About Martin

Martin Rides has 35 years’ experience in the world of Data & Direct Mail. He has worked across many areas of the industry including agencies, mail production and data bureaux. After 9 years running a specialist Direct Mail consulting practice, Martin returned to The Software Bureau as Managing Director in 2015.

Charities need to focus on inspiring positive emotions as cost-of-lining crisis starts to bite

By |2022-11-29T10:12:11+00:00November 29th, 2022|

The cost-of-living crisis is really beginning to show its teeth when it comes to charitable donations. According to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) UK Giving Report nearly 60 percent of respondents said that the crisis will negatively impact their ability to donate. In April, one in 25 people reported that they had already cancelled a regular donation to charity, and by October this had risen to one in ten as a direct response to the rising cost of living. Similarly, 1 in 12 people said they had chosen not to make a one-off donation whilst a large number also said they had reviewed how much they give to charity. Due to this less than rosy outlook, many charities are shifting [...]

Data hygiene is all academic, isn’t it?

By |2022-11-14T11:09:16+00:00November 8th, 2022|

How alumni teams at higher education institutions can enhance relationships with past students and increase lifetime value Digital transformation scores a B+ According to a study by McKinsey, almost 80 percent of organisations reported that during the pandemic they initiated a process of digital and data transformation. Undeniably, COVID 19 fast tracked many organisations’ transformation intentions. For instance, the higher education sector - not one famed for its agility - had been toying with the concept of Responsive Blended Learning, a hybrid of traditional classroom based delivery and online learning for years, but it took lockdown for this to actually become a reality. Most institutions went from face-to-face teaching to digital delivery in a matter of days. And with exam [...]

With recession on the cards – now is the time to take a different approach to data hygiene

By |2022-10-20T07:37:31+00:00October 20th, 2022|

New research from housing specialists Hillarys.co.uk reveals the horrifying truth that a staggering 40 per cent of UK homeowners only clean their house once a year with five per cent admitting to only cleaning if they have guests coming to stay overnight. The most common excuses were a lack of cleaning products and inertia caused by the fact that the house is only going to get dirty again, so what is the point? However, researchers from The London School of Tropical Disease and Medicine say that there is increasing evidence to suggest that a messy house affects both mental and physical health. In fact, an unclean home can make you more susceptible to colds and flus as well as stress [...]

The end of the road for GDPR?

By |2022-10-05T14:56:16+00:00October 5th, 2022|

Is the UK going to be free of the constraints of GDPR? If Michelle Donelan’s speech at the Conservative Party Conference is anything to go by, then GDPR’s days in the UK are numbered. The new secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said GDPR had been inherited from the EU, and its bureaucratic nature was limiting the potential for businesses. She announced that the UK would be replacing GDPR with its own business and consumer-friendly, data protection system. It wasn’t clear if this was to be the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (which itself has superseded the Data Reform Bill), or an entirely separate initiative. Whichever it may be, apparently the plan is to protect consumer [...]

Charities shouldn’t put the data cart before the horse

By |2022-10-04T07:07:09+00:00October 4th, 2022|

New research shows that charities are falling behind when it comes to data. With the cost-of-living crisis now really beginning to show its teeth resulting in a sharp decline in donor numbers and donation value, data is now a critical capability for charities to master. However, data doesn’t have to be complex. More on this later… first, let’s have a look at the findings of the State of the Sector Data Maturity Report. The study measured 1,000 charities and rated their data maturity through five stages, from ‘Unaware’ to ‘Mastering’ across seven key themes: Uses, Data, Analysis, Leadership, Culture, Tools, and Skills. When it comes to data leadership over half (53 percent) of those surveyed said that there is no [...]

Analytics are only as strong as the underlying data

By |2022-09-16T13:16:01+00:00September 16th, 2022|

Why data hygiene must become a priority post covid According to Fortune Business Insights, the global machine learning and analytics market is expected to grow from $21.17 billion in 2022 to $209.91 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 38.8 percent. Clearly it is big business, and the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has served to accelerate demand. Increasingly organisations from all sectors are turning to computers to make decisions from insurers calculating a customer’s risk profile through to airlines looking to work out how much food and drink to carry onboard. Every industry without exception can apply analytics to its data to make faster, more informed decisions. But, and it is a big BUT, analytics and machine learning [...]

As the cost-of-living crisis bites, mail stays in the home for longer

By |2022-09-09T08:03:04+00:00September 9th, 2022|

The latest stats from JICMail, the joint industry currency for ad mail, show that there has been a significant increase in the amount of households retaining their mail. More households are choosing to file their mail away for later use or take it out of the home. The new data which covers the period from April to June 2022, shows that close to half of mail (44 percent) is still live in the home after 28 days, which is a significant increase on Q2 2021. It is thought that this is because households are placing more importance on mail content in economically challenging times. The research finds that overall, 94 percent of mail is engaged with, i.e., it has at [...]

Sustainable mail – reducing waste through data

By |2022-08-31T16:00:21+00:00August 31st, 2022|

According to Accenture almost one third of Europe’s largest companies have pledged to become Net Zero by 2050. Whilst a study from Deloitte shows that 67 per cent of SMEs have started using more sustainable materials in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint. No matter what industry or size of organisation; the environment is now a major element of ongoing business strategy which is being filtered down operationally for implementation. Making pragmatic changes is the key. Small steps across all areas of the business add up to major change. For organisations that use direct mail MarketReach and The Strategic Mail Partnership (SMP) new guide https://www.marketreach.co.uk/resource/using-mail-more-sustainably provides advice that helps businesses make their direct mail campaigns more sustainable -from choosing [...]

Why direct mail is good for charities during the cost-of-living crisis

By |2022-08-12T10:16:36+00:00August 12th, 2022|

Everyone will be feeling the pinch – more expensive food, more expensive energy, more expensive fuel… more expensive everything. For charities this is not good news, as when household expenditure rises, donations dwindle. As a result, two marketing objectives take precedence at this difficult time: The retention of existing donors The recruitment of spontaneous one-off gifts For objective No.1 data plays an important role. It is critical that charities are reaching out to their regular donors in a meaningful way to ensure that the relationship is maintain, particularly if the donations dry up during this exceedingly difficult period for many households. Contacting people that have moved house (and despite the depressing economic climate, home moves are still far outstripping those [...]

COVID ravages business databases

By |2022-07-25T14:23:56+00:00July 25th, 2022|

The rule of thumb is that data degrades by 33 per cent per year. This means that for a consumer database comprising 3.5 million records if you were to do nothing to it within 12 months 1,155,000 of those records would be wrong. A sobering thought, right? Well, the problem for marketers is that COVID has accelerated the rate of decay. We conducted some research last year which revealed that the property bubble combined with the increased mortality rate meant that data now decays at a rate of 37.5 per cent. But how about for B2B marketers? The rate of data decay due to COVID is also getting faster due to the pandemic. Average job tenure has shrunk to just [...]

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