GDPR and door drops – threat or opportunity?

by Graham Dodd on 21/03/2017

The marketing media has been awash recently with articles surrounding the looming threat of GDPR and it would seem that many marketers are struggling to fully understand the potential implications of GDPR on their companies or businesses.

It has created an industry for those “in the know”, as they seek to guide interested parties through the maze.

And it is a situation we have found ourselves in, predominantly with our charity clients but also others, similarly concerned about the potential use of “personal customer data” in door drop targeting.

Rather than clients guessing at or aspiring to a primary target market, we always recommend clients provide us with their existing customer database for profiling, assuming their promotional objectives in the first place are to communicate with “more of the same”.

But we only ever request postcode unit data – EN8 9HU – which is NOT personal data.

So what is postcode unit?

The Ordnance Survey definition is “Postcodes are an alphanumeric abbreviated form of address. Postcode units are unique references and identify an average of 15 addresses”.

Sometimes clients ask us to sign NDA’s before they will provide customer postcode data, because they believe it to be personal data when it is not, but we do respect that it is still sensitive customer data and are happy to conform.

We analyse the information provided and generate a MOSAIC profile report from which we recommend a course of action (though MOSAIC is of course only one of a myriad of data sources).

MOSAIC aggregates household data from these units of 15 addresses and assigns one of 66 descriptor types to each of the c. 1.7 million postcode units in the UK.

A door drop supplier’s skills are then to propose a door drop solution, which should include any appropriate combination of final mile opportunities.

The targeting requirement is overlaid on to clusters of “hundreds” of households if using sub postal sector final mile door drop solutions, but most commonly is just overlaid on to postal sectors, where the clusters are generally thousands of households.

The door drop medium generally does not deliver personal, one to one messages into individually targeted households.

It delivers a generic message into large clusters of households, chosen because the majority of households in the cluster match a primary targeting objective.

There seems little doubt that consent marketing in the one to one world of channels such as email and SMS is a serious threat.

But, we believe GDPR represents an opportunity for the world of door drop marketing, where final mile delivery could be described as more scatter gun than rifle shot, yet still targeted.

And we further believe that there will be a growing market for door drop suppliers who can provide clients with multiple final mile solutions, offering the greatest level of targeting available.

But then again, at TLC we have been doing exactly that for the last 7 years, which is why we are market leaders in targeted, final mile distribution options!

This article was written by...

– who has written 28 posts on Letterbox Consultancy for Door Drop Marketing.

Graham Dodd is the founder of The Letterbox Consultancy - he has over 40 years of experience in the door drop industry and remains at the forefront of innovation in the business.

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