The importance of including data providers in your tender for printing services.



If you’re running a commercial print tender, it’s possible you may not have been made aware of the importance of high quality, up-to-date data in producing print. You may not even have been asked to include data or data provision in that tender.


But the fact of the matter is that everything we print is increasingly printed, personalised, targeted and distributed off the back of quality customer (or prospective customer) data. Messages can be tailored using data, targeting can be enhanced and new customers can be found using quality sources of fresh data.


All of which means having up to date, well analysed and professionally handled data that’s entirely GDPR compliant, is more crucial than ever to make your print campaigns work harder.


(For an informal chat about how data management might positively impact on your organisation’s use of print, please get in touch using the form at the bottom of the page and we’ll be only too pleased to make some suggestions).



In-house or 3rd party data lists?


You may have your own in-house customer data or you may be looking for a source of fresh data. But either way, collaborating with a best in class data provider can really help your marketing results.


House files are data captured during transactions with existing customers and will include data gathered during the purchase process as well as through sources such as product browsing histories (including use of websites, apps, catalogues, emails and inbound telephone calls).


As any marketer knows, this data is the life blood of the business as these customers are more likely to repeat purchase and to be open to purchasing a wider range of products and services in the future.


But house data needs to be handled carefully. Not only from a legislative and data security perspective, but also from a brand management, cleaning and insight perspective.


Customer data needs constant care and attention – what’s broadly called data ‘cleaning’. Customers move house, change email addresses, change buying habits, get married and have kids – and a small percentage unfortunately pass on. Customers also have the right to opt out of channels and their data can get corrupted and duplicated, and become redundant or outdated for a multitude of other reasons.


In a nutshell, data needs careful tending; by someone with the expertise and tools to keep it in good condition and fit for the multitude of purposes your marketing teams might wish to use it.



Using uncleaned data can have serious consequences


The consequence of using uncleaned data isn’t simply running the risk of upsetting customers – as exemplified by the stories of customers receiving upsetting communications to dead relatives. But they can have a huge impact on brand associations too – and in the worst cases, it’s not uncommon for the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) to come knocking with legally enforceable orders and penalties.


And of course, not only is poor quality data off-putting to existing customers when communications to their ‘valued customer’ have their name spelt incorrectly, but it also has a direct cost implication too. It can lead to wasteful extra production or distribution costs with items being sent to wrong names, addresses or people unlikely to buy (for instance, most female Toni’s don’t appreciate being sent a menswear catalogue!).



Filtering out 3rd party data suppliers


Not all data providers are created equal. Some simply mash together bought-in data from various suppliers and sell it on. Others are a more scrupulous,  combining 3rd party data sources with guaranteed refresh rates and then adding their own up to date data sets and using their own telemarketers to call organisations.


Others still can help organisations share opted-in data across organisations and demographics, homing in on specific demographics of interest and sharing data on live customers appropriate for your products and services.


And some agencies can take that a step further still; not only sharing data but offering discounted and targeted distribution too where a product is non-competitive but is targeting the same demographic.


So, there’s much more to data than meets the eye and including data provision within your tender for printing services can really enhance the benefits you’re seeking to harvest.


Of course, many of the print suppliers you’re connecting with via the tender process will have in-house data processes or their own data partners. But you’ll still want to conduct your own due diligence whether they’re being used through a commercial print supplier or as a standalone provider.


Here are some of the things you should look out for.



What to look out for in 3rd party data suppliers:


Specialisms – are your data providers generalists or do they specialise in B2C or B2B data? Within those areas, do they specialise further such as retail data sets?


Targeting – a data specialist should be able to clearly demonstrate how they can help you target your ideal customers. Define precisely who you want to target then task them with locating those customers within their data.


Certifications – data providers should be appropriately certified. ISO 27001 information and security management is essential. The Direct Marketing Association’s data compliance audit a nice-to-have.


Quality data sources – what are the sources of their data and how often is it updated? How is it updated – do they call data sources directly or rely on their own data providers updating? Ask about data accuracy rates and compensation should those levels not be hit.


Modelled data – many data providers infer datasets and include that data as if it was real. In the data you’re interested in purchasing or enhancing, ask them which data is real and which is modelled?


Compliance – are all the contacts correctly opted-in and how quickly are they removed once they opt-out? Is their data GDPR compliant and what guarantees do they make? Will your own use of the data be GDPR compliant?


Online portal – online portals offer an easy way to purchase, manipulate and segment data. These tools can make data much more accessible and usable where in-house expertise is limited.


API – an API allows internal systems to seamlessly pass data to and from the data provider, ensuring data is always up to date and reduces the chances of a security breach.


As an ISO 27001 certified agency, Webmart provides access to data services for all our customers. Whether it’s simple data cleaning or buying – or something altogether more insightful such as investigating creative ways to use your data to reach more customers, Webmart’s data specialists are here to help. Call us on 01869 321321 or email enquiries@webmartuk or complete the form below to see how we can work together to improve the impact of your data.

Need help with your Print Tender?

If you’d like to invite Webmart to get involved in your print tender or need help with creating print specifications or finding the best printer mix for your tender, Webmart’s here to help.


Webmart has established partnerships with a wide variety of quality-ranked data handlers and traditional/digital printers across the UK. We work with organisations who run print tenders as well as participate in print tenders ourselves to help organisations optimise their print procurement.


Please get in touch by either filling the form or contacting us using the details below.

Media Innovation Centre

13-15 Wedgwood Road
OX26 4UL

We’d love to hear from you!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.