We were absolutely delighted to be acknowledged as Rising Star 2018 at the Apteco Partner of the Year Awards last night.
Winning this Award is the culmination of more than two years of innovation and endeavor at REaD Group and reflects a true team effort.
Having been one of the industries leading data providers for more than 25 years, adding to our service offering to help clients to maximise the effectiveness of data and how it is used, was a natural next step in the evolution of the business.
As a result we made the strategic decision to increase our capability and client base. We recruited a talented solutions team, invested in our technical stack, defined a series of key objectives and focused our efforts in achieving them.
This Award is the culmination of more than two years of strategic endeavour at REaD Group and reflects the true team effort.
REaD Group Chairman and Founder, Mark Roy is extremely proud of the achievement, commenting : “The real triumph is in how far we have come in the last two years. The solutions reflected by this award, that are delivering so much value to our clients, are a fantastic achievement for REaD Group – well done team!”
To be recognised as their fastest growing partner by Apteco is a credit to everyone involved and firmly establishes REaD Group as a trusted partner for the delivery of complex engagement solutions.
Much credit and congratulations to everyone involved!
by Jon Cano-Lopez, CEO at REaD Group
In response to the DMA Advice: Using third party data under the GDPR
After almost six month since the enforcement date for the GDPR, we welcome the publication of this much needed advice from the DMA.
The clarity it provides on the use of third party data should dispel some of the hysteria and business damaging inertia caused by the ambiguous messages and conflicting advice that has abounded before and since the GDPR became enforceable in May this year.
The advice reflects a strong consensus of view from the DMA and a panel of highly experienced data industry practitioners and subject matter experts which provides further weight and reassurance to the content.
At REaD Group we have been very clear and consistent in our views on the value of the responsible use of third party data and this advice paper reinforces what we have been saying all along.
Ultimately, a responsible and common sense attitude to marketing is what is required. If processed with respect to consumers interests and privacy and according to the obligations of the GDPR (appropriate LIAs etc), third party data delivers huge benefits to – and in the interests of – consumers and society.
Recent campaigns using our GDPR ready database have delivered extremely positive levels of engagement and ROI for our clients. Consumers are responsive to direct marketing IF the campaigns are targeted, relevant, timely and non intrusive.
Using the right third party data – in the right way – does work!
The direct marketing industry should have the confidence and conviction to continue to use responsibly sourced and permissioned third party data to optimise the quality and value of their data and data strategy. As the DMA reiterates: there is nothing in the GDPR that prohibits the use of third party data provided that it is undertaken in the right way, with the appropriate safeguards.
My key take-away from this advice? Time for marketers to get off the fence and get marketing!
Read the full DMA advice document here
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!
By Scott Logie, MD, Insight at REaD Group
The Tour de France is over and yet again we have a British winner, that’s 6 times in the last 7 races. It is almost becoming de rigeur! More correctly, there have been 6 Team Sky winners in the last 7 years. Let’s leave aside for now any suggestion of cheating (my own opinion based on not very much is that they don’t break the rules but bend them as far as they can) and praise this for the amazing achievement that it is.
Since they formed, Team Sky have had a plan, they have run the team with clear objectives and they have succeeded in what they set out to do. Mightily impressive.
And the win on this year’s Tour comes on the back of Chris Froome’s amazing three grand tours in a row. I’m not a cyclist but I can appreciate how the planning and effort that Team Sky go into creates the possibility of victory. To understand this more, listen to the excellent Podcast that the BBC made about how Chris Froome effectively won the Giro d’Italia on stage 19, it shows the meticulous planning that goes into creating the victory:
I used to work with a guy who came at the same inspiration from another sport, rowing, and a presentation he had seen from Ben Hunt-Davis:
The concept here is very similar to Team Sky, focussing on what makes for success and getting rid of anything that doesn’t. It is an easy concept to get but a very hard philosophy to follow.
Summarising these two great sporting examples, I see three things that stand out that can be applied to businesses:
Sweating the small stuff
Key to success for the rowers and Team Sky are the small incremental changes that add up to moving them forward. Every day sees them looking for something that will make a very small but relevant difference. These principles were also applied to the British Olympic Cycling team where things like heating the tyres, then the riders thighs were seen as minor changes to begin with but are now used by all the teams. So it is in business, looking at the small stuff can be what makes a difference in winning new work or delivering a successful project.
The big idea
As with Team Sky on stage 19 of the Giro, sometimes it takes a big idea to make a change. Froome was losing the race and needed something to change that. They sat down, developed a plan, a big plan, and executed it to perfection. But part of that was actually coming up with the big idea in the first place. I can imagine no ideas were off the table, that anything would be considered. Pure blue sky thinking. How often do we really sit down in our business and look at what the next big idea should be? And even if we do, how many times does it fall away because we don’t agree, focus and deliver on it?
With both the rowing team of 2000 and Team Sky one other key factor is true, that the team is more important than the individual. In the cycling world, the domestiques, the people that provide the support; drag the main rider through to the end of tough stages; deliver the food and drinks needed to get to the finishing line; are as important as the number one rider. Geraint Thomas served his time as a domestique before he was allowed to win the Tour. These riders know their role, they stick to it and the team wins as a result. I don’t think I need to explain the analogy in business!
Many of us love sport, we sit and admire as our heroes deliver success. Or, if you are a Scotland fan, occasionally beat a team 3 places above us in the world rankings. However, there are also many lessons to be gained from studying what makes sports stars great at what they do; dedication, drive, grit, hard work and talent amongst many more. Extending this into what we do every day isn’t always easy – not many of us will be as great at our jobs as Roger Federer – but we can hopefully achieve more by being inspired by them.
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
By Scott Logie, MD, Insight at REaD Group
I played football on Thursday afternoon for the first time in around a year. We played 3 games…and lost them all. In addition, I stubbed my toe which was massive and bruised when I woke up. I also seem to have tweaked some muscles in my groin. All of which meant that I was feeling pretty sorry for myself when I hobbled through the rain to attend the MS Society Awards lunch on Friday. By the time I left a little over 4 hours later not only had I realised the need to stop being quite so self-centred but I had learned a huge amount about people’s ability to be positive, see past adversity and support others.
Every year at REaD Group we choose a charity to support. This year we are helping out and raising funds for MS Society after it was nominated by one of our staff who has a friend who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. We have done some fundraising events already including a waxing evening (for some of our hairier gents) and are walking 10 peaks in the Lake District in 10 hours on the 1st of June. I was also invited to judge the employer of the year award which was one of 15 given out at the awards.
Even before the awards, at the drinks beforehand and over lunch, the stories of how people live with MS and the support of those who help them out day to day was incredible. As part of the judging we had already read a lot about the things that people in companies do to help their colleagues who have to live each day with MS, but to meet these people in the flesh and see the bond between them was amazing. It was clear that for all of them, this wasn’t about helping staff but about a lasting friendship.
This might sound odd but one of the things I noticed, from my point of view as an outsider, was how often it was hard to distinguish who had MS and who didn’t. At my table at lunch were three sets of people from companies and in each case one was an MS sufferer and the other wasn’t. And in each case, until they stood up and needed support or assistance, it would have been impossible to say who had MS. This clearly shows how unpredictable a disease it is, and how it can literally affect anyone at any time.
Scott Mills from Radio 1, whose mum has MS, presented the awards and described it as “an emotional rollercoaster” and boy was he spot on. The awards were a mixture of individuals and groups who support MS sufferers and people with MS who are an inspiration for others. The first group includes partners and employers who go above and beyond, those who are researching to help find a cure and people in the media who are raising the profile of the disease and its consequences.
However, the most lump in throat moments for me here were from the young people who either care for their parents with MS – including a 9 year old girl and two 16 year old girls who have to balance exams, being 16 and looking after their parent – or those raising funds. This latter group included a 10 year old girl who organised a bake sale on her own and an 11 year old boy who swam nearly 1,500 lengths of his swimming pool.
And then there are those who not only live every day with MS but also take the time to raise funds, such as Noel Wilson who is aiming to drive his mobility scooter around every racing circuit in the UK, or who campaign or support through sharing their experiences. Such as Hannah Smith who was diagnosed with relapsing MS at 24 and has set up a blog called An Ordinary Girl with MS where she writes openly about her experiences. The ability of people to lift themselves above a debilitating illness, and not just live every day but inspire others is fantastic.
It feels like a drop in the ocean but I’m really proud that REaD Group are supporting the MS Society this year. I hope you all feel the same and support us in whatever way you can.
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!
LONDON 1 March 2018
Announced at a Gala Reception at OXO Tower last night, Jon joins an impressive list of people acknowledged to have the influence, profile, experience and knowledge to drive the data-driven marketing industry.
I am delighted and flattered to be selected for the DataIQ 100. It is an honour to be recognised and to be associated with such an impressive list of data and analytics professionals – particularly at such an exciting time for the data industry.
Jon has worked in the data industry all his career, with an impressive CV spanning more than 25 years – including leading some of the UK’s largest data companies – Claritas, Altwood Systems, Acxiom, Ai Data Intelligence, Communisis and currently and now, as CEO of REaD Group – Jon has built a reputation for driving innovation and success in data communications.
He joined REaD Group in 2014, as part of the company’s exponential growth and is responsible for the strategic direction and continued success of the business – including adding some top brands to its A-list client base.
At the heart of this strategy is his belief that data sits at the heart of everything and understanding and interpreting that data is key to any brands success
In addition to building on REaD Group’s position as market leader in data cleaning and quality, he has been instrumental in developing the company’s service offerings – including an enviable insight capability and winning contracts for the delivery of Single Customer View solutions reflecting a real benchmark for REaD Group.
An advocate of utilising technology to drive innovation and deliver optimum results for clients – Jon is the driving force behind the implementation of Data as a Service (DaaS) at REaD Group. As well as raising the bar for data quality and provision in the industry, the implementation of the GDPR throws up significant complexities for data processors and DaaS provides an elegant and equitable solution to that challenge.
Jon has been an authoritative contributor to the direct marketing throughout his career holding positions on DMA’s Data Council, various working parties and the Institute of Direct Marketing Data Council. A genuine industry influencer, he is sought after as a media commentator and trusted advisor on data marketing, privacy, compliance and the GDPR.
Congratulation to Jon for this much deserved recognition!
The full 2018 DataIQ 100 can be found here
The lack of clarity in the run up to GDPR has been shocking. This statement provides much needed clarity on how to remain on the right side of the legal minefield and make the most of the opportunity that GDPR really presents.
REaD Group have been involved from the very earliest stages of GDPR. We have been at the forefront of negotiation, lobbying and discussion for the last six years. Consequently, our knowledge of the regulation itself, the intended meaning and what it means for the Direct Marketing industry is unrivalled.
REaD Group is unequivocally supportive of the GDPR. All the decisions we have made surrounding the permissions required to use third party data for direct marketing activity under GDPR have been externally validated by Bristows LLP, widely regarded as this country’s leading data protection lawyers.
REaD Group have been working towards becoming a GDPR ready business for the last three years. We have made significant changes to our own data collection methods and how we obtain, retain and maintain our data and data solutions. Our contributor due diligence processes we believe are unparalleled and unique in the scrutiny of GDPR requirements and we have enhanced our internal IT solutions.
It is important to remember the purpose of GDPR is simple; to give consumers greater control and transparency over the use of their data. Most importantly, GDPR will change marketing communications for the better – more open, more honest and more transparent and in turn that will deliver a more positively disposed, aware and trusting consumer, which has to be good for us all.
REaD Group has enhanced its safeguarding processes to ensure every piece of personal data made available to you has been collected in a GDPR ready manner. This inevitably means there will be changes to our products as we ensure that all data has been lawfully processed in line with GDPR. No data is accepted into our data estate until our due diligence and auditing processes have been satisfactorily concluded. This includes adherence to a number of significant and mandatory GDPR rules established by our GDPR Steering Group.
In the recent weeks and months there have been conflicting opinions surrounding the level of consent required for data to be available for third party direct marketing post May 2018.
The issue of consent has created an enormous amount of confusion. What is it? How is it obtained? What channels does it apply to? Or indeed, do I need it at all? Consent of course, is only one of six legal grounds to process personal data under GDPR, yet it has occupied a disproportionate amount of the airtime serving only to confuse further.
At REaD we prefer to ask – Do we have permission? In other words, do we have grounds from one of the six processing purposes? In most cases with our data assets permission means the processing of data collected either with consent or as a legitimate interest. Both of these grounds for processing are equally valid and our products will be selectable on either or both.
This means if you are planning a postal marketing campaign, you won’t need consent. You can rely on using legitimate interests, if you can show how your use of the consumer data is proportionate, has a minimal privacy impact and the consumer is unlikely to be surprised or object. To be clear, within GDPR itself, Direct Marketing is specifically singled out as a legitimate purpose.
Being GDPR ready is about balancing risk. When you decide to use REaD Group data, we advise you to conduct the necessary balancing exercise between your interests in direct marketing and the rights of the consumers. REaD Group will have conducted this exercise ourselves under our obligations as data controller. We also advise you to ensure that consumers know exactly how you intend to use their data. Our experience tells us that the more open and honest you are the better it is received by consumers.
Of course, our in-house experts will be more than happy to talk you through this note as well as your specific concerns or campaign ideas. We have done the vast majority of the work for you in building a GDPR ready data asset so we can all market ourselves confidently and securely.
Want to talk GDPR? Contact our team today.
30th January 2017
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dean Standing to the role of Client Services Director. Dean will be responsible for leading the client services team, ensuring the delivery of the very highest levels of service to REaD Group’s clients, while also expanding the company’s extensive portfolio.
Dean has been integral to REaD Group’s growth since joining as a graduate over 10 years ago and will now be key part of its future. His aptitude for understanding client challenges and building relationships has resulted in numerous accolades over his decade-long career at REaD Group. He was awarded employee of the year in 2009, shortly before being promoted to Bureau Sales Manager. He also won the Database Marketing Rising Star Award in 2011 whilst working as Head of Bureau Sales.
Dean joined REaD Group in 2006, taking up a graduate position in its meta-morphix division. He progressed quickly, carefully nurturing high profile clients through the global crash and worked his way up through the company. He worked particularly closely with Macmillan Cancer Support and a number of supermarkets and was a key figure in implementing meta-morphix’s unique automated data processing software, INLINE.
Jon Cano-Lopez, CEO at REaD Group, said: “Dean is one of those rare people who has the ability to identify the challenges facing clients and quickly and efficiently get to the solution. With over a decade’s experience under his belt, he really understands data and how it can deliver the best possible results for his clients. Dean is a huge asset to the company and his experience and dedication will continue to serve us as he takes on his new role as Client Services Director.
“At REaD Group, we are committed to creating an environment that nurtures talent and supports career development and Dean’s progression is a perfect example of this. It’s been a pleasure to watch him rise through the ranks since joining at entry level over a decade ago.”
Dean Standing, Client Services Director at REaD Group, said: “Having worked at REaD Group for over a decade, I continue to be passionate about delivering the best possible results and service to our ever growing client base. The next few years are to going to be extremely challenging for brands and REaD Group is ideally positioned to help advertisers maximise the asset that lies dormant within their database. I can’t wait to get started.”