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Author: Richard Lees

Richard Lees

I have over twenty year’s experience of the data market spread across a multi-national career. I originally established myself within the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) arena in Africa. In the early 90’s I spent time working at Standard Bank of South Africa whereI helped build a Single Customer View. This is where I evolved my passion for all things data.

My next step saw me become co-founder of marketing consultancy Intact Solutions, spending 5 years as Managing Director growing the business to become market leader in the provision of database marketing solutions, before selling to South African's largest listed media conglomerate Primedia.

In 2001 I joined Database Group in the UK and subsequently facilitated the purchase of both Database Group and the email division, Database Group Interactive. I’ve recently overseen the rebrand of both companies to bring them under the banner of dbg to reflect the growing importance of what I like to call “Direct, digital and data: The holy trinity”.

The challenges of using multichannel data

In the run up to JUMP 2011, the challenge of gathering and using data across all channels remains a key issue for marketers.

Last year, social and mobile were the new kids on the block and now it’s fair to say they are now serious contenders for fully established marketing channels.  

Although these new channels present new challenges, when it comes to data gathering and gleaning intelligence to manage a customer’s journey, they are ultimately just new channels that need to be treated in much the same way as the existing channels.


Find A New Rebecca: the future of recruiting?

Last week on our Twitter travels we stumbled across this innovative, and quite frankly brilliant, job advertisement. 

Now admittedly, using social media to advertise a role is hardly radical.

However, the way in which it was used by both the employer (Poke), and potential employees, was a marvel to behold.


Should your brand aspire to be a Rebecca Black?

If you haven’t heard of Rebecca Black over the past few weeks you’ve probably been hiding under a rock. The 13 year old girl from California has become an overnight pop sensation after her music video went viral on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. 

Once again the phenomenal power of social media reigns supreme.


Too much data, not enough insight

At Digital Cream earlier this month, I took part in some intriguing roundtable discussions on ‘joining up online and offline channels’. 

Of course, the issue of aligning individuals and the data associated with them from different channels, in-store, e-commerce, social media, etc, has been plaguing marketers for some time now.

One of the biggest challenges is making usable sense of the vast swathes of digital data available...

The art of the email opt out

Please don’t go! The art of the email opt out

Recently marketers and consumers alike have been enjoying the creative element behind Groupon’s unsubscribe campaign ‘Punish Derrick’.

If you click on the unsubscribe link, it then it leads you to a page which enables you to punish the person who has been sending you your emails, Derrick.

Punish Derrick 11


Trust is key to understanding the mobile consumer

Incase app for iPhone

Recent statistics have proved what we all know:  the mobile consumer is rising. In 2010 smartphone purchases increased by 72.1% and a week doesn’t go by when we hear of retailers launching mobile commerce sites or mobile initiatives revealed.

It seems there is consumer demand for mobile services but understanding the mobile consumer psyche is confusing.

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Data strategies: brands need to focus on customer behaviour

Brands are collecting lots of information about their customers, yet many brands are still sending out generic marketing, which fails to make use of this data. 

When devising data strategies, we need to think about what’s important and what will really make a difference, and to use only the data we need...


A new kind of email metric

I’m often saying marketers are bombarded by too many statistics and metrics in the digital age and have a challenge to make sense of them all.  But there is a new tracking measurement on the email marketing block which I think we should all be sitting up and taking notice of.

Standard email metrics are all about delivery, opens and clicks; but the next generation of email metrics take opens a step further - measuring how long someone is reading the email to help quantify engagement. 


A viral campaign is for life, not just for Christmas

Beatbullying’s The Big March campaigning for children’s rights took place this week and was a huge success with 850,000 pledging their support and asking Government for help to protect all children and young people from bullying, violence and harassment.

It was the World’s first virtual online protest attracting support from children, young people, parents, teachers and celebrities, as well as global brands, including Facebook, Google, MTV and AOL, to name just a few.

The campaign highlights the power of viral campaigning – a modern phenomenon which has the potential to make your message go global - reaching millions of people, delivering increased brand exposure, new data, more clients and a partridge in a pear tree!


Companies aren't making the most of multichannel marketing data

In the run up to the JUMP Conference on 13 October, we decided to commission some research to get some insight into how modern marketers are embracing multichannel marketing.

The research reveals that whilst the majority are using at least three marketing channels (98%), many are not maximising the potential value of this multichannel approach with over half still storing the data gathered from each channel separately. 


Is there a gap in Gap’s marketing?

Just last month Gap Inc continued its expansion by finally launching European e-commerce sites for both the Gap and Banana Republic brands.  

It is puzzling that these brands and a number of close competitors have waited so long to take the step, but now that they have, the opportunities are immense. However, as a data marketer, I’m not so sure Gap is currently making the most of the multichannel opportunity.