About Mark Dobson

Mark entered the DM business in 1986 at the Sudbury based Prolog. Since then Mark has worked for many companies including GWC, Olwen Direct Mail, Olwen International in Baltimore. In 2000 Mark took the role of Client Services Director at The Software Bureau helping users of Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA make the most of the software.

The Software Bureau Annual Benchmark 2018

By |2018-08-22T15:15:43+00:00August 22nd, 2018|

The Software Bureau is the renowned leader in data processing, sortation and Mailmark software. More than 125 organisations rely on Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA as the backbone of their data services function. The business has its roots in the mailing industry where the founders built software for their own data processing needs before branching out to become a software vendor for the rest of the industry. To ensure the business remains acutely focused on those real-world needs of data professionals, The Software Bureau publishes an annual benchmark customer survey. They asked customers to provide feedback about everything from product capabilities, to support response times and industry trends. The results for this year are in! Why Clients Choose The Software Bureau [...]

The Software Bureau Annual Benchmark

By |2017-07-19T09:00:25+00:00July 19th, 2017|

The Software Bureau is the renowned leader in data processing, sortation and Mailmark software. More than 100 organisations rely on Cygnus, SwiftSort and GeMMA as the backbone of their data services function. The business has its roots in the mailing industry where the founders built software for their own data processing needs before branching out to become a software vendor for the rest of the industry. To ensure the business remains acutely focused on those real-world needs of data professionals, The Software Bureau launched their inaugural benchmark customer survey. They asked customers to provide feedback about everything from product capabilities, to support response times and industry trends. The results are in! Why Clients Choose The Software Bureau Over Competitors Two [...]

6% Solution – How Better Customer Data Drives Marketing Performance

By |2017-02-17T08:09:54+00:00February 17th, 2017|

We instinctively know that good quality, clean data is likely to lead to better marketing results. What has always been difficult to pin down is exactly what impact data quality has on the bottom line. However, in recent research conducted by Jim Conning’s Data Services team at Royal Mail and DataIQ it has been revealed poor quality contact data is costing organisations a staggering 5.9% of turnover on average. To put this into context, the average large business in the UK turns over £291m so the cost of poor quality contact data for a large business is running at £17.2m annually. The same survey of 272 marketers also found quality of contact data to have the highest impact on campaign [...]

Lean DM in the Press – The Print Business

By |2016-12-28T13:36:31+00:00October 25th, 2016|

Gareth Ward, Editor of Print Business magazine visited The Software Bureau last month. The conversation quickly turned to Lean DM and the mission to eradicate waste from direct mail campaigns. Gareth was keen to learn how print businesses and mail producers are profiting from bringing their data services front of house. Click here to read the article from Print Business magazine. Download your copy here Free Introduction to Lean DM To learn more about Lean DM why not download your free 30-page guide. Should you wish to arrange a demonstration of Cygnus or undertake a free trial, please contact us.

Sixty Percent of Marketers Shun Reverse Marketing Costing £145 Million Per Year

By |2017-01-11T22:07:51+00:00August 11th, 2016|

A new study by The Software Bureau reveals that 60 per cent of marketers do not practice reverse marketing; the management of direct mail returns, which costs firms £4.02 per returned piece of mail. Approximately 90 million pieces of direct mail (2.5 per cent) are returned to sender each year. Forty percent of these or 36 million are returned due to the recipient’s wish to be removed from the marketing database equating to a loss of potential revenue of £116 million and £29 million in wasted production costs. Reverse marketing enables organisations to compile in-house do not mail lists that can be screened against future campaigns reducing the volume of mistargeted mailings, saving money and improving the reputation of the [...]

The Software Bureau Continues to Innovate to Revolutionise Bulk Mailing

By |2017-01-12T12:13:29+00:00July 25th, 2016|

Data quality and hygiene specialist, The Software Bureau continues to deliver on its pledge, outlined at the beginning of the year, to improve the direct mail industry by implementing a major upgrade to its Mailmark eManifest management app, GeMMA. The revamped product secures GeMMA’s reputation as the most sophisticated eManifest application available on the market. The new release marks a major landmark in the evolution of Mailmark products as it enables multi-user capability for the first time. This enables any part of the process to be worked on simultaneously by different teams. For example the data team can be creating the manifests at the same time as the account handling team refining the manifest details and uploading them to the [...]

Growing Your Direct Mail Business

By |2017-01-12T12:21:00+00:00July 22nd, 2016|

What’s Going on in Direct Mail? It seems direct mail has had somewhat of a renaissance over the last 12 months. Royal Mail’s Mailmen campaign has been doing a sterling job providing statistics & research.  There has even financial incentives to lure organisations to add direct mail to their marketing mix. However, the underlying decline in absolute volumes continues. PWC suggest by 2023 direct mail will be just over 4bn items, down from over 10.5bn items in 2005. So if the future of the direct mail is not to be driven by volume, what trends can ambitious direct mail business owners capitalise on?  Trend 1 – Permission Late last year RNLI announced its intentions to move to an opt-in-only policy [...]

Why home movers will be so important to marketers in 2018 and beyond

By |2017-01-12T12:26:26+00:00June 27th, 2016|

People in the UK are some of the most prolific home movers in the world. Stats show that on average we move eight times in our lifetime, which is almost double the amount of moves made by people in France, Germany and Spain. This figure has doubled in forty years. In 1975 the average Brit only relocated an average of four times and this growth is showing no sign of abating as people are increasingly flitting from one house to another to make their way up the property ladder. As a result of all of these home moves; around 11 per cent of the population or 7 million people, it is unsurprising that it is difficult for marketers to keep [...]

Open Standard Published for GeMMA to Improve the Mailmark Experience

By |2017-01-12T13:09:15+00:00June 18th, 2016|

In an unprecedented move, The Software Bureau has published the Open Standards for its market leading, Mailmark eManifest management process, GeMMA in a bid to both improve the Mailmark experience and attract more mailers to the bulk mail solution. Mailmark is now the most cost-effective and accountable way for mailers to send bulk mail, however the lack of continuity between application standards has been identified as a barrier. Each software application can have a different standard or data format, resulting in confusion and unnecessary costs being incurred by mailers having to handle manifest data from different sources. By publishing the open standard to GeMMA The Software Bureau provides the industry with a common platform that brings together the different software [...]

Software Bureau’s Cygnus suite adds 125m records

By |2017-01-12T13:12:30+00:00June 7th, 2016|

The Software Bureau has added 125 million new records to its embedded suppression service within its Cygnus data processing suite. The update follows the REaD Group’s recent upgrade of its data hygiene suite – including the Bereavement Register, the Gone Away Supression File and GAS Reactive – to reach a claimed 100 million records. The refreshed data run through Cygnus provides 29 million new tracked address records and 96 million goneaways. This latest update makes Cygnus the most comprehensive data processing solution available for direct mailers, the company claims. Sitting within Cygnus is the company’s Lean DM workflow package which systematically addresses each of the five sources of waste and highlights opportunities to both optimise mailings and save money. The firm maintains [...]