Coming out of lockdown is presenting many challenges for businesses and organsiations of all types. Of course, being aware of your business environment has always been key to success. Knowledge of your customer base at local and national level has in the past been focused on maximising marketing and sales opportunities and operational efficiencies.
You can now add on to this the fundamental requirement of customer and staff safety – how to open and operate safely within a Covid-19 world. And clearly, decisions made regarding the re-opening of business will be key to a responsible and successful emergence from lockdown.
To support businesses to make more informed decisions, REaD Group data partner More Metrics have developed a new set of models to track Covid-19 risk factors. For these models, More Metrics has used its existing and new datasets to create 20 risk measures relevant to Covid-19. The risks cover a number of dimensions, including:
Age and Household Composition
Mortality and Co-morbidity
By combining this data with Ppublic Health England (PHE) Pillar 1 and 2 test data More Metrics have created risk models at a range of geographic levels.
These unique models can help you to answer key questions, including:
- What is the infection risk now in any of the areas that I operate in and where my customers and staff live?
- What is the infection risk going forward in these areas and how might it differ with other areas?
- How should I vary my actions over the coming weeks to minimise any infection risks and help get our operations up and running as soon as possible?
The data will also:
- Provide up to date estimates of key information at local level
- Support risk assessments for reopening customer facing and other business locations
- Support resource allocation and management focus based on reliable data for specific locations
- Allow you to benchmark your own area against other areas in the UK
Part of Rare Consulting’s COVID-19 Emerging Trends Series and with contribution from REaD Group’s Customer Engagement Director, Scott Logie, Grey Expectations: How Brands can Create Sustainable Growth with Consumers Aged 55+ explores why businesses need to get serious about targeting the older generations – particularly online, where many have shopped during the pandemic and now intend to stay.
This means showing more empathy of what marks them out as being different to other age groups; recognising their needs and desires; and understanding their choice drivers. Our findings have implications not just on how we communicate to them but also how we build services that create long-term value for brands and consumers.
“The industry talks about over-55s as being one group. But to treat 17 million people in the same way is madness. Segment and research them as a non-homogenous group of people.“There will need to be some experimentation with customer engagement and experience for this age group, depending on your product type. One of the things they still crave is human experiences. A challenge for retail and e-commerce is to humanise engagement. If they want to chat, they want to chat to a person, about price and options. You can’t yet do that with an automated chat function.”
Scott Logie Customer Engagement Director, REaD Group
Find out how empathy, engagement and customer experience are the keys to marketing to the over-55s
By Jon Cano-Lopez, CEO, REaD Group
Looking after staff health and wellbeing during the current global pandemic is something that we have sought to manage from the outset. People are at the heart of everything we do at REaD, especially our people. Our internal motto is “Inspiring People” and we are striving to maintain that throughout lockdown.
We shifted to a home working environment a week before the lockdown began, and everyone has adjusted really well, despite the unfortunate circumstances in which we all find ourselves. We have found some definite positives in our new working environment. Our Microsoft Teams video calls are much more sociable than a usual business meeting: and this applies not only to calls with colleagues but also with clients, suppliers and partners.
All line managers are obligated to contact their furloughed staff every week on the medium of their choice: we try to encourage this is carried out face-to-face if possible. For those not working, we have continued to support professional development both financially and through study time, and we are encouraging them to take up online learning. There are prizes on offer for this too!
Communication and transparency have always been at the heart of what we do. We’ve continued our monthly update meetings, which are now carried out via Teams. We have maintained our usual pre-lockdown Friday afternoon social gathering but now we do it on Teams (drinks are optional), and there’s a quiz or talent contest, which staff are volunteering to run. We have also instigated an internal weekly newsletter, which emphasises the social and fun elements of what REaD is all about. It has recipes, gardening advice, tips on which TV programmes to watch, workout recommendations, book club and more… there’s something for everyone and many of the team are contributing.
We are passionate about supporting mental wellbeing, and for the second year running, we are proud to be supporting the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK (find out more their life-changing, life-services here). We have continued to support them throughout lockdown with our first ever REaD Group talent show taking place this afternoon – with all proceeds going to CALM.
We are continuing to maintain close communication with everyone, keeping them apprised of good news and client wins, but to also just get together and have a giggle. We are all affected by the current situation: what’s important is that we don’t feel like we’re alone in it.
To support CALM with their crucial work please go to our JustGiving page.
Its Mental Health Awareness Week – and given all the anxiety, stress and grief triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic we want to highlight the crucial work being done by the great team at CALM – our chosen charity for a second year.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against male suicide, the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK. CALM is an all-encompassing charity, and 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.
REaD Group are proud to be supporting CALM in 2020 by taking part in events both big and small throughout the year. From Random Acts of Kindness Day, office baking extravaganzas, quiz nights and our more epic and gruelling sporting challenges – bring it on!
One of the interesting – and worrying pieces – of feedback we have been getting here at REaD Group during the Covid-19 crisis is around use of data hygiene products. As more and more businesses move on-line to reach and engage their customers, there seems to be a feeling that this removes the reason to clean the customer base.
The logic seems to be that if there is no mailing planned, and therefore nothing physical going to the address, then there is no need to ensure the person is still at that address, hasn’t moved or passed away. We have had this feedback from a university, a major retailer and a smaller charity.
I’m sorry, but I have some news for you – this isn’t a choice, it is the law!
Under section 5.1 (d) of GDPR, copied for interest below, the guidance is to ensure you keep any names and addresses you hold up to date. And not just because you might want to mail them or send something to them.
But don’t take our word for it, check with your compliance team.
Of course, there is a reason for this and it is about consumer trust. If I share personal details with you, I expect you to keep that information up to date. It is the least you can do really. As a consumer, I will try to share with you information on when my circumstances change but sometimes I will forget. So, using available tools to do so makes sense.
And that trust manifests itself in many ways, I will buy more from the brands I trust, that I believe are doing the right thing, that treat me in the right way.
Talking of brand, there is another side to this. One that is sadly very relevant right now and that is that some of your customers will have passed away. If you do not put measures in place to ensure you are screening your data to identify deceased contacts, could cause serious distress and brand damage. At REaD Group, we feel this is so important that we have created The Bereavement Register (TBR) Daily. TBR Daily allows you to match your data against the deaths that have been registered the day before to keep your data as up to date as possible.
So next time you find yourself thinking that you don’t need to clean the data that you hold – because you are currently not mailing – please think again! For your benefit and for the end consumer.
Relevant statement in the GDPR Article 5.1 (d):
Personal data shall be;
(d) accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);
Using open source data, More Metrics has created a bespoke set of data models that explore the impact of COVID-19 on the UK population. These models can help brands ensure they are targeting their marketing messages, optimising contact with customers and increasing ROI. Data used to create these models is publicly available – ideal for the current situation.
More Metrics has used existing and new datasets to create 14 risk measurements relevant to COVID-19, including Age and Household Composition: Mortality and Co-Morbidity; Economic Resilience; Risk Engagement and Infection Rates.
These bespoke models can be used for:
- Screening to deselect vulnerable consumers for campaigns
- Attaching codes to inbound contact data to understand the consumer they are talking to
- Adding the data to models to ensure these factors are considered when selecting consumers for campaigns
The data is available at a range of different geographic levels: the application of each is dependent on usage. At the lowest level the models are created at OA (Output Area) level and can be attached to any individual or household with a postcode: the recommended level for most marketing applications.
REaD Group can advise marketers on how to best apply the models to make sensitive decisions and inform their marketing strategy, supporting data-driven decisions and responsible marketing.
By Scott Logie, Customer Engagement Director, REaD Group
Well, here we are, is this the new normal? Working from home; self-isolating and social distancing; stock-piling loo roll and digestive biscuits and hoping we still have an economy when we get out the other side. There has been nothing like this before and it is really important that we do try and keep our heads up and our industry working.
To be honest, I really didn’t want to be one of those people who jump on a bandwagon and write about Coronavirus. However, we are being asked a lot by clients and prospects about what the best thing to do is in this environment. Stick or twist? Keep marketing or cut costs and save for the future? The answer is not simple and will depend on your business, your sector and the combination of channels that you use.
If, for example, you use TV and pay per impression then bear in mind that impressions will be up across the board and the audience will be very different at all times of day than what you would normally expect. Maybe this is a good time to use the budget differently and test lower volumes of highly targeted TV through Sky Adsmart, All4 or the like? More people will be on social media but time spent on each post or ad will be a lot shorter. Maybe focus on direct messaging rather than generic adverts?
One of the questions we are being asked a lot is our view on whether to keep using direct mail. Again, this is going to be dependent on how mail fits within your overall channel mix but from an audience point of view, with vast majority of the UK population following Government advice and staying at home, that should mean a dramatic increase in open rates – with people making a point of looking at and engaging with their mail every day. This can only be good for open rates cut through and conversion. We are already seeing clients not just continue with direct mail but looking to increase volume. This is also true of door-drops and partially addressed mail.
If you are a charity, for example, key routes to your audience such as events and collections are being restricted, why wouldn’t you use direct mail? You know it works for your audience and you know you will get a decent response. And there will be companies who do well out of people being isolated such as food and fast food delivery companies, home entertainment and gaming, on-line shopping and subscription services. For these companies it is important to compete and be seen. On-line and digital engagement is vital but why not supplement this with some targeted mail as well? With millions of people spending the majority (if not all) of their time at home, mail will deliver a welcome distraction and alternative to intensive screen time for consumers and engagement and activation for brands.
Of course, targeting is key, as ever. Ensuring that you know your audience, can identify them and select them is vital. That’s where profiling and targeting really matters. Additionally, using those profiles across multiple media such as email and digital to enhance and provide a halo impact for the mailing will also help deliver success.
I guess one of the concerns on mail is whether it could transfer the virus to the recipient. Public Health England (PHE) has advised that people receiving letters and parcels are not at risk of contracting the Coronavirus. From our experience of other similar viruses, we know that these types of virus don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or parcels. This complements the very clear and highly publicised guidance from PHE regarding hand washing more often and more thoroughly than usual using soap and hot water.
To a greater extent, there is no point in saving for a rainy day, this is the rainy day. Now is the time to back your brand, make your message stick and mail is a great way to getting in front of your customer or prospects.
In light of the current situation regarding Covid-19, we would like to update our clients and partners on REaD Group’s planning for the weeks ahead.
We are putting in place sensible measures to ensure that we are prepared. Our top priorities are the health and well-being of our staff and the continuity of service for our clients.
We are monitoring the situation closely and responding calmly to Government directives, including continuing to provide our staff with systems and procedures that allow them to work remotely so they are available to support our customers and ensure continuity of essential services.
Please be assured that REaD Group’s remote working environment is protected within our Information Security Management framework covered by technical controls and procedures in line with ISO27001.
We remain committed to delivering the best possible service and are confident that there will not be any disruption to essential services. As the situation evolves, we will issues updates as required.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us here or get in touch with your Account Manager or other usual contacts at REaD.
CEO, REaD Group
REaD Group are delighted to have won Rising Star in the 2019 Apteco Partner awards – for the second year in a row!
Working closely together to deliver great customer experience and outstanding results for end user clients, the award reflects the strength of the partnership and collaboration between the two companies.
“We are very proud to be a strategic partner of Apteco and the Award represents the value we place on that partnership” commented REaD Group CEO, Jon Cano-Lopez. “It’s an exciting time for data driven marketing and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Apteco – and fully leveraging the latest developments to the platform – to help our clients achieve even better results”, he added.
The combination of our market leading data, the level of expertise in both businesses and Apteco’s software creates a very powerful offering for our clients.
Well done to all involved – and keep up the good work. The sky is the limit!
[To explore how REaD Group can help you optimise your data-driven marketing, contact our friendly team today]
It has been one hell of a year – and we are beyond delighted to now be multi award winning in 2019! And to be shortlisted for three categories in the DataIQ Awards is the icing on the cake.
But, ultimately, the real winner is data.
With all the hype surrounding data – it’s the new oil, gold, best thing since sliced bread, etc – it is easy to lose sight of the real impact of using it intelligently. Well managed, maintained and respected data will drive better strategic decisions and deliver tangible value to businesses on a day to day basis.
To be honest some of it isn’t that sexy but has the potential to transform businesses and achieve outstanding results – and win awards!!!
Data quality is one of the bedrocks of good data management and an obvious first step towards getting the most value from data. The old adage of “rubbish in, rubbish out” has never been more relevant – or potentially costly. In these highly regulated times, all businesses need to be confident that their data is clean, accurate and complete (and compliant!). And with the technology available to manage data quality more efficiently and securely advancing almost daily, there really is no excuse.
It can be as ‘simple’ as understanding your customers better. If you know who your best customers are, what they like, and how you should be communicating with them, then your messages to them will be more personal and positively received (not just personalised). The right analytics can transform strategy and with dramatic results. And deeper insight projects can completely transform business structures and promote new and more productive ways of working – as the award-winning project we have delivered with Marie Curie UK, The Big SHIFT, so aptly demonstrates.
Using high quality third party data, from a credible supplier, can have a dramatic impact on marketing strategy – particularly when it comes to acquisition. If you understand who you best customers are (see actionable insight!) third party data can help you find more of them and engage with them in the right way – using the right channel, message and offer – to ensure more successful outcomes. As our client Titan has very successfully demonstrated.
A new marketing mix
We believe there is a new marketing mix in town – data, creativity and technology.
The companies that use the data they have to make informed decisions that drive both creativity and personalisation – and choose the right technology to put the consumer at the heart of everything they do – are in the best position to win.
As our multi-award winning year goes to show, get the balance of these right and the sky is the limit!