Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement to support mental health, suicide and the challenges many of us are facing in this upside world. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives, 75% of all UK suicides are male . CALM exists to change this! As an all-encompassing charity, any money raised goes to help fund their life-changing, life-saving services:
- Providing frontline services for men, including a free and confidential helpline and webchat
- Promoting cultural and societal change, enabling conversations and encouraging everyone to speak out about their mental health experiences
- Campaigning for better understanding of the causes of suicide and its prevention
As the 2021 chosen charity for REaD Group we are pledging to raise £5,000 for CALM this year; Taking our three year total raised to £15,000. We are taking on CALM’s Task Me Anything challenge to get the fundraising ball rolling; followed by a REaD Group Talent show and a company event for Acts of Kindness week.
In February our employees will be taking part in a session with CALM to discuss what they do, how we can get involved and how to look out for our own mental health and the wellbeing of others this year.
We look forward to venturing out into the great outdoors for some running, walking and cycling events later on in the year – And we will of course be bringing back the REaD Group Bake off!
For more information check out CALM!
After attending Fundraising Live at the beginning of February and sponsoring the CDAO UK event last week, we caught up with Louis and Adam for their biggest takeaways and insights from both events – there’s certainly plenty of food for thought and encouraging signs that charities and businesses alike are beginning to explore and appreciate the value of their data!
Since GDPR’s introduction nearly two years ago it’s safe to say that charities on the whole have been somewhat nervous and conservative when it has come to their fundraising activities. However, from the majority of charities we spoke to at the event, it seems that many are beginning to adopt a more proactive rather than reactive approach. A noticeable dip in fundraising income has been felt amongst charities that have relied upon traditional activities such as bucket collections – as more people embrace contactless payment and fewer people regularly carry change.
Personalisation is key
Insight was a hot topic, and this has seen many re-evaluating their marketing strategies as they are keen to better understand their supporters and find out what drives people to give. Coupled with this increased knowledge, charities are also focussing on journey mapping and personalising supporter experience in order to build more profitable and longer-lasting relationships.
As has been the case for a while now, we are seeing an increasing trend in charities returning to direct mail for their acquisition and retention campaigns – using legitimate interest as the legal basis for processing. Many were concerned post-GDPR that they would have to remove mailings from their marketing mix, however, in Recital 47 of the GDPR it states that: processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.
The role of the CDO is one that has been rapidly gaining prominence over the last two years, having been relatively unknown before the changes to data legislation. As companies increasingly appreciate data as a valuable asset, more and more are appointing CDOs to elevate responsible data management to board level (finally!).
After GDPR was implemented there was an initial panic around having to hire additional staff to manage data and many instated CDOs in their business without considering what the role entailed or the skillset required from the individual holding it.
Suppress to impress
What was perhaps most heartening at this year’s event was a noticeable increase in understanding and awareness to GDPR obligations from CDO’s in attendance – and the importance of goneaway and deceased screening in particular. In addition to the legal repercussions, many also have environmental concerns around the increased wastage created by failing to suppress mailing campaign data (and the potential brand damage that may ensue).
As well as an increased awareness for data cleaning, as with Fundraising Live the week before, there was a real buzz in the room around personalisation. With so much data at our disposal these days, there really is no excuse for neglecting to put it to good use! Using data intelligently to enhance the customer experience will ultimately strengthen relationships and increase loyalty and LTV.
Having also attended both events in 2019, it was fantastic to see a palpable excitement amongst delegates this year around the potential of data and the possibilities presented to those who use it effectively. Personalisation will continue to be a big driver for marketers this year – but it is important to ensure that it is informed by the right data!
Last week we were delighted to be joined by a room full of senior data marketers, CDOs and analysts from a broad range of sectors and from brands as varied as Glasses Direct, Macmillan, RR D, Deloitte, Sodexo, Gobsmack and Go Travelyn at our Late Summer Soirée.
With the highly photogenic Tower Bridge as our backdrop, our guests were taken through a whistle-stop programme – from compliance and the future of data delivery to the power of segmentation via key messages about trust and transformation. Huge thanks to our stellar line up of speakers including, Andrew Mann, Partner at North Bailey (formerly of Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco Clubcard and more), Graham Davis, Head of Customer Insight and Marketing Effectiveness at Ageas and Andrew Wilson, CEO of My Life Digital.
When the going gets tough, the tough get it right!
REaD Group Chairman and Founder, Mark Roy, opened the evening with a review of the state of the data environment – challenging but full of opportunity for businesses who have adapted. Talking about the importance of keeping consumers at the centre of your business, as a fitting introduction to the themes of the evening.
Data you can trust!
Kicking off with some no-nonsense precis about GDPR and REaD Group data, Andy Bridges, Data Compliance and Governance Manager, referenced the strict due diligence applied to all REaD Group data. Giving our clients the confidence to use our data post GDPR. And the clients that are using our data are seeing some compelling results, as outlined by Head of Business Development, Adam Tolcher in Data that delivers:
A well known furniture supplier is seeing consistently positive ROI of £6.50.
One of our charity clients recently achieved a conversion/donation rate of just under 3% from a DM campaign (further highlighting why there has never been a better time to use Direct Mail!)
A travel company, specialising in cruises, has seen an astonishing £240,000 of revenue following a DM campaign using REaD Group data.
Introducing Data as a Service (or DaaS), an exciting new delivery model for REaD Group, Commercial Director Clive Rumsey outlined some of the business efficiencies, compliance and data quality benefits of DaaS. A short animation reinforced the concept of DaaS being the future of data delivery.
Which way is North?
In a hugely insightful and entertaining talk, Andrew Mann assured us that Data isn’t difficult! Getting everyone up on their feet, we were reminded in a very practical way that to succeed you need everyone in your business pointing the same way. Every business should tap into the power of their data but remember you can’t fly before you can crawl. Leaving the audience with a practical checklist of 7 steps to data driven customer growth and the message that it’s never too late to instigate change – as the old proverb sates, ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is NOW.’
Never a truer word spoken – at speed!
In his presentation No job too big, no job too small, Scott Logie, Director of Customer Engagement at REaD Group, proved that you can complete a 20-minute data-packed presentation in just 5 minutes. If you talk really fast. But making the serious point that there is no marketing problem that data cannot solve.
Insight in Action
Graham Davis, talked about the impact of commissioning REaD Group to build a bespoke segmentation for Ageas. The message – using data to truly understand your customers and (most importantly) using that insight to inform and optimise your marketing strategy – is transformational.
Andrew Wilson – in Mark’s words “the new kid in the block” as CEO at My Life Digital, talked about keeping consumers and their choices at the centre of business being an imperative. In a post GDPR world, it is the brands who do the right things by their customers and potential customers – using a trusted and comprehensive preference management system, like Consentric – who will thrive.
Dan “the man” Fossaceco, Lead Generation Director gave us a quick tour of the evolving world of Performance Marketing – a powerful tool for marketers to gain opt-in prospects post-GDPR. The Three simple messages to take away? It’s easy to set up, it works and…get in touch with our established and experienced performance marketing team to deliver results!
Rounding up the night, REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez, summarised that we had covered a lot in a short space of time, and that despite the challenges the new data regulation has presented – now is the time to seize opportunities!
If you want to know more, just ask!
There was laughter, there were tears, some unexpected scrambling, a few blisters, a bit of chafing, sun burn and A LOT of sweat – but we all did it!
The sun was just rising over the picturesque Lake District hills when 29 intrepid REaD Group staff (and one trusty canine companion in Bella the dog!) set off on our 10 Peaks Challenge to raise much needed funds for MS Society.
The Challenge: Conquer 10 peaks in less than 10 hours
The Route: a 15ish (our various distance measuring devices couldn’t quite agree) mile route taking in some of the highest peaks and most spectacular views in the Lake District, including the mighty Scafell Pike
The Team: 29 REaD Group staff (30 if you count Bella the dog!)
There were highs….
Reaching the top of peak 10 in 6 hours – we totally rock!
The views – simply breath-taking!
The joy of cooling our burning feet (and in some cases whole bodies!) in The Stickle Tarn
Almost losing Adam T in a steaming bog (the muddy kind) – or should that be a low!?!
The bliss of the first sip of a cold pint/cup of tea at the official finish – the very welcome sight that is Wainrights’ Inn
Tucking into Chicken/Veg Tikka Masala and Lemon Meringue Pie (or 3 if you’re Tickers…) at the youth hostel
The sense of camaraderie and achievement – there’s really nothing like it!
And the lows?
Well none really – apart from THE SWEAT! With sunshine AND humidity, we were sweaty in places we didn’t know we had – ‘nough said! And being chased by an enormous thunder storm (which a least had the decency to wait till we had got to the pub).
Huge thanks must to our fantastic guides Matt, James, James and (yes) James from Lakeland Mountain Guides [https://www.lakelandmountainguides.co.uk] who made us laugh and kept us safe and also the lovely staff at YHA Langdale [https://www.yha.org.uk/hostel/yha-langdale]
A massive effort and achievement from everyone, and we are a few whiskers away from reaching our £10k fundraising target so any donations would be so much appreciated. Come on people!
Our JustGiving page will be live until 30th June: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/readgroup10in10
Insightful, practical, really informative and enjoyable (yes an enjoyable GDPR event!) are just a few of the positive adjectives used to describe the REaD Group GDPR breakfast briefing. With only 3 days to go until ‘G-day’ the event was very timely – and very well attended – with a room packed full of experienced and informed marketers, Agency side Account Managers and data professionals.
There is more to GDPR than Consent!
To set the scene, REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez, kicked off proceedings by referencing the latest consent guidance from the ICO (published only a few days before the event). The first statement in the guidance reinforces that consent is often not the most appropriate legal basis for processing data under GDPR:
ICO guidance: “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.”
So, although the GDPR presents some new hoops for marketers, data managers and compliance teams to jump through – there is more to GDPR than consent – and life will go on beyond 25th May!
The sky won’t fall in on 25th May!
Hannah Crowther, Associate at renowned law firm Bristows LLP, delivered an engaging and no-nonsense presentation packed with salient advice (she even got some laughs!). Lamenting the barrage of opt-in requests we are all experiencing, she advised caution when deciding whether to re-permission your data – in many cases it is not necessary – particularly for existing customers, members or subscribers.
Her top tips for staying on the right side of the GDPR?
- If you are embarrassed to say what you are doing with personal data you shouldn’t be doing it!
- Avoid surprising people – use the Legitimate Interest balancing tests to determine what an individual would reasonably expect to receive
- Give individuals control over their data and what happens to it, for example, including a clear means to update their preferences or opt out- and document it
Her informed legal view: If you have carried out your checks and balances – by using Legitimate Interest Assessments in a serious and thoughtful manner – and you can evidence your process, you are unlikely to be in ICO fine territory.
What about the right to erasure? This is another area of GDPR receiving a lot of coverage but also greatly misunderstood. In fact, in many instances requests can be legitimately challenged by an organisation – using the outcome of a balancing test and where there is an overriding legal basis for continuing to hold and process the requester’s personal data (she used the examples of current employees or customers who need to be invoiced).
It’s a journey not a destination!
A pre-recorded interview with experienced CDO at Age UK, Michelle de Souza, gave us insight and sound advice – based on her hands on experience of preparing for GDPR. Their two year GDPR journey has taken them from relative disinterest internally to embracing the new principles based regulation. Michelle likened the run up to the enforcement of GDPR to preparing for your driving test, hoping you will pass – and that you don’t get pulled over!
“If you are doing something that doesn’t feel right then you probably shouldn’t be doing it.” Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner
Mark Roy – Founder and Chairman of REaD Group – spoke passionately about GDPR being a force for good. Surely it is better for businesses to be more transparent and honest about what they are doing with personal data so consumers can be more informed and more engaged? Talking about Recital 47 that states explicitly that the processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest.
By Direct Marketing the GDPR refers to Direct Mail (not email, telephone or online – which are still covered by PECR). Mark expounded the virtues of Direct Mail as an effective, more trusted, less invasive and creative channel to market. Research confirms that consumers trust direct mail more than email and that it makes them feel more valued.
In Mark’s view, once the GDPR dust has settled, the real game changer will be the ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) which is expected to replace PECR in 2020 and will shake up all digital channels.
Closing on an optimistic note, he reiterated that businesses that embrace GDPR will thrive beyond May 25th – and the future for data driven marketing is bright!
Take a room full of switched-on marketers, data practitioners and legal and compliance professionals from brands and agencies keen to learn about how to thrive in a post GDPR data driven world.
Add in a group of informed and forthright speakers and panellists. Provide a holistic view of the new data world order post-GDPR – covering qualitative research, legal stance, channel view, a GDPR journey and industry view…..And bingo!
So what did we learn?
Ultimately the research presented by David Reed, DataIQ confirms what we already know (or certainly should do!) – that to build and retain trust you must tell people what you are going to do. And do that (and only that!).
The responses outlined also reinforce the importance and relevance of the core principles of GDPR: accountability and transparency. The full research is published and available to download here
For an event focussed on GDPR there was a refreshing consensus from speakers and panellists on the contentious topics of consent and legitimate interests.
Complete the balancing tests correctly and honestly and you can use Legitimate Interests as the basis for direct marketing to your customers and also for third party data.
Mark Watts, Partner at law firm Bristows LLP summed it up nicely, stating “consent is not the only game in town” and reiterating what the ICO have been saying for months that all the legal bases for data processing under GDPR are created equal!
Refreshingly candid, he referenced GDPR Article 47 which explicitly mentions that Legitimate Interests may be used as the basis for Direct Marketing. Legitimate Interests are also very broad and include commercial interests of an organisation – as confirmed in the latest guidance from the ICO.
ICO: “The legitimate interests can be your own interests or the interests of third parties. They can include commercial interests, individual interests or broader societal benefits”
The rights of individuals are also broad and this is at the heart of the balancing tests required for applying Legitimate Interests as a legal basis for processing data.
Direct marketing and GDPR
Royal Mail MD, Jonathan Harman, gave us 12 reasons mail can help your brand to thrive in a GDPR world, including:
- You don’t need consent for postal marketing
- Mail offers higher response rates than email
- No fines as yet for using mail for marketing
- Mail primes other media
He also cited some compelling stats that confirm that consumers like and trust communication using this channel:
Respondents to MarketReach research confirmed that mail is more believable (87%), makes them feel more valued (70%) and creates a better impression of a company (70%).
The key take-away – direct marketing has a key role to play in the post-GDPR world!
GDPR is a journey not a destination
The engaging and charismatic Michelle de Souza, CDO at Age UK, gave us an honest account of their GDPR journey via a pre-recorded interview with REaD Group’s Scott Logie.
Her advice? Be pragmatic, be optimistic, be responsible marketers and remember that GDPR is a journey not a destination. Leaving us with the positive view that organisations should have the confidence to keep going.
Get it right and the future IS bright!
REaD Group Chairman and Founder, Mark Roy, put together a strong case to dispel the negativity around GDPR, reiterating REaD Group’s stance that GDPR is a much needed force for good.
Referencing the recent controversy involving Facebook and data sharing as a compelling example of why the accountability and transparency obligations at the heart of GDPR – essentially doing the right thing by consumers – are very much needed and should be welcomed.
Picking up on Mark Watts points, he was also very clear that legitimate interest isn’t just for customers – that it allows contact with everyone providing it meets the balancing test requirements.
All in all, a great event with some very tasty take-aways!