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27/06/2017 17:35:00 03/03/2017 09:45




Tel: 0141 222 2100 PUBLISHER & MANAGING EDITOR Antony Begley 0141 222 5380 • EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Iain Hoey 0141 222 5385 • CONSULTING EDITOR James Lawson DIGITAL EDITOR Findlay Stein 0141 222 5389 • ADVERTISING MANAGER Philip Campbell 0141 222 5391 • SENIOR DESIGNER Richard Chaudhry 0141 222 5300 • DESIGNER Lisa Deakin 0141 222 5388 • EVENTS & OPERATIONS CO-ORDINATOR Chloe Buchanan 0141 222 5383 •

Database Marketing is published bi-monthly by

55 North Ltd Waterloo Chambers, 19 Waterloo Street Glasgow G2 6AY Database Marketing is distributed free to qualifying readers. For sample copies or information on subscriptions visit ISSN: 1465-2900 Copyright 55 North Ltd 2017. All rights reserved


17 09:45

Database Marketing 3

GDPR: SO MANY QUESTIONS, SO FEW ANSWERS, SO LITTLE TIME It was a fascinating experience to host a GDPR-focused roundtable in the plush surroundings of The Gherkin in London recently (with the generous support of The REaD Group). The point of the event was to take the temperature of the industry with regard to how preparations were progressing - or otherwise - among some of the top organisations, charities and businesses in the UK. Many of these organisations are major players with large scale data teams and all the legal and technical advice they can eat, so it was enthralling to hear the conversation evolve over the course of a pleasant couple of hours. While the GDPR document published last year purports to be clear and concise, and the ICO has subsequently published its own guidance, the overwhelming feeling around the table was that much of what lies ahead post May 2018 remains on the full spectrum of grey with very little in crisp black and white. Some of the regulations are indeed unambiguous but it’s amazing how long a knowledgeable, experienced group of data experts can debate the finer points of GDPR over a nice lunch and a glass of Chablis. What exactly does “legitimate interest” mean? The ICO guidance is easy to pick holes in. Similarly, when it comes to the thorny issue of consent, the regulations state that it must be “freely given, unambiguous and informed”. Even among our small group of well informed data specialists there was disagreement on, for instance, whether incentivised consent would be treated by the ICO as having been “freely given” or not - so could it potentially fall foul of the regulations and attract fines or worse? All told it was an energising afternoon spent debating the small print and boundaries but, most encouragingly of all, it was crystal clear that the group around the table were more focused on ensuring that their relationships with their customers were maintained and enhanced after May 2018 than on simply ticking compliance boxes or finding loopholes. And that’s exactly how it should be. Antony Begley Managing Editor GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? EMAIL ABEGLEY@55NORTH.COM


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Database Marketing 5 May-Jun Issue 194

12 Cover Story Experts from across the data and insightdriven industry gather in London to discuss GDPR and the future.

News 6 THIRD OF ONLINE CUSTOMER DATA ‘COULD BE FAKE’ New research from Wilmington Millennium suggests up to a third of online customer data could be fake.

Software launch The Software Bureau launches

7 GBG ACQUIRES PCA PREDICT GBG snaps up PCA Predict for £66m to create what it is calling “the world’s leading location intelligence platform”.

free new online sortation solution to help more marketers get on

8 ICO FINES ‘MAY RISE BY 4,500%’ POST MAY 18 Alchemetrics research predicts that ICO fines may increase by 4,500% after the May 2018 GDPR deadline.

the sortation ladder.

9 ALLIES ADDS ISLANDS TO POSTCODER Allies has incorporated AddressBase Islands into its web API, PostCoder Web, adding Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. p16

Opinion 10 ARE YOU GDPR-READY? Etienne Greef, CTO, SecureData Five warning signs that your organisation is perhaps not yet ready for May 2018.

Call It Like You See It Beyond Analysis CEO Paul


Alexander asks if data scientists

18 AUTOMATION FOR THE NATION Adam Oldfield, MD, Force 24 Why can marketers no longer live without automation technology?

could be preventing organisations from becoming datadriven.

Features 20 DATA CLEANSING 2.0 James Lawson A look at some of the options available to clean up your act – and your data – in 2017.


23 ADDRESSING: CASE STUDIES James Lawson A collection of case studies highlighting the key role of addressing software..

DBM.Today Remember to visit our website for an up-to-the-minute news service.


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6 Database Marketing Funding: 118 Group rings up big number 118 Group has received a £42m investment from Pricoa Capital Group, a Prudential Financial subsidiary. Paul Spinks and Patrick Bradshaw, who set up 118 nine years ago, maintain significant stakes in the business. Spinks said the transaction “delivered liquidity whilst allowing 118 Group to fulfil the next stage in its growth trajectory.”

Fines for 11 charities The ICO has fined 11 charities that breached the Data Protection Act by misusing donors’ personal data. ICO investigations found many of the charities secretly screened millions of donors so they could target them for additional funds. The charities fined included Cancer Research UK, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Macmillan Cancer Support and Oxfam.

Europe trumps UK on database pay The average annual salary of someone in the UK working with databases is $44,483, according to a survey by Redgate Software. This lags behind the rest of Europe ($54,565) and falls considerably short of the charttopping US, where database administrators trouser an average of $94,176 per year. The best paid sector is utilities (average salary $104,204), with the public sector ($71,930) bringing up the rear.

Adestra names new CFO Adestra has appointed Bradley Shore to its Board of Directors as Chief Finance Officer. Shore brings more than 20 years of senior financial management experience in the technology and software industries to his new role.

News PERSONAL DATA Wilmington Millennium research finds deluge of dummy details

One-third of customer data online could be fake A study by Wilmington Millennium has revealed that up to a third of customer data captured via web forms and stored in customer databases could be fake. The research found that 23% of internet users regularly provide organisations with false information about themselves to curb any follow up marketing activity. This rises to almost one in three (32%) amongst people that use the internet in a B2B capacity. As increasing numbers of organisations demand personal data in exchange for free content or deals, internet users are responding by using fake names, made up email addresses and bogus telephone numbers to ensure they are not contacted in the future.

The most common practices were found to be:  Providing a dummy account – a live email address that has been set up purely for signing up to organisations of little interest  Giving the name of a friend, family member or colleague along with a made-up email address relating to that name  Using the name of a famous person  Making up a name and email address  Deliberately misspelling an actual email address  Changing one or two digits of the actual telephone number  Making up a telephone number  Altering the postal address e.g. house number or street name  Making up a postal address

The study revealed that internet users were most likely to provide a dummy address or fake name and email address. Postal addresses were the least likely to be falsified. The most at risk sectors were revealed to be B2B organisations, media companies, voucher sites, travel companies, comparison sites, data providers and retailers. Financial services, government and charities were least affected. “The bad news is that organisations are spending money on storing, maintaining and processing fake data,” said Karen Pritchard, Product Director, Wilmington Millennium. “On the other hand, for the direct mail industry it provides further evidence of the effectiveness of the channel.”

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT Almost 250 new marketers pass industry exams

IDM’s class of 2017 graduates This year’s Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) Graduation ceremony was held recently at London’s Institution of Engineering and Technology, where the 242 members of its class of 2017 joined the ranks of over 10,000 IDM alumni. The ceremony featured a talk from Dr Dave Chaffey, author of ‘Emarketing Excellence’ and ‘Digital Marketing’.

Jane Cave, MD at the IDM, acknowledged the “extraordinary effort” required from graduates to combine work, family and study commitments. “With your qualification, you will be joining an elite, and increasingly influential, group of marketers that are shaping our industry,” she added. This year’s Derek Holder Special Achievement Award, given in

honour of the IDM’s co-founder to the student that achieves particularly exceptional exam results, was awarded to Laura Acors. The IDM Group Project Award, given as special recognition of the excellent extra-curricular work from those studying the IDM Diploma in Direct and Digital Marketing, went to Emma Noye, Laura Oduntan and Violet Palmer.

DATA ANALYSIS Startup promises pay-as-you-go datasets from around the globe

Slice ‘n’ price data on offer A new service from startup Brainnwave is offering quick, easy access to datasets worldwide, including Skyscanner, Ordnance Survey and Airbus Defence and Space, all in one place. The Brainnwave one-stop-shop service promises users access to the ‘slices’ of data relevant to them and prices it accordingly.

Don Baker, Brainnwave Founder, explained: “Brainnwave wants to make managing your data library as easy as managing your music, photo and video libraries online. We are tackling the access challenge head on by making it easier and faster to find the data needed. This allows users to concentrate on unlocking

innovation rather than on finding and accessing the data. “The transparent pricing policy means users only ever pay for what they need. When time is money it makes sense to focus resources on generating the insights that inform strategic decisions rather than on searching for the relevant data in the first place.”


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News ACQUISITIONS Deal creates “world’s leading location intelligence platform”

GBG acquires PCA Predict for £66m GBG, an identity data intelligence specialist, has bought PCA Predict (formerly Postcode Anywhere) for the sum of £66m. The deal combines PCA’s SaaS technology with GBG’s global address repository – available for over 190 countries – to create what GBG says is “the world’s leading location intelligence platform”. The acquisition brings together two complementary solutions as well as offering a full suite of deployment options to the combined customer base. The full product portfolio now available includes:  GBG Loqate – aimed at global enterprises through GBG’s channel partners  GBG Matchcode360 – sold directly to large corporates with the addition of sector specific reference data  PCA Predict – designed specifically for smaller businesses

PCA’s platform is equipped to handle high transaction volumes. This means GBG will be able to deliver extra capacity to customers at peak times much faster and more easily.

Chris Clark (pictured), CEO at GBG, said the deal was a very exciting prospect. “There is a strong strategic and cultural fit in combining our capabilities which will bring significant benefit to our customers. PCA already serves many leading ecommerce companies who are transforming

the way we shop and access services online. We are ideally placed to support their growth. Together with the fantastic team at PCA, we have the opportunity to accelerate our progress in this fast-emerging market.” Guy Mucklow, President at PCA Predict, commented: “We are really excited about becoming part of GBG. It brings together two highly successful, growth focused, businesses with complementary skills and similar cultures to create a world class technology company. The GBG team has a long history of integrating acquisitions successfully; together we now have the very best knowledge and expertise in this sector.” David Green, Managing Director of Location Intelligence at GBG added: “GBG has admired the work of the PCA Predict team for many years and we’re thrilled to welcome them into the GBG family.

LEAD GENERATION Aberdeen Group applies the science of engagement

Lead-gen platform targets ‘in-market’ tech buyers A combined account data and content platform has launched by Aberdeen Group, enabling tech marketers to find and engage with active buyers while they are in-market to purchase specific technology products. Lead Essentials delivers account-based “engagement science” services to its users by matching purchase-intent data with an extensive library of techspecific content. This facilitates ondemand tailored communications related to each account’s unique needs and interests. The platform is a subscriptionbased SaaS offering, providing data

and content for hundreds of tech categories. “Understanding which organisations are actively in-market and which content assets will best engage decision makers is an enduring challenge for technology companies and resellers,” said Aberdeen Group Europe MD Judith Niederschelp. “Lead Essentials has been created to solve this problem. It is rooted in timely purchase intent data combined with company information and decision maker contact details. It also leverages account-based intelligence and predictive analytics to pinpoint

the most relevant research-based content to share.” Lead Essentials includes an intuitive user-interface and a powerful search capability across hundreds of markets of account data and content, in multiple business categories. Tech marketers can subscribe to accounts actively in the purchase process for specific tech products and connect these prospects with topic-specific content. Aberdeen content is available in 12 formats, among them videos, infographics, eBooks, white papers, checklists, assessment tools and social content.

Database Marketing 7 Iovox unveils campaign evaluation tool Call analytics company Iovox has launched a new solution to provides marketers with enhanced data analytics, enabling them to make more informed decisions when evaluating the performance of in-bound marketing campaigns. The Multichannel Marketing solution is specifically designed for companies using multiple marketing channels to drive inbound calls to their business. It applies a unique phone number to each referring domain that generates call traffic, and gives marketers insight into the performance of each channel.

Two-thirds of consumers only ‘slightly concerned’ over use of their data Less than one-third (32%) of UK adult consumers are very concerned about how companies may currently hold and process their personal information, according to a recent DBS Data survey. The poll also revealed a slight preference for personalisation with 56% looking to receive tailored adverts. Email (68%) was the preferred channel by far, with post second at 18%. Nuisance calls ensured telephone was least popular with a mere 1.5%.

Brands failing to deliver on personalisation The majority of brands (89%) still can’t deliver personalised digital experiences, research by Acquia has revealed. The company’s report, ’Beyond the Hype’ finds brands struggling with a lack of insight into the preferences or identities of visitors (48%), lack of budget for the right technology (45%), lack of board buy-in (34%) and lack of content (33%).


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8 Database Marketing Amaze One’s Sarah Hooper appointed to BIMA council Sarah Hooper, CRM Divisional Director for Amaze One, has been appointed as a member of the BIMA council. BIMA council members set the agenda for the digital community across the UK, and Hooper has been selected specifically for her expertise and insight into CRM, as well as her passion for using CRM to forge meaningful relationships with customers and help futureproof the industry.

Adsertor signs up 100th client in under six months Customer data technology specialist ITM Group has landed its 100th client less than six months after launching its Adsertor system. The company is now working with businesses across multiple sectors including retail, legal, and property. It says year one revenues will be over £500,000 and is forecasting growth of 150% to £1.5m in year two.

Donorfy tops Charity CRM Software Survey Donorfy, has been rated the top ‘CRM software’ and ‘top CRM supplier’ in the Charity CRM Software Survey for the second year running. It also gained market share in the small charity category to make the fundraising software platform the fastest-growing CRM for UK non-profits.

Neilson calls ResponseTap Active holiday specialist Neilson has invested in call intelligence technology from ResponseTap, to strengthen the brand’s multichannel marketing strategy. Despite the onboarding process only beginning in February, ResponseTap is now fully integrated into Neilson’s website, with CRM integration next on the agenda.

News LEGISLATION Research reveals potential costs of future data breaches

ICO fines could soar 4500% post-GDPR With less than a year to the enforcement of GDPR, new research from Alchemetrics has revealed that ICO fines could increase by 4500% following the introduction of the new legislation on May 25, 2018. In the last year (May 2016–May 2017) the ICO issued sanctions to 49 organisations totalling £3.5m. However, under the new EU Directive, the ICO will have the power to fine organisations up to four per cent of their annual global turnover. This amounts to over £150m when applied to the organisations fined over the last 12 months. Marketing companies received the highest penalties totalling £1m. Claims companies and finance organisations were the second and third highest payers, with £640,000 and £470,000 being shelled out respectively. Charities received the highest number of fines (13) for their use of data matching, wealth screening and data sharing. However, these amounted to an average of just £14,000 each or 0.01% of their average yearly donations. TalkTalk received the largest penalty ever

issued by the ICO (£400,000) for its high-profile data breach. But under GDPR the company could have found itself facing a £72m bill. In terms of locations, organisations based in the northwest were fined the most (£1m), followed by those registered to the south-east (£752,000) and London (£693,500). The fines covered an estimated 15,214,514 spam texts, 3,589,790 spam emails and 150,600,266 unsolicited calls. Additionally,

charities were penalised for 4,183,152 incidences of data matching, 32,266,985 incidences of wealth screening and 9,108,678 incidences of unfairly sharing donors’ details with other charities. Amongst the fines there were also 12 cases of data protection/data breaches. These included failing to remove sensitive information from a filing cabinet after giving it to charity, the loss of unencrypted witness DVDs in the post and breaches in online security.

FUNDING Major shot in arm for real time marketing company

£2.15m boost for Fresh Relevance Fresh Relevance has received a £2.15m investment from Foresight Venture Capital Trust. The founders of the email marketing and web personalisation platform – Mike Austin, Pete Austin and Eddy Swindell – are ex-employees of former Foresight private equity portfolio company SmartFocus. Mike Austin commented: “To

date we have achieved major growth, with more than 300 customers now relying on the Fresh Relevance marketing hub. The significant investment from Foresight Group enables us to accelerate our expansion across North America, explore market opportunities in new territories and further extend our in-house development capabilities.”

Rodney Appiah, Senior Investment Manager, Foresight Group, added: “We are delighted to be working with Mike and the rest of the team to support Fresh Relevance’s growth plans. Their innovative and flexible marketing platform is addressing the demand for greater personalisation online and is already relied upon by hundreds of leading retailers.”


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News ADDRESSING Postcoder Web now covers Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Channel Islands

Allies strengthens PostCoder with AddressBase Islands Allies has incorporated AddressBase Islands into its web API, PostCoder Web. AddressBase Islands is a new data product from Ordnance Survey which provides information regarding addresses and properties in Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The dataset describes over 1.1 million postal addresses and complements similar information which is already available for England, Scotland and Wales within AddressBase Premium. Between them, the two datasets reveal over 40 million records complete with UPRN identifiers and property-level coordinate positions. The move by Allies means PostCoder Web now harnesses the accuracy and breadth of data within both AddressBase Islands and AddressBase Premium, the

Aprimo takes to the cloud Aprimo has rolled out its next-generation campaign management solution, Aprimo Campaign. The solution allows mid- to large-sized agencies, organisations and marketing service providers connect to and manage their customer and prospect databases using the cloud, and extract key customer insights. “The average organisation has more marketing data than it knows what to do with, and there’s a serious need to bring method to the madness,” said Kevin Souers, Chief Product Officer, Aprimo.

Yieldify raises $6 million in new funding round

latter of which was incorporated into the API in 2015. Businesses that adopt the AddressBase feature within PostCoder Web can take full advantage of address lookup with precise geocoding across all of the UK and its Crown dependencies. Dan Cooper, CEO for Allies, said: “AddressBase Premium has become the geographic dataset

of choice for many businesses but adoption by others has been hindered by the fact that it only covers England, Scotland and Wales. “The extended coverage from AddressBase Islands solves this problem and will, we believe, encourage many more businesses to use AddressBase through our API.”

LEGISLATION Government looks to tighten up existing regulation

ICO to start work on new DM and data guidelines The Information Commissioners Office will begin work on new direct marketing and data guidelines by the summer. The news comes in the wake of Government legislation that instructed the regulator to produce a new direct marketing and data code. The Digital Economy Bill was pushed through as part of the Government’s legislative ‘wash up’ before it shut down for the election. A key element of the Bill is an instruction to the ICO to produce new guidelines on direct

Database Marketing 9

marketing and data practice. As a result, the future of direct marketing and use of consumer data is likely to be decided upon within the next 12 months. The ICO will submit its recommended new guidelines for consideration by ministers. A government representative has said that whatever rules ministers choose to adopt will become law with powers to take offenders to court. There is strong evidence to suggest that politicians are seeking a tightening up of regulation from the review. Comments

made during debate on the Bill in the House of Commons were at times highly critical of the direct marketing sector, ranging from “the lowest of the low” to “could not be trusted”. However, within the new Bill the ICO will be given clear instruction that it must consult industry representatives as part of the guideline review process. This presents an opportunity for organisations from the direct marketing and data communities to formally put ideas forward to improve regulation standards.

Yieldify, a self-styled “marketing experience company” has secured $6 million in its second round of funding, led by Binomial Ventures. It included participation by John Giuliani, CEO of digital marketer Conversant, who also joins the Yieldify board as Chairman, and Tom Singh, founder of fashion chain New Look. John Giuliani commented: “The Yieldify product and the team behind it are breaking new ground in the marketing technology space. This is shaping up to be an exciting journey that I’m looking forward to being a part of.”

Retail customer experience average at best UK retailers are struggling to deliver adequate, consistent customer service, according to new research from Eptica. Companies were unable to answer 46% of customer queries received on email, the web, Twitter and Facebook. Only 7.5% responded on all four channels, with only 2.5% giving the same, correct answer across all of them.


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10 Database Marketing




Etienne Greeff, CTO & Founder of SecureData




ven though the clock is ticking, 50% of companies still haven’t made any preparations for the GDPR. Meanwhile, many other organisations are still struggling to map out the EU’s new requirements and bring their existing systems into line. With the GDPR ushering in record fines and the public disclosure of breaches, it’s essential to know whether your business really is ready. Here are the top five warning signs we’ve seen from companies that still have work to do. 1) YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR SECURITY No organisation can know how near or far it is from the GDPR compliance without a clear understanding of where it is today. Only with a complete assessment of their existing security posture will organisations have the visibility to see vulnerabilities, close crucial gaps and drive cost-effective compliance. 2) YOU HAVE NO VISIBILITY INTO YOUR DATA Before the emergence of the GDPR, there was a strong temptation to store away as much information as possible about customers, partners and employees for later use. However, all those dusty data silos are now a real hazard. Businesses with poorly organised data stores have their work cut out for them. To ensure compliance, organisations must understand what data they hold, where it is and whether it’s effectively protected. With the new regulation giving individuals more control over their data than ever before, businesses must also be able to locate, access and remove information on request. Data controllers will also have to carefully vet third-party data processors to ensure they can provide adequate security, sharing equal liability for any breaches that take place under their watch. 3) YOU’VE NEVER DETECTED A DATA BREACH According to PWC, 90% of large organisations and 74% of SMEs have been breached in recent years, but 83% of businesses take weeks or more to discover what’s happened.

Firms that struggle to detect compromises – or worse, believe they’ve never been breached – will be unable to meet the GDPR’s security monitoring requirements. Soon firms will need to identify and report breaches within 72 hours, or at least ‘without undue delay’. To protect sensitive data in real-time, organisations need the ability to detect anomalous behaviour, zero-day threats and other risks missed by traditional security solutions. 4) YOU HAVE NO ACCESS TO SECURITY EXPERTISE With 40% of organisations openly admitting their employees haven’t received any privacy training, access to scarce security expertise will form a crucial part of the GDPR compliance. Almost half of security professionals now cite the global talent shortage as a major cause of data breaches. Any organisation lacking security and compliance skills either needs to start hiring, or turn to dedicated managed security service providers for help. Expert people overseeing the GDPR compliance won’t just ensure ‘privacy by design’ and maximum protection for the data being held, it can make security a competitive differentiator. In a world where data breaches are always in the headlines, customers and partners will be more willing to do business with those that have effective, expert security in place. 5) YOU HAVE NO INCIDENT RESPONSE STRATEGY When the worst happens, organisations must be able to demonstrate they’re responding quickly and effectively. Data breach investigations must be rigorously recorded so the authorities can see how firms are remedying the problem. Organisations need to ensure they have the people, procedures and systems in place to react swiftly to a security breach as it happens, while also building-in contingency plans for critical systems, data and applications. Having the capabilities in place to understand and minimise the fallout from a breach immediately, as well as prevent the same issue from reoccurring, will mean companies are in good stead when reporting any issues. 


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12 Database Marketing

Cover Story

GDPR Roundtable Antony Begley, Managing Editor



MARK ROY Chairman, REaD Group


SCOTT LOGIE Managing Director of Engagement, REaD Group

ANTONY BEGLEY Managing Editor, Database Marketing


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Cover Story

Database Marketing 13


LUTION Database Marketing convened a roundtable of some of the industry’s leading lights, supported by The REaD Group, to take a deep dive into the biggest topic in data.


he word ‘revolution’ is one of those much-abused clichés that find their way into too many press releases and marketing conversations, but when it comes to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) it is forgivable to resort to the infamous ‘r’ word. It’s only a mild exaggeration to say that, for data and insightdriven marketers, GDPR changes everything. The genesis of GDPR has been a long and convoluted one, however, prompting a vast amount of rumour, scare-mongering, misinformation and worse. As the GDPR was only published in the Official Journal of the European Union on May 4, 2016, many have argued that it hasn’t given marketers enough time to digest the contents and understand the profound implications in time for the implementation date of May 25, 2018. It was only relatively recently that marketers could actually start making concrete plans, safe in the knowledge that their strategies had a decent chance of delivering the outcomes they sought in good time for the deadline marked in red pen in the 2018 calendar of every data marketer in the UK. A quick look through the mammoth

GDPR document is enough to see that truly understanding the content and setting in place structures to guarantee compliance beyond any reasonable doubt is a truly significant undertaking, particularly for organisations that routinely rely on data and insight to fuel their business. QUESTION TIME How well do organisations understand the obligations that now lie upon them? How far advanced are they in their preparations? How have they gone about breaking GDPR into manageable, actionable chunks? All these questions and more were behind a roundtable convened at The Gherkin in London by Database Marketing, with the kind and generous support of The REaD Group, the UK’s leading independent data communications agency. We were keen to discover how some of the UK’s biggest and best businesses and charities were faring in their race to May 18 and how traumatic (or otherwise) that journey was proving to be. The agenda for the day was extensive but covered a range of important topics WWW.DBM.TODAY

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including: the key challenges facing marketers in complying with all GDPR regulations; the profound implications for customer engagement and retention; the likely impacts on the customer relationship and how these can be managed; and the increased complexity of managing omnichannel marketing under GDPR. In order to canvas as wide an opinion as possible from the key industry verticals, representatives from a number of leading charities, business and organisations were invited to attend, including Ageas, Age UK, AIG, ASOS, Domestic and General, News UK, Photobox, Rank, Swiss Re and Talk Talk. While the vast majority of what was said on the day was off the record, for obvious reasons, it is worthwhile to examine the topics that cropped up during the conversation and the general feeling of the group around the table with regard to these issues: NOT A BOX-TICKING EXERCISE Interestingly, the overwhelming feeling around the table when asked about how far down the road to compliance they were was met with the


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14 Database Marketing

Cover Story

GDPR Roundtable Antony Begley, Managing Editor

response that this wasn’t simply a compliance, or ‘ticking the box’ issue, it was all about customer service and ensuring that customer service improves through GDPR, rather than suffers. FINE MESS The increasing power and increasingly sharp teeth of the Information Commissioner’s Office were warmly welcomed by those in attendance as a positive step towards wiping out those who have historically been able to play fast and loose with the rules, often at the expense of the play-by-the-rules majority. CONSENT CHALLENGES The GDPR states that consent must be “freely given, unambiguous and informed” and a small debate ensued around incentivising consumers to give consent. Some believed consumers understand the value exchange they get for providing data in return for a benefit of some kind, while others questioned whether incentivised consent can truly be viewed as “freely given”. The ICO’s advice on this area is not as clear as it could have been.

The issue of generic third-party consent was another contentious issue, having long played an important role in data marketing. A case study was cited of a major publisher wishing to “wipe out third party data” entirely, stating that “GDPR didn’t go far enough” with a focus entirely on first party opted-in data as the only way forward. LEGITIMATE INTEREST The topic of “legitimate interest”, as defined in the GDPR document, aroused some enthusiastic discussion. It remains extremely unclear what may or may not be defined as legitimate interest and there will certainly be interesting cases that arise post May 2018 as prosecutions serve to clarify exactly how the ICO views legitimate interest. GENERATIONAL EVOLUTION There was consensus that millennials have a far better grasp of the risks and potential rewards of offering up personal data in return for a benefit, although one or two dissenters said their experience shows that older consumers are increasingly savvy and even go as far as

contacting them to ask why they are not being sent offers that others have been receiving. It was also pointed out that consumers have historically shown themselves willing to evolve and adapt with the technology, as was the case when cookie legislation was introduced. LANGUAGE BARRIER An interesting section of the discussion centred around the language employed in and around data and data marketing. Even the word ‘consent’ has a legalistic, formal air that is perhaps not contributing positively to the nature of the activity being carried out - and can be intimidating for consumers and put them on the defensive from the off. The often-prosaic form that many existing consent forms take also helps confuse the matter and is clearly not consistent with the spirit of the GDPR regulations. VOLUME AND VALUE As the amount of fully consented marketing data inevitably shrinks in the wake of GDPR, the value of the remaining data will consequently rise in value. The implication here is that


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Cover Story

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The increasing power and increasingly sharp teeth of the Information Commissioner’s Office were warmly welcomed by those in attendance.

retention marketing will increase in importance. CHARITABLE CHALLENGE With charities represented, a portion of the discussion centred around the new Fundraising Preference Service, meaning charities now have two significant sets of compliance challenges, not just the single GDPR challenge that non-charities face. Both sets of regulations are highly likely to make a massive negative impact on charity donations. Mark Roy, Chairman of The REaD Group, closed the session with an enthusiastic thanks for an insightful and thoroughly interesting day. “There’s no question that GDPR changes everything and we have been privileged to gain some invaluable insight today from some of the UK’s finest data-driven businesses and charities in some very pleasant surroundings,” he said. “For our part, The REaD Group is proud to have been able to support the event today and we look forward to helping the industry navigate what promises to be an interesting and challenging but potentially extremely positive future.”  WWW.DBM.TODAY

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16 Database Marketing

Software launch

Postal sortation

MYMAILING.CO.UK MAKES SORTATION ACCESSIBLE FOR ALL A new online sortation solution from The Software Bureau makes gaining access to significant mailing discounts easier than ever to a wider audience than ever – and all free of charge. MyMailing is a free, online only service for all Royal Mail sort types with the single exception of Mailmark. Built to modern online software standards, the service has simplicity and ease of use at its core. MyMailing offers quick, easy, free access to anyone wishing to save money on postage through sortation. The system caters for:

 Letters, Large letters and Parcels  Business, Advertising and Publishing  Economy, Second and First Class  High Sort, Low Sort, Low Sort OCR, Low Sort Barcode  All Sustainability and Container presentation options

The Software Bureau The Software Bureau, perhaps best known for its flagship Cygnus product, develops and deploys market-leading software that places the power of data management for direct marketing into the hands of its clients. Since the launch of Cygnus in 2000 and more recently SwiftSort, and GeMMA for Mailmark, The Software Bureau has built a client base of over 100 organisations including mailing houses, marketing service providers, end users and some of the UK’s largest charitable organisations. Cygnus incorporates in excess of 500 million trace and suppression records, making The Software Bureau one of the largest providers of data hygiene products and services in the UK.


fficient, quick and effective mail sortation is second nature to organisations routinely sending out large volumes of direct mail but for those organisations in the next tier down – those sending smaller volumes or less frequent mailings – gaining access to good quality sortation has traditionally been difficult, expensive or both. The recent launch of a new free-to-use service from data processing and sortation gurus The Software Bureau looks set to put an end to that, and open up high quality sortation and the benefits it brings to a wider audience. is an online postal sortation service for all Royal Mail Retail bulk mail discount schemes that dramatically simplifies the process of achieving postage discounts through sortation. There’s no software to install, no contracts and no fees, allowing users to simply create an account, upload an address file and get cracking with a sort in just a couple of minutes. The service handles all kinds of letters, large letters and parcels as well as business, advertising and publishing mailings across economy, second and first class. The only sort type currently unsupported is Mailmark, but this will follow in an upcoming release. Martin Rides, Managing Director of The Software Bureau, explains: “The idea behind MyMailing is to try and remove the barriers for companies to get into direct mail. At the moment if a printer or mailing room wants to save money on postage it can be really cumbersome and costly. Our service takes away all the hassle of software, training and costs currently needed to achieve postage discounts.” Rides is hopeful that the innovative new service will encourage printers, small mailing houses and even corporate print rooms to

promote the use of the direct mail channel. While The Software Bureau already offers a suite of high-end solutions such as Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA, thee products were created and targeted specifically at high volume mailers and were simply out of reach of marketers with more modest mailing requirements. fills that gap in the market and may in time also drive growth at the higher volume end of the market by bringing organisations onto the sortation ladder for the first time. The solution was fully tested by seven different organisations prior to launch – and received a unanimous thumbs up. DBM was also invited to test the system and found that it delivers on every front. The user interface is clean and easy to use and a 75,000 record test file was fully processed and sorted in under a minute. “We’re trying to make sortation more accessible to more people,” says Rides. “It’s often thought of as something of a dark art, but it doesn’t have to be that way. For smaller volume mailers, delivers everything they need to produce a job in literally minutes, from creating an account to having a sorted file. We believe it’s the perfect solution for marketers who thought sortation was more complicated than this.” 


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Software launch

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There’s no software to install, no contracts and no fees, allowing users to simply create an account, upload an address file and get cracking with a sort in just a couple of minutes.


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18 Database Marketing

Automation Technology

Adam Oldfield Managing Director, Force24


AUTOMATION? By Adam Oldfield, managing director of UK-built and managed marketing automation specialist Force24.


here was a time when some marketers thought automation technology meant being lazy; relying on generic batch and blast techniques to reach a mass audience. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In an era where relevance is so important, the days of lazy mass marketing have gone. Marketplace ‘noise’ is growing and it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from competitors. The need to personalise has never been so great. However, with more big data than ever before at marketers’ fingertips, personalisation is virtually impossible without intuitive automation technology in place. So, why can marketers no longer live without automation? IT POWERS CONVERSATIONS Intuitive automation means marketers can target, segment, track and take action, on a granular level, with ease. By defining personalised yet automated journeys it is possible to have thousands of seemingly one-to-one conversations at once, which will boost sales, satisfaction and retention levels. IT SAVES TIME Virtually every marketing department in the UK is working hard to improve efficiencies without experiencing a downturn in results. And marketing automation is here to aid that. Savvy technology can map reams of data from multiple sources, for example, to build a more complete picture of a customer

or prospect, within seconds. It can also take otherwise incredibly time-consuming (if not impossible) tasks and make them simple. In fact 3 of the latest features within Force24’s automation platform have been found to save marketers an average of 8 hours each week! IT OPTIMISES MARKETING SPEND Marketers can deduce which campaigns are converting, via which channels and as a result of which keyword, which means marketing spend can be refined, budget slack reduced and ROI increased. The best marketing automation platforms present these findings, via easy-to-digest dashboards with real-time insight. IT SUPPORTS TRULY MULTICHANNEL JOURNEYS Modern marketing relies on much more than email communications. The best automation platforms will therefore allow marketers to design truly multichannel journeys that incorporate SMS, direct mail and more! Even the initial creation of these journeys should be hassle-free. Nail the journey and the funnel should soon become packed with prospects that are ripe for a call and can be converted into revenue, with minimal effort. If the objective is retention or upselling, the same principle applies. Tech can do the groundwork, until it’s the perfect time to pick up the phone. IT CREATES AN INSURGENCE OF CONTROL There’ll be a distinct step-change in roles this year, as marketers take back

control. Marketing departments are being empowered to work more self-sufficiently, with triangulation of their own data, the creation of their own landing pages, and the management of their own deliverability profiles. Automation makes this possible. That’s not to say marketing teams will start to work disparately from their colleagues. But, as automation becomes more intuitive, marketers will increasingly find that they have more knowledge, capabilities and potential at their fingertips, without needing to involve an IT expert. IT WILL SUPPORT MACHINE LEARNING This has become something of a hot topic but what does it mean? Essentially automation engines are increasingly using unparalleled intelligence to understand a user’s behavioural patterns and predict optimal engagement times, send frequencies and messaging, at any given second, and in real time. This newfound level of insight will drive subject suggestions to specific users, boost deliverability profiles through increased relevance and heighten conversions by computing, in seconds, algorithms that the human marketer still cannot comprehend (certainly not without a forensics qualification!) This is when the result of marketing automation can get even more exciting! WANT TO SEE HOW FORCE24 DELIVERS THESE BENEFITS OF MARKETING AUTOMATION? VISIT THE WEBSITE TO FIND OUT MORE — WWW.PAGES.FORCE24.CO.UK/ START — OR CALL 0845 272 5990 TO ARRANGE A FREE DEMO.


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Software Launch

Database Marketing 19 Email Code Snippets


IN THE MARKET? Force24 has recently launched an exciting new feature within its UK-built and managed marketing automation platform. But what exactly is Code Snippets and why is it stacking up to be one of the most powerful email tools available to database marketers?

THE PREMISE When it comes to crafting the perfect email, how many marketers, hand on heart, can say they nail it, every time? In truth, the answer is very few. That’s because, regardless of the various tricks available to the profession, sometimes there just isn’t the time – or money – to produce an email that is 100% spot on. Some marketers are struggling with the constraints of overspent budgets, whilst others are fed up of relying on external agencies. So, if a quick preview shows that the email is ‘close enough’, that the message practically does the job, and that the experience won’t be too compromised on a mobile device, does it really matter? The answer is yes – it does! The majority of marketers would love for their emails to convert more. They’d love to include more dynamic content. They’d love it if their ROI, per campaign, continued to rise. They know their emails are holding them back. But the industry lacks a more effective and efficient option. THE SOLUTION To fill this gap in the market, Force24 has developed Code Snippets – a powerful, easy to use email builder. When a new client signs up to use Force24’s marketing automation platform, the team’s in-house marketing experts create a library of litmus-tested branded email assets that can be customised simply, in minutes, to suit any given campaign. All component parts of the email are pre-prepared and ready to

use, including the header, footer, main hero, call to action block, dynamic content and data linking. All the marketer has to do is drag, drop and go. AND THE RESULT? Code Snippets enables marketers to create beautifully-designed, fully-optimised and cross browser/device compliant emails – in less than eight minutes. That means less time producing the asset and more time reaping the results from it! In fact, analysis has shown that this tool alone saves marketers, on average, eight hours each week. Based on the average marketing salary of £38,034, that’s £8,000 in saved time, per employee. Or, 384 hours and £8,000 to do something more creative, value-adding or strategic each year. A FINAL WORD FROM FORCE24’S MANAGING DIRECTOR, ADAM OLDFIELD… “Our marketing experts like to call themselves ‘process hackers’. Over the years they’ve started to unpick every element of a marketer’s day, before hacking it, reinventing it and making it amazing. “Code Snippets is one result of that hacking – gone are the days of time consuming, costly or average emails. We’ve empowered the marketer and put them back in control.”


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20 Database Marketing


Integrated data cleansing James Lawson, Consulting Editor



Transferring files back and forth to an external data cleanser can be a time-consuming and risky process. James Lawson examines the alternatives.


ALEX DICKERSON Enterprise Solutions Sales Lead, Celerity

MARK WEBB Ops Director, Alchemetrics

CYRIL LAW Solutions Director, CallCredit Marketing Solutions


SCOTT TAYLOR Leader of Market Development & Innovation, Dun & Bradstreet


oes your data cleansing still involve sending spreadsheets and CSV files hither and yonder? Most marketers prefer to leave data cleansing to the experts but exporting and reimporting customer files remains a bugbear. However service providers – and users themselves – are increasingly linking remotely to customer systems to run the whole process. With modern web service protocols and cloud platforms, this makes for frictionless, invisible cleansing, integrating and updating. “Extracting and reloading is time consuming and an unnecessary risk,” says Martin Doyle, CEO at DQ Global. “The riskiest point in the process is where you are handing data over.” A long-time proponent of cleansing in situ, Doyle points to the numerous pitfalls involved in manual export and import. “It’s too easy to send data in the wrong format or order, columns get mixed up – it happens all the time,” he says. Instead, configuring a remote update process means the client and service provider can work together to get it right first time. “There’s greater control for the client, high speed and flexibility,” says Doyle. “They can customise and configure it exactly as they please.” He picks DQ’s Perfect & Merge application as an example. This plug-in for MS Dynamics CRM offers numerous data quality functions including deduplication and field merging.

Delivered as a web service, users can fire up Perfect & Merge from within their own Dynamics applications whether it’s run on premise, in the cloud or a hybrid. DQ’s appRules offers even more extensive functionality, able to connect to over 80 different databases. Whether it’s a big migration project or regular updating, users can pull data from multiple systems to build and update an SCV with no need to import or export. So you might have your CRM database in the cloud but want to pull down data for local analysts to look at. Another example would be migrating customers from salesforce to another cloud application. “We are able to connect to both systems in the cloud,” says Doyle. “Our customer can see both applications in real time while checking, cleansing and deduplicating the data.” Whether the source system is HubSpot, Zoho or MS CRM, users must first configure those applications’ own APIs to open the door for real-time data links. Then they can set up the schedule and put the rules in place to automate the cleanse/update process. “To plug in is straightforward, really just point and shoot,” says Doyle. “You just input your credentials. The application knows the structure and the location of the data, then you use the workflow tools to set up the processes you need.” When the user has built their processes for updating, verifying, scoring and so forth, they


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publish that workflow and have it execute as desired. That might simply mean running a batch cleanse at midnight every weekday or triggering a load routine when new data arrives in a shared input folder. “We can set it up for the customer and teach them to do it themselves,” says Doyle. “It’s then easy for them to plug into our various third party partners who offer web-service-based address and email verification, enhancement and so on.” Callcredit Marketing Services are also taking a web service-based approach to remote cleansing and enhancement with its Define API. There are two versions, one for its marketing clients and another for the financial services institutions that contribute their transactional data to the company’s SHARE database that holds financial records and payment performance. Industry-standard web services plug in client systems to Define’s data and services, with clients employing the SDK (Software Developers Kit) to build and configure the connection. That takes account of the source system’s data model and makes sure the correct fields and records are being cleansed and updated. “It gives easy instant access to suppression files, cleansing and consented data files,” says Cyril Law, Solutions Director at CallCredit Marketing Solutions. “Callcredit gets involved initially and you have to invest a little time to configure the set-up.” “We run a couple of tests and once they are happy with that, we migrate them to the live service,” explains Law. “From then on, it’s completely client controlled and very much lights out once configured and scheduled.” Available 24/7 via the MS Azure cloud hosting platform, Define works via a highly secure encrypted and authenticated connection. The payment model is pay as you go based on the volume of data enhanced or verified. “You can use streaming or batch transfer and, rather than cleansing the whole file, you only cleanse the updated records,” relates Law. “The industry in general is moving to this kind of solution. Clients often have hybrid in-house and cloud systems, but it makes no difference to Define. As more clients move to cloud platforms like Azure or AWS, the process will become quicker and quicker.” Define runs alongside more traditional scheduled cleansing options like secure FTP. “We pick the file up automatically and then return the cleansed data back the same way,” says Law. “Once you have it set up, you just keep running it automatically.” Callcredit has also been upgrading its improvemydata website, with an improved interface to make it more user friendly. “We’ve increased the number of suppression reference files available,” says Law. “Users can also upload their own custom suppression files and make them available to their partners via our site.” MSPs are traditionally experts at linking to remote systems and Celerity is no exception. Here too API connections are becoming standard to allow faster, more frequent and potentially bidirectional updating. “The old Extract, Transform, Load processes are quite laborious,” says Alex Dickerson, Enterprise Solutions Sales Lead at Celerity. “As a result, we have started creating solutions in an application-based architecture.” “These solutions integrate with all applications, from call centres, tills and email channels to back-end data sources such as the stock management system and CRM,” continues Dickerson. “The CRM could be cloud, and the transactional system could be on premise – it doesn’t matter as long as they are integrated.” Traditionally this kind of MSP work has been about one-way data flows: pulling records from source systems to load and update a hosted SCV.

This is still very much business as usual at Alchemetrics but there are increasingly exceptions where data integration across multiple systems is required. One example comprises an SCV, a CRM database and an internal database held on the client side. Here the data in the source systems needs to be cleansed, merged and matched and then ultimately fed back to those three source systems to keep them synchronised. Nearreal time API connections again link all three systems. “Essentially there are 3 touch points that need to be kept up to date,” says Mark Webb, Operations Director at Alchemetrics. “The client has a picture of their data and can update their own internal database, whilst allowing their customers to feed data into the SCV. Internal users can update the CRM system while taking calls from customers or add new leads while out on the road.” According to Webb, a CRM system is more commonly part of a build, whereas it just used to be a SCV. He says that using a cloud-based system like Alchemetrics’ Informa platform allows clients to interact more with the loading, the structure and the business rules of their data. “Through our DQS tool, a client can define a Question Set which defines the layout of the data, the table the data needs to be loaded to and how the data should be cleansed and reformatted on loading,” explains Webb. “This layout can then be used either through the ETL tool or via API connections, allowing the client to do batch uploads or near real time uploads to the SCV.” Either the batch loading or real-time streaming via an API can be automated for lights-out updating. Again, the critical stage comes during set-up, for examples developing the tools needed to connect to legacy databases. “It is also becoming increasingly important to understand the client’s requirements in full from day one, ensuring that what we are doing is as expected,” says Webb. “As turnaround times are getting tighter, any rework can have an effect on the rest of the project, especially with more use of CRM systems as an essential part of the build and API connections to various touchpoints.”


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22 Database Marketing


Integrated data cleansing James Lawson, Consulting Editor

In the domain of business data, Dun & Bradstreet has long used online links for updating and enhancement, dating right back to its original Market Spectrum product launched 17 years ago. Today, its integrated solutions use the very latest API technology, working to 300ms update speeds to enable real-time updates and new record loads. “Our APIs deliver real-time integration and we also offer pre-mastered commercial content for relationship entities – customers, vendors, partners and prospects – as well as a pre-installed Master Data platform that works with systems such as SFDC, Dynamics, Eloqua or Marketo,” says Scott Taylor, Leader of Market Development & Innovation for Master Data at Dun & Bradstreet. “The beauty is that this removes the majority of the IT-based pain points on the client side and simplifies the process.” By linking to D&B’s reference view of the business world, marketers can find linkages between seemingly unconnected businesses and prevent duplicate creation during new data loading. “Clients gain immediate access to the pre-mastered commercial content for that entity, allowing them to search before creating a new and possible duplicate record,” says Scott. “More importantly, this knowledge helps you sell into other entities within the same hierarchy – either above, across or below.” Identifying duplicates, outdated contacts or accounts that have gone out of business is just the start of the journey. Matching instantly to D&B’s own master data makes sure all new records are correct on entry and can be used to support other real-time services like web form validation. The company’s WebFormID can pinpoint a company from

as little as an email address and then auto fill business forms with the associated reference data. “Not only does this prevent duplicate records being created and enable appropriate customer/prospect engagement, but it also dramatically shortens the time taken to complete web forms and reduces form abandonment,” says Scott, noting that a similar service can support data entry by call centre agents. “The operator can immediately identify the enquirer based on an email or phone number to determine if they are an existing account,” he continues. “They can then use an appropriate script and customer journey accordingly.” Real time links between the client’s customer records and the reference universe also let D&B send new business information to the relevant account manager. Monitoring 1 billion web pages and 20,000 news sources per day, the company can pipe news alerts and business signals as soon as it becomes available. This rich data also lets D&B deliver insight to sales teams on who to talk to, what to talk about and when to have the conversation. So rather than pushing and pulling extracts hither and yonder, why not let your service provider tap straight into your systems via an API connection? Viable even with legacy systems, it’s faster, cheaper and opens up a wide range of other data-on-demand services. “For us, whether it’s in-house or online, it’s just a connection,” says Doyle. “All you need is the right log-in and you’re off.” 


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ADDRESSING: IT PAYS TO GET IT RIGHT It may slip under the radar, but addressing software underpins a multitude of key business functions, as the following case studies show.


ARON GELBARD CEO, Bloom and Wild

GRAHAM CLARK Sales Director, helpIT Systems

JOHN GRIFFITHS Client Accounts Manager, Hopewiser

MARIA HOPPER Data Protection Manager, Cleveland Police

PHIL FRYER Head of IT, Safestore


ame and address processing is the unsung hero of customer data management. Every day of every year, vendors and service providers help their clients realise serious ROI across campaign income, brand reputation, cost reduction, compliance and beyond. This month, we report on case studies of addressing software and services in action. Flower delivery company Bloom & Wild is our first example. Founded to make sending and receiving flowers a joy, its meticulously presented flower gifts ensure that both the recipients and the senders are completely delighted. The company works hard to make every detail just so, like the bespoke presentation boxes that reflect the beauty of the flowers inside while still protecting every petal. “Not only is Bloom & Wild committed to the quality and aesthetic beauty of our flower gifts, but we are equally committed to giving customers a seamless and frictionfree website experience,” says co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Aron Gelbard. “Capturing customers’ accurate address details to ensure a fail-safe delivery process was the most important challenge for us.” That means that assuring reliable delivery via mobile ordering was a high priority. Gelbard says that using PCA Predict’s solution has eliminated failed deliveries at the receiver end while reducing keystrokes and improving the user experience for his customers. WWW.DBM.TODAY

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“Rescheduling a delivery is expensive and time consuming as it involves so many resources,” he explains. “This includes replacing the flowers, packaging and postage as well as admin time. As a company we are responsible for these costs even though the addressing error may not have been our fault.” Simple to integrate, the addressing solution has not just delivered a better user experience but has also boosted web sales conversions. “From using PCA Predict’s software, we’ve definitely seen significant double-digit percentage increases in conversion rates,” notes Gelbard. The range of international reference data available is another plus point, with support for Eircodes paving the way for Bloom & Wild’s recent expansion into the Republic of Ireland. “That international capability means that it also gives us the scope to extend our operations further afield should we want to increase our geographical market presence,” notes Gelbard. One of the UK’s largest and most successful estate agency and property services providers, Connells Group faced a familiar but serious issue with their data warehouse and BI operations. Large amounts of inconsistent data across multiple internal and external systems made matching and validating records extremely time-consuming and challenging, restricting its ability to extract insight from its data assets. “Being able to match

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24 Database Marketing


Addressing case studies James Lawson, Consulting Editor

properties across systems is a powerful insight requirement,” says Martin Caine, the company’s Data Solutions Developer. “However, from a technical perspective, this is much more difficult than it sounds.” The existing in-house solution employed basic string-matching processes based on postcode and house number/name fields but only achieved 40-60% match rates. To improve results, Connells Group built matchIT SQL into a bespoke enterprise address matching solution. This acts as a fully scalable incremental loading framework, facilitating easy updates and able to cope with new systems or data sources as the group expands. “We have seen a significant increase in accuracy and a reduction in false positives,” says Caine. “In a typical data set, with userinputted data, we will often see a match rate in excess of 90%, compared to 40-60% previously. This increase, when applied to our millions of rows of address data, is huge! This product is significantly faster, more flexible and easier to use than anything we have used previously.” For Connells, achieving an accurate and reliable “Single Property View” was the ultimate

goal. Here, matchIT SQL’s SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) components provided something very close to an out-of-the-box solution. “With a property-centric view, they can find anyone associated with a property regardless of who sells, buys or surveys it,” says Graham Clark, Sales Director at helpIT Systems. “A customer-centric view will be the next development.” With matchIT SQL running natively within Server SQL, Connells Group can use the SSIS data integration and workflow applications to quickly build and customise precisely the ETL processes they need. Extremely fast loading and matching plus the ability to only rematch changed data have reduced processing times during nightly refreshes dramatically. “Because our software is just an extension of the SQL Server system, SSIS makes it easy to script and build the matching and other routes that matchIT SQL uses,” explains Clark. “Though we usually run it locally for outright performance, more clients are choosing to deploy all or part of their SQL database to the Azure cloud platform.”

Hopewiser has almost 30 years of experience in providing sophisticated addressing systems to major UK blue chip companies. However, one new FTSE 100 client presented a considerable challenge. It had multiple addressing applications and data sets distributed across different business units, all within a complex IT infrastructure. Multiple instances of PAF within the business meant devoting considerable operational and technical resource to update each PAF file and the addressing software itself. Significant sums were also being wasted on licensing. Due to the number of suppliers involved and the sheer complexity of the technical environment, the client simply hadn’t noticed. “They wanted to reduce costs, maintain or improve service levels and make use of the latest technology,” says John Griffiths, Client Accounts Manager at Hopewiser. “Minimising the risk of any changes was also vital.” Replacing the various incumbents with a single vendor’s software was the obvious step. But with addressing a business-critical tool and deeply embedded in several core business


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applications and systems, any rationalisation had to be quick, seamless and low risk. Hopewiser’s API technology was the answer, slotting easily into existing systems with no need for re-coding, interface changes, additional user training or expensive third party licence costs. Its address server technology was the other part of the solution, providing a robust – and rapid – central hub for all address look-ups across the business. “During peak times, it can support over 10,000 users submitting nine address lookups every second without any drop in response time,” says Griffiths. By centralising look-ups and reference data, the single address server reduced server space usage by 60% and slashed support costs. In fact, it made several servers redundant, reducing the client’s Citrix server farm size by 75%. By opting for a single Corporate Licence to cover the various instances, Hopewiser also managed to cut fees significantly for both reference data and the applications themselves. Delivering excellent performance plus initial and ongoing cost reductions, there’s no doubt this project was a standout success. Turning to centrallydelivered look-ups was

also part of AFD’s solution for client Safestore. With nearly 50,000 customers across 107 branches, Safestore is the UK’s largest selfstorage group. For security, legal and financial reasons Safestore requires customers to provide a full, accurate postal address. This is not as easy as it seems. Head of IT Phil Fryer explains: “Domestic customers are often in transition when they arrive at a Safestore. Those about to move into a new home or rented accommodation don’t necessarily know their new postcode. We need to quickly search and find the precise address out of the 30 million addresses in the UK.” Safestore’s bespoke AFD Postcode Plus addressing system runs on 200 computers across the UK. Until recently, a

Database Marketing 25

locally installed version was distributed and updated with software upgrades, using drive imaging and group policy updates. To avoid sending large monthly address data update files. Fryer started to investigate a better, more efficient solution. “We decided to have each desktop computer carry out postcode lookups and address searches by calling the AFD Postcode Plus Evolution hosted service,” he explains. “By using the AFD Software hosted services, we have cut internal IT costs.” “We didn’t even need an integration as we used the AFD Robot which automatically detects a Postcode entered onto our system and returns the exact address or a pick list of options,” Fryer continues. “We no longer need to distribute or update or manage address validation services as AFD do it for us so reliably.” Invoices, statements and changes to terms and conditions for all 107


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26 Database Marketing


Addressing case studies James Lawson, Consulting Editor

Safestore branches are consolidated, printed and mailed by an outsourced fulfilment company. Accurate addresses are vital to minimise the possibility of returned invoices. “Each one returned carries an increased risk of non-payment and can result in significant internal costs to research and correct an address,” says Fryer. “We also face financial penalties on data inaccuracy from our mailing house. AFD Postcode Plus is saving us time and money and improving cash flow and compliance – through excellence in address capture.” Dealing with duplicate names and addresses is a classic challenge for data quality experts far beyond marketing. In one recent project, Experian Data Quality (EDQ) worked with Cleveland Police to build a deduplicated “golden” view of its customers. A term used by public sector bodies, a “golden nominal” record is effectively the same as a Single Customer View: a single person record with an appended URN that can be accessed by all relevant systems. For the Force’s operational users, duplicate records make it harder to find accurate information quickly in order to respond in the

most appropriate, informed way. Behind the scenes, much time and resource is involved in manually linking and managing duplicate records within in the system and meeting MOPI regulatory requirements. In a project championed by Superintendent Alastair Simpson and the Force Data Protection Manager Maria Hopper, EDQ instituted automated daily maintenance of the golden nominal using Experian’s verified reference data and intelligent, reversible matching rules. Employing EDQ’s SAPspecific address capture tool also made sure addresses entered the database right first time and created no new duplicates. Making the SCV available to all users at point of entry offers increased intelligence for deployment of resources and reduced data entry time. With a 20% minimum reduction in duplicate accounts at the input stage, this project is projected to not only save more than £250,000 per annum through reducing time spent inputting, processing, reviewing and amending data but also add valuable insight to every interaction with customers and investigations.

Increased access to reporting offers intelligence for better deployment of resources and delivery on MOPI legislation requirements, along with a greater ability to identify vulnerable people at the point of interaction. The project has been recognised at national level, gaining approval from the Home Office for co-funding from its innovation budget. “This solution offers Cleveland Police a clear opportunity to deliver tangible benefits,” says Maria Hopper, Data Protection Manager, Cleveland Police. “Operationally we’ll be able drive real efficiencies and also provide an even better response in terms of speed, efficiency and appropriateness. Having improved confidence in our data allows us to deliver real benefits to the community because with better insight comes better decision making on how we allocate the right resource where it’s really needed.” This month’s case studies give a flavour of the data management benefits today’s addressing and data quality solutions can confer but they are only the tip of the iceberg. Watch this space for more examples that demonstrate just how valuable these products and services really are. 


Senior Campaign Analyst - Bedfordshire

Negotiable Salary – Plus benefits - Ref: J9571 This company specialise in technology together with innovation and offers technology based solutions. The Consumer Insight Team plays an important part in gathering and analysing data to produce insights to understand consumers’ habits. You will interact with a diverse range of stakeholders and with clients from government to blue chip businesses and start up entrepreneurs. Design appropriate project specifications including all research materials. Undertake in-depth interviews and contribute to the running of focus groups. Analyse and interpret qualitative & quantitative data. Work closely with the Consumer Data Analyst to direct more complex statistical analysis. Analyse data arising from a consumer segmentation surveys. You must hold a degree, ideally including statistics or research modules. Be competent to produce segment caricatures in PowerPoint and Word. Solid experience in delivering quantitative research, including choice-based modelling techniques. Provide a creative approach to consumer research. Ability to manipulate, analyse and interpret complex information. Exposure to statistical tools such as SAS, SQL and SPSS a clear advantage.

Competitive Salary – Plus Benefits - Ref: J9550 This senior role within the leisure industry, will include segmentation, modelling and reporting to help drive strategic and investment decisions across the business. You will take a proactive approach to sharing customer insights out to the business to help drive decision-making. You will use your expertise in analytical methods such as forecasting, experimental design and regression. Support the delivery of automated decision-making utilising customer and commercial data. Recommend and optimise analysis techniques and work processes to facilitate data. Work with internal teams to enable new data sources that will enhance the performance of the models built. You must be educated to a degree level ideally in a mathematical, economic or scientific related discipline. Have excellent interpersonal, communication and influencing skills with the ability to convey complex issues to non-technical parties. Be an expert user for MS applications including Excel, Access, Word and PowerPoint, be able to manipulating data using SQL, and ability to create propensity models and segmentation. Exposure to analysing large data volumes using such tools as SQL, SAS, SPSS and R.

Lead Customer Data Analyst

Insight & Strategic Analysis Manager - London

- Surrey Salary Negotiable plus benefits - Ref: J9518 This service provider within the financial services arena, is a world leader, recruiting to assist customers to select products and services ideal for their needs. You will Monitor and maintain data integrity including data cleanliness. Be responsible for reporting, designing and process service delivery. Liaise with technical and non-technical staff to develop advanced reporting, analysis. Provide data selections for campaign and other ad-hoc initiatives. Work with internal stakeholders to understand and model significant customer behaviour. Maintain and improve the Customer Value Scoring process. You must be qualified to degree level in a highly mathematical subject. Hold several years’ experience within data analytics and statistical modelling functions. Have a good understanding and experience of database design within a commercial environment. Proven experience in database management tools and data modelling. Strong SQL and SAS coding essential. Understand and evaluate financial plans and modelling. Good understanding of customer behaviour. Adobe campaign manager useful although not essential.

Call us on 01256 314660

Salary up to £58k - Ref: J9570 This highly regarded, not-for-profit organisation, is looking for an Analysis Manager to deliver analytical projects to innovate and improve customer relationship marketing. You will be a project specialist working with finance and charity data. You will manage and deliver strategic statistical analysis projects. Produce relevant digital KPIs. Research, test and manage the use of new analytical methodologies. Consider and plan how CRM database could be linked to supporter and customer research. Contribute to external-led econometric modelling work. Undertake routine/complex analysis either strategic or non-strategic. You must have a degree in a numerate subject. Be able to build statistical models using SPSS, although other statistical packages will be considered. Demonstrate the ability to interact with stakeholders delivering complex information, in an easy to understand manner. Proven experience in building statistical models. Great communication skills both written and verbal. Any exposure to a digital environment would be advantageous.



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Call It Like You See It

Database Marketing 27 Paul Alexander CEO, Beyond Analysis

Data scientists: are they preventing organisations from becoming data-driven?

Data has an incredible capacity to support business. It provides evidence to help us understand the past, directions for future travel and is an enabler to reach our goals in the digital age. Data can feel like it has the power to tell us everything we could ever want to know about humans, and businesses can’t seem to get enough of collecting and analysing it to gain greater insight into their customers’ psyche. In fact, a full 90 per cent of all data in the world has been generated over the last two years causing businesses to have to wade through an unprecedented data deluge. It is this deluge which makes 2017 an opportunity to harness the true power of data, make digital information accessible to all and to provide knowledge, insight, and action for non-specialists. The commercial benefits of data analysis are well recognised as something organisations need if they are to compete in today’s fast-paced environment, for many though it’s become a significant investment that’s still not bringing the much-hyped return. While organisations

across the globe employ specialists in business intelligence and data science, and implement in-house data analysis capabilities, many still don’t understand that when big data is viewed through the eyes of a data scientist, it can only go so far. Value from big data only comes when a business turns data into knowledge, knowledge into insight, insight into action, and action into impact. Crucially, businesses need to understand, it is less about data and more about the people in an organisation who can make a difference and influence customer experience or a product. It is vital for all staff in an organisation, no matter their seniority, to have the ability to understand and use data if they are to truly improve their own and the business’s performance – making better, faster, more confident business decisions. As such, leading data driven organisations must look at how they democratise their data to enable timely, effective decision-making at the point of action, whether that’s at the check-out or in the board room


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You know Bryan Aldridge, the 56 year old painter and decorator who lives in London with his two daughters. We also know that Bryan recently visited the Bolshoi Theatre in Russia to watch the Marco Spada Ballet. Find out things you don’t know about your customers and add further insight to your marketing campaigns. At REaD Group, we know more about the UK’s population than anybody else.

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Database Marketing - May/June 2017  
Database Marketing - May/June 2017