New changes to I0S and what it means for marketers!

Apple’s latest i0S 15 update has certainly caused a stir for marketers trying to reach consumers using Apple devices. The new changes include Hide My Email and Privacy Relay, giving consumers the option to limit or prevent data sharing from their devices, masking emails and internet addresses, and hiding unique identifiers for online tracking. This change will make consumer opt-ins more precious than ever, especially for those using Apple email apps. But marketers will do what marketers do best – evolve!

In short, Apple users will now be able to:
  • Turn off open tracking
  • Hide their IP addresses
  • Hide their email addresses
And this will impact:
  • The reliability of open rates – They are still relevant but don’t measure campaign success from them
  • The accuracy of open times
  • The precision of automation
  • Stop senders from using invisible pixels to collect open and IP addresses
  • A/B testing will be impacted, so the removal of i0s devices from testing is recommended
So how many consumers are impacted by this new update?

58% of email consumers and 90.5% of all mobile users (that use an apple email) will be impacted by the latest update, with at least 90% of those users expected to opt-in to the new privacy settings. Why so much? The latest update will present Apple users with a clear opt-in message after the upload is complete, typically asking, “do you want to protect your email or not”. In the age of privacy-first technology, it is no surprise that so many are predicted to choose this new privacy feature.

Remember, this only impacts consumers using the Apple mail app!

Email marketing with i0S:

It’s not all doom and gloom! The new i0S 15 changes are no doubt changing the marketing landscape for email campaigns moving forward. Here are a few top tips to prepare for a new way of emailing with i0S 15.

  1. Segment your data – understand the density of apple users in your database.
  2. Measure clicks over delivered.
  3. Track open rates from the previous year to create a post line for future campaigns.
  4. Segment your data from previous email campaigns – consumers with a better engagement rate are less likely to opt-in to the new privacy settings.
  5. Rely on clicks for re-engagement campaign tracking.
  6. Bounce rates are your friends – this will help you measure changes to your campaigns.
  7. Ensure you have a clear Preference Centre.
  8. Identify alternative data you will need to bring in, like web data, other customer data – better relevance.
  9. Maintain email best practices; just because opens are going away is not an excuse to sending crazy as email platforms will likely still measure and filter your email accordingly.

And finally, embrace personalisation! Even though the new update will filter emails to an randomized email created by the Hide My Email feature of i0S 15, a personalised email is far more likely to be engaged with.


REaD Group presents our unique Switcher model

Built using the most accurate and comprehensive consumer data universe in the UK


REaD Group’s Switcher model allows the segmentation of a customer database to identify the propensity or an individual or household to switch from their existing provider.

Ideal for utilities and telecoms companies, our Switcher model offers a unique solution for both acquisition and retention, which also includes selection for channel preference to further improve your campaign performance. In addition bespoke model refinement can be conducted by REaD Group utilising client data to enhance model performance.

REaD Group hold the most comprehensive, clean, accurate and responsive permissioned consumer marketing data available in the UK. Apply this data to drive your acquisition and retention strategies.

REaD Prospect – we can create the perfect prospect pool using our unique set of variables, combining data from a wide variety of trusted sources including demographics, property details, interests and attitudinal data.

REaD Enhance – we can tell you more about your customers than any other data company! Apply that knowledge to your customer base to ensure your communications are targeted, relevant and profitable.

Our data provides granular details at household and individual level to support acquisition and retention.

  • Propensity to switch
  • Loyalty indicators
  • Energy usage – gas and electricity
  • Household variables including house type and number of
  • Household composition including presence of children
  • Demographics & lifestyle variables
  • Affluence markers

How many new customers will you find?
REaD Group Switcher model is available for immediate testing, contact us now to set up a trial




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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 Group’s 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?

Reduce campaign costs and improve ROI

Mailing goneaways will hit you where it hurts – in the pocket! Continuing to send mail to individuals at their old address is a waste of your marketing budget.

The following case study is based on real campaign metrics:
  • Client A has a database of 1 million records selected for an acquisition mailing campaign
  • Suppression flagging using the GAS file identified 10% of the individuals in the database had changed address
  • That’s 100k individuals flagged and suppressed as goneaways
  • Based on their pack price of £0.50 removing those goneaways saved £50,000
  • Even if the response rate from those you suppress is a quarter of the rest of the file (and that is high), you are spending £50k unnecessarily and which could be deployed in better performing channels
Risk of brand damage of sending mail addressed to previous occupants

“I have received a letter to my address in someone else’s name. Please help – I am concerned someone is using my address fraudulently.”

Sending mail to old addresses risks the reputation of your organisation. At best, the receipt of mail addressed to someone not currently at the address will be the cause of irritation – and risks your mailing becoming a regular feature in the recycle bin. And worse, it is the cause of anxiety around address mis-use and identity theft.

There is always the argument that “the person who has moved in will look like one of my good prospects anyway so they will probably respond”. Actually, the chances of gaining a new customer or supporter is unlikely.

Avoiding being the cause of irritation, distress and damage to your brand’s reputation by continuing to contact individuals at their old address is easy and cost effective so why risk it?

Legal requirement under Data Protection Act 2018

Fundamentally, it is the law to keep your customer and prospect data clean and accurate. GDPR Article 5.1 (d) – entrenched in UK law as the Data Protection Act 2018 – specifies explicitly that data must be kept “accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.”

This applies to customers and prospects data and includes ensuring address information is accurate before it is processed. By choosing not to suppress movers, you are actively breaking the law.

Losing touch with customers and supporters

We all know the relative costs of acquiring new customers or supporters versus retaining them. Flagging goneaways alerts you to the fact that a customer has moved so you have the opportunity to apply a relocation database – such as REaD’s GAS Reactive – and reduce the loss of valuable customers and supporters at their new address. Lots of your competitors are marketing to new movers, and yet they are your customer!

So, what next?

We can’t express strongly enough that the cost and risks of using old addresses will always vastly outweigh the investment in using a credible Gone Away Suppression service despite the small possibility of acquiring a new customer at that address.

Time to talk to REaD Group about applying the GAS File to your database!

Get in touch 

Or discover more about our suite of Goneaway and Suppression products:

REaD Group: Data Quality – market leading data cleaning and suppression

REaD>Online – Online data platform from REaD Group


Download the full report here

It’s been over three years since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. Since then, there have been plenty of headlines devoted to enterprise-level data breaches but very little on how SMEs have been fairing. Do they understand the GDPR and are they interpreting the legislation in the correct way? More than that, what is the quality of the data they hold and indeed, how do they store it?

This is what we set out to find in this survey. We wanted to gain a greater understanding of the quality of the data that SMEs hold on their customers and prospects, and the extent to which the GDPR is understood and has been adopted.

What is an SME?

According to the UK Government* , the usual definition of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is any business with fewer than 250 employees. There were 6 million SMEs in the UK in 2020, which was over 99% of all businesses. There were 5.7 million micro-businesses (0-9 employees) in the UK in 2020, accounting for 96% of all businesses.

For the purposes of this survey, we based SMEs on the size of their turnover, classing any business of a turnover of up to £25 million as an SME.

* House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Business Statistics, 22 January 2021 [accessed 25 June 2021].

The Questions:

In our survey we asked 1,110 business owners and directors a number of questions:

  • Whether they store their customer and prospect data in a CRM and/or other database
  • Whether they run any data cleaning or update processes on the data they hold
  • Whether they use physical mailing for communicating with and/or marketing to their customers
  • Whether they were familiar with GDPR
  • Whether they were aware that GDPR requires data to be kept clean and accurate or be deleted

The Results:

Surprisingly, the survey results revealed that only two-fifths (40%) of SMEs hold their customer and prospect data (i.e. consumer data) in a CRM and/or other database; a number that seemed surprisingly low, given that most businesses need to maintain contact with their customers. This would seem to suggest that the remaining three-fifths (60%) either do not hold any customer data or that they hold it in a format they do not consider to be a database, such as Excel or on paper.

The good news is that awareness of the GDPR was high amongst the majority of SMEs (85%) and that these businesses are also aware that data must be kept clean and accurate or be deleted (89%). It’s good to see that, three years after it was introduced, most understand the importance of the legal requirements for managing data. The larger the company (by turnover), the greater the familiarity.

However, what the survey also revealed was that, while three-quarters (75%) of those with a CRM and/or other database do run data cleaning or update processes on their data, one quarter (25%) do not, despite the fact that 93% were aware of the need to clean and update or delete their data. And with two-fifths (42%) of all respondents using the data they hold for direct mailing/marketing, this raises the question of how accurate, up-to-date and compliant the data they hold for these purposes is?

Of all SMEs surveyed (irrespective of whether they have a CRM/database or not), nearly two-thirds (61%) said they do not run any data cleaning or update processes on the data they hold. This is despite the fact that over four-fifths (85%) were familiar with GDPR and almost four-fifths (79%) were aware of the legal requirement to keep data clean and accurate or delete it.

Survey Methodology:

Small businesses x 1,110

The Companies Act defines an SME for accounting purposes as having a turnover of not more than £6.5m, however for this survey, the turnover range was grouped to £25m. On this basis the weighted response for this group is 1,110, with the emphasis on turnovers up to £4.9m.

Research conducted by Customer Care Research (CCR)

The research was conducted amongst 1,200 business owners and directors in June 2021. The results have been weighted by turnover, region and sector to be representative of all UK businesses with a turnover of £250,000+. Where response percentages are quoted it refers to the weighted sample.

Only 41% of SMEs hold their data in a CRM/database

To set the scene, we wanted to find out how many SMEs hold their customer and prospect data in a CRM and/or similar database.

We found that 40% (439) of the SMEs we surveyed indicated they have a customer and prospect database in a CRM or similar format. Given that businesses need to maintain contact with their customers for sales and marketing, and never more so than over the past 15 months, this appears to be a relatively low percentage. It would appear that the number of SMEs who could benefit from the business advantages of a CRM could be greatly improved. There are many benefits to a CRM, but two key ones are offering a 360-degree real-time view of a prospect or customer, and keeping that individual’s data safe, secure and up-to-date.

Our survey found that only 34% of those with a turnover of up to £4.9m said they had data in a CRM/database, although this rose to 65% in the £5m-£24.9m category.

When looking at all SMEs with a turnover range up to £25m, 40% (439) have their data in a CRM or other database: meaning that a significant 60% (671) did not.

Examining different business sectors in more detail, retail (80%), hospitality (76%), transport (70%) and construction (69%) are the least likely to have a CRM or other database, which seems surprising, especially when considering the retail sector.

Q1. Do you have customer and prospect data (i.e. consumer data) in a CRM and/or other database?

More than half of SMEs do not clean their data

We asked all survey respondents whether they run any data cleaning or update processes on the data they hold. This question was asked of all respondents, rather than just those with a CRM or other database, to capture any respondents who considered they held their data via another means.

Overall, approximately the same proportion, 39% (432) of SMEs said they ran data cleaning or update processes on their data, but 61% (678) said they did not. We can assume this is either because they simply didn’t and/or because they felt they did not hold data in a CRM or other database.

75% (330) of SMEs who said they had a CRM or other database ran a data cleaning or update process, but a significant 25% (109) indicated they did not. In addition, 51% (569) indicated they did not have customer data in a CRM or other database AND they did not run any data cleaning or update processes on any data they held. Considering most businesses have a need for customer data in one form or another, this is a surprisingly large percentage.

Of those SMEs with a turnover of less than £25m who have a customer CRM or other database, 25% did not run any data cleaning processes, reducing to 15% for businesses with a turnover over £25m. On an overall basis, the figure for all respondents was 61% for the lesser turnover group and 38% for the larger.

Whilst the figure of 25% of those SMEs with a CRM or other database not running any cleaning processes is high enough, assuming most companies needed to keep some form of customer data, the overall figure of 59% is surprisingly high. The results also showed that the larger the business, the
better it is at running data cleaning or update processes.

Q2. Do you run any data cleaning or update processes on the data that you hold?

42% of SMEs use Direct Mail

When asked whether they use physical mailing for communicating with and/or marketing to their customers, 42% (506) of all respondents confirmed they did, a very slightly greater number of respondents than those who indicated they kept a database (491). Presumably these additional respondents must also have some form of data, stored offline or via a different method.

From a turnover point of view, only 23% of SMEs with a turnover of less than £1 million communicate in this way. This percentage rises as turnover increases, to a peak of 60% in the £5-9,9 million range, although more than half of SMEs in the £10million+ category also use direct mail.

Considering those SMEs who said they had a CRM or other database, 60%(265) carried out physical mailings. The results also showed that 30% (199) of those who said they didn’t have a CRM or other database do use physical mailings. While this can only be based on speculation, perhaps
these communications are not data targeted?

Q3. Do you use physical mailing (e.g letters, brochures or catalogues etc) for communicating with and/or marketing to your customers?

85% of SMEs are familiar with the GDPR

Overall, awareness of GDPR is high: 67% (744) of all SME respondents said they were familiar with the GDPR, with a further 18% (200) answering that they were ‘a little’ familiar. Fifteen percent were not familiar with it at all. So overall, 85% had some familiarity with GDPR, regardless of whether they had customer data in a CRM or other database.

Taking just those SME respondents who said they had a CRM or database (see Q1), 84% (367) were familiar, with a further 11% a little familiar. Only 6% (25) were not familiar. This is positive news as it means that the majority of those who hold customer or prospect data are familiar with the regulations governing their storage of that data.

Of those who did not have a CRM or other customer database, 21% did not have some familiarity with GDPR.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the larger the company in turnover terms, generally the greater their familiarity with GDPR (<£1m = 56%, £2m-£4.9m = 77%, £15m-24.9m = 82%).

All industry groupings were more than 80% familiar, with services ranking most highly, followed by retail, construction and manufacturing.

Q4. Are you familiar with the GDPR?

80% of SMEs are aware that the GDPR requires data to be kept clean and accurate

80% (960) of all respondents were aware that GDPR requires data to be kept clean and accurate or be deleted, with 79% of SMEs being aware. This means that meaning that one-fifth (21%) of SMEs were not.

Again, the greater the company size (turnover) the greater the awareness, ranging from <£1m = 67%, £2m-£4.9m = 87% and £15m-24.9m+ = 92%. The same was true for company size, with 79% of companies up to 249 aware of this GDPR requirement, increasing to 83% in companies of 250+ employees.

From an industry sector point of view, hospitality (36%), transport (33%) and construction (31%) indicated they were the least aware, with financial, property and business services showing the greatest familiarity with this GDPR requirement.

Of those who said they had customer data in a CRM or other database, 93% (455) were aware that GDPR requires data to be kept clean, accurate or deleted.

Of the 312 SMEs who had a CRM or other database and were aware of the GDPR requirement, 75% (312) ran cleaning or updating processes, however 25% did not.

Q5. Are you aware that the GDPR requires data to be kept clean and accurate or be deleted?

What have we learned?

Irrespective of the format it is held in, centralising the data a company holds into some kind of CRM or database is important, because it makes the storage, management and upkeep so much easier and, as a result, any marketing processes so much more efficient and effective too.

It was also interesting to learn that a quarter (25%) of those with a CRM and/or other database do not run data cleaning or update processes on their data. Not only is there a legal requirement for those who have a database to keep it clean and updated, but it also makes good business sense: with two-fifths (42%) of the total SME respondents using the data they hold for direct mailing/marketing, having accurate, up-to-date customer and prospect data is key to avoid wasting time, money and effort sending out direct mail that will not reach its target.

And for the third (30%) who are carrying out direct mailing activities without a CRM or database, how are they managing their data? Another survey suggests that for organisations without a CRM tool, 87% are still relying on spreadsheets as the main tool to manage customer data but if data is the new oil , then we need to be taking much better care of it!

It was positive to see that awareness of the GDPR and the requirement to keep data clean and accurate (or else delete it) was so high amongst the UK’s SMEs, which would indicate that the GDPR has firmly embedded itself. And while the majority of SMEs (92%) with a CRM or other database were aware of the need to clean and update or delete their data, there are a proportion (25%) who remain behind the curve and who are still not running the necessary cleaning or updating processes required by GDPR, demonstrating that there’s still room for improvement.

For those who are keeping their data clean and up-to-date, it’s important to keep in mind that data should still be sourced from a reputable supplier so that compliance with the GDPR is maintained.

For more information on our suite of data quality products.

Or, to get in touch with our team here! 

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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?

Innovation matters

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 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 who 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 


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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!

Download our latest guide to data cleaning

  • 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 

Download our guide

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
Consumer Privacy:

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.

Browser Changes:

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.

Ad blocking:

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?

Reach your audiences and gain permission to communicate through multiple channels. To do this, marketers need to understand consent and opt-in options. This builds trust and engagement, ensuring a more open and transparent relationship with a consumer. Use forms to collect data and give consumers the options to choose the channel that best fits them. If they go to unsubscribe, give alternatives for less frequent communication rather than an all or nothing option. And ensure your privacy policies are up to date and accessible for all consumers. For this, explore the use of Trust or Preference Centres (an online portal covering your brands privacy policy, mission statement and a way to communicate trust through first-party data collection).

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.

Download our guide

For information check out our data and marketing services or get in touch today!

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