Callcredit Information Group has come good on its promise to overhaul one of its biggest customer databases by rebuilding the Define file, following fears the data could fall foul of laws on consent for electronic marketing data.
In January, the company pulled telephone, email and SMS contacts from the database, insisting they would no longer be available for prospecting until they met new standards.
The move was triggered by updated Information Commissioner’s Office’s guidance on direct marketing and 2014’s ruling by the First-Tier Information Rights Tribunal, which effectively outlawed the use of third-party information unless it can be proved prospects have opted in to receive marketing from other brands.
Over the past eight months, the company has been working closely with its data contributors to adopt the new approach and no longer accepts data from any contributor which is unable to comply with these new standards.
Interestingly, the overhaul has not affected the size of the file; it still holds details over 46 million “marketable” contacts and 36 million postal contacts.
Callcredit managing director of marketing solutions Steve McNicholas said: “Direct marketing has a significant role to play in linking consumers to the products and services that interest them. The action we took to strengthen our requirements has three major benefits.
“First, it has created a pool of data with enhanced consent in terms of channel preference and sector permission, so clients can be confident that consumers have consented to being contacted by companies in their sector and using their channels of communication; second, it maintains consumer privacy; and, third, it enables us to extract very precisely defined prospect lists that empower clients to more accurately target prospective customers.”
McNicholas added: “As an industry we need to adapt to providing more of what consumers want, which includes how they want to be spoken to and what is of interest to them at a specific point in time. Knowing this will allow brands to engage with more relevance for better results.”
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