Recently, the concept of creating and managing a single customer view database has fallen out of fashion. However, a few things have happened recently that make having a single view of a customer as important today as it always was.

Over the last few years, the concept of creating and managing a single customer view database has fallen out of fashion. For many companies, these projects became massive enterprise-level beasts with spiralling costs. As such, the underlying reason as to why you would want to know which customers transact in multiple ways was lost.

However, a few things have happened recently that make having a single view of a customer, or prospect, as important today as it always was. And this will hopefully help those companies who see their single customer view as an old fashioned offline-only tool becoming central to their full multi-channel engagement.

First of all, there are more ways for a consumer to engage with your band than ever before – signing up to email lists, following on social media, browsing and not buying as well as all the ways to actually purchase from a brand. In general this data does not get loaded into a single view of customer database (SCV), which means that there is a lot of very valuable data that is missing or not being used. However, all of this data is stored somewhere, and almost certainly doesn’t need to be copied and kept in a massive data lake. But knowing that it is the same person on the email list who recently bought is obviously very useful.

Secondly, with the new changes to cookie laws, it is going to be harder to use a consumer’s browsing history to deliver ads or offers. As such, what you know about them as an individual from the engagement they have with you becomes even more important. This is what is called first party data.  At the same time, the permission to engage with an individual across any channel is absolutely vital. The SCV can be a very useful repository for holding not only transactional data but also ad hoc engagement data and permissions.

And finally, but definitely not last, we have the recent changes in law with GDPR, which means that if a consumer wants to know what you hold about them then you have to oblige and deliver back all the information you hold. At present this can be cumbersome for many organisations as the SCV holds a lot of the main data but often doesn’t have any of the social or digital data. Therefore, a lot of work is needed to go and find the raw data in individual systems.

Building connections – real and virtual

One of the previous issues with building enterprise level database solutions for an SCV was the volume of data that had to be copied and held centrally. The prevailing wind today is that holding a copy of all data just doesn’t make sense.  And with the increase of data in the digital world – pages visited, posts, likes, comments and so in – it could be massively cost prohibitive.

In general, what we want to know in the SCV is how people have engaged and where the detail is on that engagement. Having connectors in place makes that much easier. For example, if we have an email address on a mailing list, we can use that to prospect to them.  As and when they buy and we get a physical address we can then connect that email address to a physical household where we also have another customer email address. Ditto with other connectors like IP address or mobile number.

There are now many spine files combining these connectors that are commercially available to help create these connections.

Another key issue is how we determine an individual. Previously that would generally have been a name and address, then an email address and now an IP address or social handle. The truth is that all of this is true. We have to keep our perception of who a prospect or customer is relatively fluid. An IP address is a potential sale even before we connect it to an email address, who is in turn a customer even before we get a physical address to deliver a product.

As such the overall volume of prospects, enquirers, customers and suchlike will increase with the understanding that once the connections are made, the data associated with each will be rationalised. The raw data itself about the connection can reside in the host systems and be used on an ad hoc basis as and when needed.

Keeping data up-to-date – it’s the law

There are many different levels of understanding of what is required under GDPR in terms of keeping data up to date. This isn’t that surprising as most of the concentration to date has been on consent and ensuring that we have permission to contact the consumers we want to engage with.

However, we also have an obligation to keep the data we hold current and clean. And to archive or delete what is no longer needed. In some cases, this has not been considered, while in others it is seen as a lower priority.

However, in GDPR, the advice is very clear: Article 5 requires that personal data be kept clean and accurate (or be deleted!).  As such, choosing a trusted location to hold the key information on your customers, optimise the quality of your data and maximise compliance is now business critical. Tackling GDPR compliance from an SCV point of view isn’t a luxury but a necessity. Keeping the data current, tracking permissions and consent and ensuring that SARs can be responded to quickly and accurately are all part of the new world of data management.

Use the data, don’t lose it

Another crime committed in the name of the SCV was building vast quantities of data into a database, and then doing not very much with it. This feels like the biggest crime of all.

Why hold information about your customers and then treat them all the same? Or know that you have a name on your email list and who buys online yet send them competing offers? Sadly, this happens every day.

Building a single view of customer is not a technology solution, it is a mindset change. The companies who have succeeded in the use of data, for example Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have done so not just by investing in big database solutions (which they undoubtably have) but also by investing in campaign planners and data scientists to mine the data, make some judgements, test theories and operationalise the ones that work.

Again, this is as important today as it ever was, with an increased need to be structured and organised. Just like the data in your SCV.

Scott Logie is Customer Engagement Director at marketing data and insight company REaD Group and Chair of the Customer Engagement Committee of the DMA (Data & Marketing Association).

For more information get in touch with our team at REaD Group 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 getting followed but that didn’t stop massive amounts of money being spent on mass targeting through Facebook or Google because it was fashionable.

And, of course, as a data geek, I am always happy when customer knowledge is at the heart of decision making.

When you combine all of these factors, from a marketing point of view we have a fascinating summer ahead. A summer where the loyalty that consumers have shown to the brands they have supported through all of this is rewarded; where brands and consumers can connect directly without the need of an intermediary; and where marketers focus on the people they want to have a relationship with, and embrace them while knowing more about how they are and what they are interested in. Quite possibly the recipe for a third summer of love perhaps?

To find the full article go to – Why marketing needs a third summer of love | CustomerThink 

 

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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!

Email: enquiries@readgroup.co.uk
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 

This checklist will take you through how to create your own successful direct mail campaign!

Download Checklist Now

Covering the following:

  • Why you should choose direct mail?
  • How to choose your target audience
  • How to avoid mailing you existing customer base
  • How to set a call to action (CTA)
  • How to decide on the format of a direct mail pack
  • How to determine the campaign look and message
  • Hoe to decide which partners to use
  • How to determine what other marketing activities to run
  • How to tell if your campaign has worked
  • What results you can expect

Benchmarks will vary dependent on sector, but with significant experience in planning campaigns within your sector, REaD Group will be able to provide forecasted response rates, expected average donation values, and ROI predictions for your campaign activity. This allows a level of budgetary forecasting that can be reported to the business ahead of the campaign going live.

Download Checklist Now

Want to find out how REaD Group can help your charity implemented a
highly effective direct mail campaign?
Then get in touch with the team on PHONE or EMAIL.

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

The past 18 months have been anything but easy. Our work and home routines were completely changed and with that, the many people felt their mental health was hugely affected.  In fact REaD Group has been supporting The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) since 2019. But as a charity that supports people who are battling mental health issues, the events of the last 18 months has made it even more pertinent to put our energies into our fundraising for CALM this year.

At the end of last year the charity recorded that the number of people taking their own lives each week hit a high of 94 – and 75% of those are men. To support this incredible charity and spread the word, we decided to raise much needed funds and awareness of this shocking statistic. The 94 Challenge was not going to be an easy one, but the team rallied together and took on some incredibly challenges!

The REaD running club collectively ran 94 miles!

And our very own strong man Adam lifted 94 tonnes!

We also saw the team take on:

  • 94k in a week
  • 94 minutes of walking and running a day
  • 94 miles of cycling
  • 94 press ups, sit ups and squats a day WOW!
  • 9,400m row each day
  • Baking and selling 94 brownies in a week and they were DELICIOUS!
  • No carbs for 94 meals
  • 94 holes of golf in a week
  • Auctioning off a 94×94 painting
  • 94 keepie-uppies
  • No pasta for 94 meals
  • 94 times tables
  • And so much more …

For more information on the work CALM do and how to get involved – click here.

Or to donate to the REaD Group 94 challenge – click here. 

Thank you!

 

 

 

For over 30 years, REaD Group have taken the lead in planning strategies and multi-channel communications. Delivering acquisition and retention for our clients using insight-driven recommendations to optimise marketing budget and maximise return on investment. Giving brands the knowledge and services to make accurate, trusted and effective marketing decisions for their brand.

Combining attitudinal, social and opinion data with REaD Group’s comprehensive demographic and lifestyle UK database, and drawing on our award-winning insight expertise, we provide a one-stop shop for multi-channel marketing. Our objective is to provide clients with an in-depth understanding of the UK consumer market using our experience across multiple industry sectors. We specialise in both online and offline channels and understand that no one channel works in isolation:

  • Direct Mail
  • Partially Addressed Mail
  • Door-drops
  • Inserts
  • Email
  • Social
  • Telephone

Our campaign planning services (whether acquisition or retention) ensure a holistic and insight-driven approach. Giving clients the confidence that every pound spent is being optimised in the most appropriate and relevant channels top deliver the best results.

For more information check out our Trusted Solutions Page 

Or get in touch with REaD Group today!

We are delighted that REaD Group were shortlisted for the CIM Marketing Excellence Award for Best Use of Data and Insight with Titan Travel!

 

This nomination recognised the intelligent use of REaD Group data to deliver compelling insight, resulting in an improved customer experience and communication strategy. Through expert analysis, demonstrating how insightful strategies result in brand success and delivering an ongoing competitive advantage for Titan Travel.

The Brief!

Titan Travel reached out to REaD Group to explore the use of multi-channel campaigns using direct mail and email targeting. As a company that pride themselves on offering unbeatable value and quality they needed a partner that reciprocated those values and outlooks. We were given the brief to create a re-newed focus on customer acquistion and targeting, and this is what we did…

The Solution!

By taking Titan’s data and running detailed profiles we gained  invaluable insight in to the demographics, behavioural traits and personas of their customer base. Once the macro segmentation was in place, REaD used Titan’s transactional and engagement data to drill down and create micro segments which enabled customised strategies, increased personalisation and relevancy – targeting and engaging their customers with confidence and accuracy at the highest standard.

“REaD Group have supported us with look-a-like prospects based on our customer demographic and we’ve had overwhelming success, which is why this continues to form part of our on-going strategy The data is continually improved by overlaying and prospects that book with us to ensure that the output is even more targeted each time”

– Tom Adams. Senior Marketing Executive – Customer Acquisition. 

The Outcome!

The project gave Titan the ability to create a market segmentation which provided a much clearer view of the UK travel market to assess market share, areas for growth and possible areas to avoid. The dramatic change in acquisition strategy, driven by REaD data and insight, utilising addressed mail as the primary channel, enabled Titan to achieve some truly spectacular and unprecedented results.

View our award-winning Services 

Or get in touch today! 

 

 

 

 

It’s time to talk!

Get on the phone, send out those zoom invites or throw back to more traditional methods with a hand written letter. To embrace Time to Talk Day the REaD Group team took time out of their busy schedules to have a talk with CALM – Our elected charity for 2021. We heard from our CALM ambassador about the amazing work they do, but also how to keep ourselves going, communicating and making the most of what we can do over the next few months:

  • Making the most of our lunch breaks with some fresh air
  • Getting away from our screens as much as possible
  • Staying active
  • Talking to friends and family (call, webchat and write)
  • And knowing where to turn when we need guidance and advice

Campaign against living miserably (CALM) is a life saving charity dedicated to supporting those that need advice, guidance or immediate help with mental health, wellbeing and suicide. Their help line and web chat services are open from 5pm to midnight every day and offer anonymous, confidential and non-judgemental solution focused advice for anyone that needs it. This past year has certainly brought out a lot in all of us, whether it’s  problems with isolation, anxiety, relationship concerns, health worries, financial stress or mental health worries. CALM is always there to give practical and tangible solutions.

As a team we have pledged to raise £5,000 for CALM this year. We’ll be taking on some personal challenges and keeping active, getting ready for a REaD Group talent show, and hopefully signing up to some group activities as soon as possible. We are also celebrating Random Acts of Kindness week with a company wide gifting scheme, raising money for CALM and spREaDing the love this February!

For more information of CALM and the incredible work they do go to – CALM