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.

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 [...]

‘Significant number’ of charities sending fundraising material to people who have asked them to stop

By |2022-07-18T17:26:06+00:00July 18th, 2022|

According to an article recently published in Third Sector Magazine a “significant number” of charities are sending fundraising communications to members of the public even after requests to stop, the Fundraising Regulator has said. The regulator made the statement after a review of the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS), which was set up in the aftermath of the Olive Cooke case, which tragically saw the 92-year-old life-long charity supporter take her own life due to a deluge of charity donation requests.   The FPS provides members of the public with a way to ask charities to stop contacting them with requests for donations. The Fundraising Regulator said it was writing to those charities which are not responding to public requests and telling [...]

Regulatory update: Why your mailing data is going to get even more valuable

By |2022-07-12T10:51:25+00:00July 12th, 2022|

The latest figures from JICMail, Royal Mail and The DMA show that direct mail is experiencing something of a resurgence. Volumes are at their highest level for years with increasing number of brands adding it into their marketing mix, it is now the most authoritative advertising channel with consumer trust higher for direct mail than any other media and with incentives from Royal Mail being extended until September it is also incredibly cost effective. And if what is in the regulatory pipeline both in the UK and EU it seems that this renaissance won’t be short lived. If anything, direct mail will become even more influential. Recent updates from the DMA in its Responsible Marketing Update webinar reveal several reasons [...]

Consent, control and security key priorities for data in 2022 

By |2022-06-28T10:53:32+00:00June 28th, 2022|

We recently undertook a review of the GDPR enforcements by the ICO over the past 12 months, which revealed that lack of consent, failure to comply with control responsibilities and data security are the three most common infringements since July 2021. Sixty-one per cent of the 28 enforcements were found to be in breach of Article 4.11 which states: ‘consent’ of the data subject means any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes by which he or she, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, signifies agreement to the processing of personal data relating to him or her.  Article 4.7 and 5.1f were both breached by 14 per cent of the organisations who [...]

Want to drive an immediate response? Use direct mail!

By |2022-06-17T13:33:43+00:00June 17th, 2022|

  A new study by the DMA has been launched investigating the effectiveness of charity marketing. The research analyses 1,057 DMA award entries housed within the DMA’s Intelligent Marketing Databank and measures the number of reported ‘effects’, which are grouped into four categories: Response effects: including conversion, acquisition, sales, donations, bookings, footfall, downloads and CPA efficiency Brand effects: including brands awareness, ad recall, consideration, purchase intent, brand trust, brand perception, recommendation, customer satisfaction Business effects: including profit, market share growth, customer penetration, loyalty and shareholder value Campaign delivery effects: including reach, frequency and impressions Direct mail was found to be the most effective channel at driving response effects – particularly in the short term, which is important for charities looking [...]

Direct mail volumes bounce back again!

By |2022-06-10T14:10:17+00:00June 10th, 2022|

The latest JICMAIL figures reveal that direct mail volumes are at their highest level for two years indicating the continued confidence in the channel post pandemic. This is reinforced by the commercial effectiveness of the medium which sees mail continue to drive digital customer engagement, footfall into physical stores and purchases at the same level it did this time last year.  However, with the cost-of-living crisis now truly showing its teeth arguably direct mail is working harder today than it was even during the pandemic. This is a result of the difficulty in driving consumer response in the wake of stressed consumer wallets and squeezed household budgets. The travel and hospitality sectors experienced the largest growth in direct mail usage [...]

Is your Data 24 Carat?

By |2021-12-02T16:23:53+00:00December 2nd, 2021|

"Data is the new Gold" is a phrase we continue to hear almost on a daily basis. However, what you don't hear is that contaminated Gold results in an inferior quality of this precious metal. Just like Gold, the quality of your data reflects the value of it. Poor quality, contaminated data (<24 carat) devalues your data asset and ultimately makes it harder to derive true value from it. Whereas, 24 carat data is free of contaminants and has immense value to the owner. Data Quality is the alchemist's most important tool. As you clean your data, you improve its purity and therefore its value. What's more important than ever today is that your data cleansing takes place wherever your [...]

Ben Warren Joins The Software Bureau

By |2020-01-23T11:13:36+00:00January 23rd, 2020|

The Software Bureau strengthens its commercial team with the appointment of Ben Warren as Business Development Manager. Ben joins the company with a wealth of experience within the data industry and a passion to help brands in delivering marketing campaigns that not only engage the consumer but have the maximum return on their investment. "As marketing effectiveness is highly dependent on the quality of a brands data, this is a really exciting opportunity for brands to create a seamless and automated process within their data processing infrastructure – complementing and enhancing any incumbent technology." - Ben Warren, Business Development Manager Ben joins the business as The Software Bureau embarks on a phase of significant growth. New disruptive cloud services such [...]

Objectif Lune Partner with The Software Bureau

By |2019-07-26T14:06:38+00:00July 26th, 2019|

Objectif Lune announce partnership with The Software Bureau to help organisations improve the speed and efficiency of their communications. The partnership sees Objectif Lune launch ‘TSB Mail Automation’ harnessing the power of the Swift Suite of data processing, data quality and postal sortation solutions from The Software Bureau. Objectif Lune will offer TSB Mail Automation software both standalone and integrated into their market leading product line of communication and mailing management software. “The Software Bureau is well known in the industry as postal automation experts and we are excited to be in partnership with them and add their technology to our portfolio, to extend our capabilities of offering customers true end to end automation.” Matt Irish, European partner manager Compliant [...]

27001 but not just any 27001

By |2019-02-12T16:19:40+00:00February 12th, 2019|

The Software Bureau is pleased to announce the achievement of 27001:2013 certification. The globally recognised standard of information security. The specialist inspection, audit and certification firm SGS were chosen to conduct the certification process due to their reputation for providing the most thorough and stringent audit process which far exceed the minimum requirements for certification. SGS is one of a small number of assessors accredited by the sole national accreditation body United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). Being accredited by UKAS demonstrates SGS’s commitment to hold organisations such as The Software Bureau to not only the minimum UK standards, but to internationally agreed standards too. Clients can take confidence in The Software Bureau’s 27001 credentials are industry leading. “Information security has [...]

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