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 It wasn’t clear if this was to be the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (which itself has superseded the Data Reform Bill), or an entirely separate initiative.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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]


By |2022-05-13T08:36:37+00:00May 13th, 2022|

The Software Bureau has once again passed Royal Mail’s sortation test to become an accredited sortation software provider. Accredited sortation providers are proven to maximise postal efficiency and therefore reduce the costs of a mailing campaign for clients. In an independent review of The Software Bureau’s leading Cygnus, SwiftSort and API products, Royal Mail tested the sortation element of each product and validated their efficiency and accuracy. For the tests, The Software Bureau was required to sort a list of approximately 29,000 UK addresses and submit the Computer Planning Report and Line Listing generated by the Software to Royal Mail for validation. This is the first time an organisation has passed the test since 2016 meaning that The Software Bureau [...]

Fundraising Preference Service Update – what it means for your charity

By |2022-04-27T08:59:59+00:00April 26th, 2022|

We were pleased to read about the recent changes made to the Fundraising Preference Service. Whilst some charities might be disheartened by them – we believe they are a good thing and we’ll explain why. But first. What’s changed? People can now request that up to 10 charities stop sending them direct marketing in one go through the FPS online. The previous maximum people could suppress was three charities in one online transaction. However, people can nominate up to 20 charities by contacting the FPS via telephone. It has also been made easier for charities to see if a suppression request has been made on behalf of someone else, with the aim of helping to indicate quickly whether a potentially [...]

Pureprint Lean DM Case Study

By |2022-04-22T13:50:48+00:00April 13th, 2022|

Several of our customers have adopted a Lean approach to advertising mail production. For example, world class print and marketing services business, Pureprint, who have embedded our Lean methodology into the heart of their approach to mail. In simple terms, Lean DM is about eradicating waste from a mail marketing campaign.  Not just the physical materials involved in mail production, but the entire process of creating advertising mail. Too many businesses are blissfully throwing money away by producing items of mail, which will never result in a desired outcome. Why would you produce and mail an item which had zero chance of success? Possibly worse than this, the item itself could deliver a negative outcome, which could damage a brand’s [...]

A note of thanks to Judith Donovan!

By |2022-04-06T10:16:26+00:00April 6th, 2022|

This week it was announced that industry legend, Judith Donovan, is stepping down from chairing the Strategic Mail Partnership (SMP), after 14 years at the helm. We wanted to take this opportunity to say thanks! Judith has been a massively influential figure in the industry and has been responsible for promoting and protecting the direct mail industry in many guises including running her own DM agency, to chairing the DMA. The SMP is the UK body which represents mailing and printing houses which now over 150 members. She has been credited for bringing unity to the industry by encouraging collaboration amongst mail operators. It has been announced that Lucy Swanston, Nutshell Creative and Topic Heroes managing director will be taking [...]

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