation process. A provider with nothing to hide should be able to provide on request an outline of their due diligence process and the steps they take to ensure their data fully satisfies legislative requirements.
When was the last engagement?
Is the data accurate and up to date? Has it been screened against a reliable suppression file to remove deceased and Gone Away contacts to meet GDPR data quality requirements?
Check out their creds and ask peers for a recommendation or ask to speak to an existing customer of the supplier for a candid view.
Ask for some examples of the results and case studies – especially if you are using the data for acquisition campaigns.
Do they offer a trial?
If you are new to buying data or using a new supplier – ask if you can run a trial campaign to test the quality of the data.
If a supplier can’t answer these key questions…approach with caution. It is important to remember that at the heart of GDPR is transparency, accountability and the fundamental rights to process data. It is the minimum you should expect from a reputable data provider.
About REaD Group
REaD Group have been supportive of the GDPR from its inception and we are proud to say that our due diligence is the best and most thorough in the UK.
All contributors must pass our strict Data Compliance Due Diligence Audit and GDPR rules before REaD Group will accept the data. The audits for existing and prospective data contributors also include the following verifications and checks for compliance:
- Contributor’s legality, location and contact details
- Contributor’s Professional membership, accreditations and certifications (ICO, DMA, ISO) registration
- How contributors deal with enquiries, complaints, data subject access requests etc.
- Full Permission statement audit including audit of all permission statements, FPN and privacy policies served at point of data collection which are provided in our unique Online Permission Library
- Details of how the permissioned data was originally captured and channel collection methods
- Asking suppliers to confirm information security practices and that data is processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of personal data
REaD Group’s compliance team also carry out 6 monthly audits on the data provided, requiring contributors to provide full details of when and how the data subject’s permission for their data to be passed onto a third party was obtained to ensure collection methods remain compliant and align to the principles of the regulation.
Not all data providers are created equal so choose wisely!
If you’d like to know more about quality marketing data contact us today!
We are delighted to announce the launch of a new iteration of our market-leading online, self-service data management platform, REaDOnline, including a transformational redesign.
REaDOnline enables brands and businesses of any size – from SME to enterprise – to efficiently and effectively manage and maximise the value of their customer and prospect data. Via REaDOnline, organisations can access the most comprehensive and trusted data available in the UK to validate, clean, update and enhance their data.
To further improve the platform, REaD Group has made a number of enhancements, including a completely redesigned interface, with a fresh and clean look and feel to deliver an enhanced user experience; and improved performance to make the platform more responsive and deliver improved processing capability.
For users, the reporting has been redesigned to provide a clearer top-level summary, while more options on how the results are presented – as stats or visually – have been added. The accompanying job results email will also have a new look. REaDOnline users will also enjoy an improved account area, including access to users, job history, costs and licenses.
“The launch of the new iteration of the REaDOnline platform raises the bar for self-service data management,” commented REaD Group’s CEO Jon Cano-Lopez. “By combining market-leading data with great tech and a user-friendly interface with guided data processing routines, new REaDOnline enables businesses of any size to optimise the quality of their data and ensure they are compliant with data legislation with ease.”
The new platform is now live with user guide and other support materials available to help existing and new users. To find out more about REaDOnline, click here or get in touch with the REaD Group team
Leading data and insight company REaD Group and InfoSum, the world’s leading decentralised marketing infrastructure have today announced a partnership that will make REaD’s UK-wide comprehensive and permissioned database of online and offline consumer data available for brands, publishers and more to discover new insights and improve audience targeting.
InfoSum empowers companies to unlock the full potential of their data by enabling collaboration between data-rich companies. Through a decentralised infrastructure, brands, media owners, data owners and other enterprise companies can connect data without ever sharing it. InfoSum’s identity infrastructure allows REaD to make its accurate, responsible and diverse third-party data available for companies to match first-party customer data to highly valuable interest and behavioural data to enrich their customer understanding. By removing the need to share or commingle any data, the privacy of the end consumer is protected, as is the security of each data set.
REaD’s marketing database is the most comprehensive and trusted source of marketing data in the UK, with hundreds of selectable variables that can be used to create highly targeted and timely campaigns. The database is multi-contributor and permissioned specifically for marketing. It combines hundreds of lifestyle variables covering demographics, interests, hobbies, behavioural and attitudinal insights, channel preferences and geo-demographics to help target campaigns at every level.
In addition, social media and open source data is added to create genuinely unique variables that can be appended at different geographic levels. This insight provides advertisers with the ability to understand how many of their key segments are available to match against media owner first-party data, enabling accurate media planning, without the need to exchange any data.
For the first month after launch, access to REaD Group’s data variables will be provided free of charge by InfoSum for brands and media owners to generate audience insights, providing them with a rare opportunity to see the value of the data set before making a commitment to partner.
Jon Cano Lopez, CEO of REaD Group, commented, ”We are excited to partner with InfoSum and provide advertisers with a privacy-first way to better target their campaigns using a one-to-one match against our comprehensive database. It also ensures publishers can maximise the value of their engaged audiences. We look forward to close collaboration over the coming months as we work with mutual advertisers and publishers on their many use cases.”
Stuart Colman, VP Sales at InfoSum, added: “We’re delighted to have REaD Group make their data available to brands and media owners in a privacy-safe way through InfoSum’s data collaboration platform. REaD Group’s extensive audience insights will enable companies to enrich their first-party data and continue to deliver relevant advertising experiences in the cookieless world, while respecting the trust and privacy of consumers.”
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!
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!
Anyone remember those TV adverts, with a guy trying to disguise himself as a new customer in order to get a better deal from a brand he already buys from? I can’t remember the brand it is advertising, but it strikes a familiar chord. We have all suffered the frustration of being suckered in by a great introductory rate only to get screwed on the year two cost. In fact, one of my friends was lamenting recently about how his one-year introductory price from his broadband provider was over and now the price was being hiked up.
At the same time, the Government has encouraged energy suppliers, banks and mobile phone providers to make it easier to switch. All you need to do now is send a text to move your mobile provider and it is incumbent on the bank to move all your Direct Debits to make it easier.
In the insurance sector, the aggregators have completely broken the model. Switching and checking prices across suppliers is easy. To win business, insurers are cutting costs and losing money on year one. This has created some bad PR, and new legislation to ensure that existing customers are not penalised is being suggested. To be fair, there has been a lot of activity recently to try and rectify this balance, and convince existing customers that they are getting as good a deal as new customers. That may even be what the advert is trying to tell us.
Attracting new customers is hard!
Despite all of this, and maybe what this shows, is that attracting new customers to your brand is hard. There is more competition than ever before. New entrants are increasing across all markets, many of whom need to “buy” new customers to demonstrate scale, as well as intermediaries who promise to find new customers at cheaper costs.
During the ‘80s, there was an adage that attracting new customers was six times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. I’d love someone to look at doing that calculation now. I would wager the price to acquire has gone down but that the movement between brands has increased massively.
As part of my role at the DMA on the Customer Engagement Committee, we have been looking at the role that brand engagement plays in the acquisition of new customers. It has thrown up some really interesting insights. What the brands who have a low year one cost are relying on is inertia: that once we move to a brand we won’t change. And in general, that is true, although inertia does vary by sector. However, 70% of people in the DMA survey said that they would consider moving if there was a better price available. So, while that inertia still exists, by chasing customers with lower prices we are actually creating more switchers every year – the irony.
The role of brand and channel
It is also true that brand plays a big part in acquisition. Only around 25% of people consider new brands when they are looking to buy for the first time. Having exposure to a brand name and feeling confident that they are quality and secure makes a difference. So new entrants do struggle, which is probably why they compete on cost.
The other interesting area is around channel and how brands find new customers. Nearly three-quarters of consumers chose email as either their first or second most preferred way to receive comms from new brands and nearly half suggested post was their favourite. At REaD Group we spend a lot of time helping people recruit new customers. And most of that happens through very traditional media channels – direct mail, telephone and e-mail.
We have a travel client, for example, who do really well recruiting new customers using PPC, SEO and digital display, but also do really well with off-the-page adverts. We worked with them to introduce good old direct mail into the mix – primarily to drive new brochure requests. And the results have been stunning, with people buying expensive holidays straight off the mailing. The ROI is over 500 to 1 and growing with each campaign.
While it is clear that what are generally considered as newer and more exciting media channels such as programmatic, social media and digital TV are playing an ever-increasing role in acquisition, what is also clear is that great use of data and targeting “offline” also works well. And actually, in reality, the clever brands are those that use all media channels to engage and then convert new customers.
As individuals we don’t think of channels at all. What we see are adverts for new and interesting products delivered in the most relevant ways. Whether that is on our favourite sites, on Facebook, through the post or in our inbox will depend on us as people. One size does not fit all!
So, overall, maybe chasing new customers based on price works but probably not for the long term. In the longer term, whether you are a new and exciting disruptor or an established brand looking to consolidate your market share, building a programme that starts with the brand and is backed with well targeted direct communications across a range of relevant channels is going to create a much more sustainable outcome.
Getting to know your customer
And at the heart of this is knowing the customer, knowing where they spend their time, what they are like and what they respond to. Whether inbound or outbound, the more we know about the consumer, the better our marketing will be. And this is equally true for new prospects as it is for existing customers.
In general, brands know a lot about their customers, particularly the behaviour they exhibit both in terms of how they come to buy the product they have and also what they buy while a customer. For example, brands like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have had detailed insights for years due to loyalty schemes. Online brands can see every transaction and tie it to an individual, they can see what is browsed before buying, how they have found the brand, and which offer they have come in on.
However, whether they understand their customers outside the context of their brand is up for debate. There is so much more to a person than what they buy from one brand. There is definitely a role for data sharing to help understand consumers more. Before GDPR there was the idea of data triangulation where brands considered swapping data to help infill what they don’t know. GDPR has pretty much killed this idea so that then leaves third party data and what can be done to enhance what is known about a customer.
Fortunately, there is more data than ever before that can be used inside what is legal, and what is ethically right, to enhance what brands know about their customers, where they live and the areas the live in. Third party data, open source data and other non-PII data can be transformative if applied correctly and intelligently.
No one needs to wear a disguise anymore: brands should know enough about both prospects and customers to be fair, clear and transparent on pricing.
With our data and insight, REaD Group can tell you more about your customers and prospects that any other provider.