Infocore in the News

An American Perspective:
The Three Worst Things About the EU GDPR

ExchangeWire Article Lindsay Rowntree, July 7 2016 in News

By Kitty Kolding. Content is below.

EU businesses have resigned themselves to the fact that they will have to start complying with the long-awaited EU General Data Protection Regulation and are preparing themselves for 2018. How is the GDPR perceived from the outside looking in? Kitty Kolding, CEO and president, Infocore Inc. writes exclusively for ExchangeWire, to give her valuable insight into what American businesses think about the GDPR and how it will have an impact beyond the EU borders.

With the GDPR ready for implementation in mid-2018, data collectors, processors, brokers, and buyers are grappling with what this truly onerous legislation will mean to their businesses – and if they aren’t, they should be. The law is completely finalized, and there is no going back. There are no grace periods, no grandfathering, and no appeals to be made.

As an American company that assists US-based marketers to source data from more than 4,500 data collectors in over 90 countries – including every EU market – we’ve necessarily taken a very hard look at the more than 200 pages of the GDPR. We are nothing short of alarmed at what we see.

Let’s stipulate for a moment that sane business people agree that consumers’ privacy rights are critical, and that advertisers and their many partners absolutely must play by clear, fair, and specific rules regarding how they use this data. With that fundamental belief in place, we believe that this legislation will, ultimately, undermine the sanctity of consumers’ data privacy and security, not enhance it. We also believe it will hobble marketing and advertising worldwide, especially if the tenets included in this legislation start to spread to other markets, which is already starting to happen. Here are our top concerns:

The ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ provisions will in fact mandate precisely the opposite

Under the GDPR, EU citizens must be given the easy ability to withdraw their consent, often called ‘the right to be forgotten’. If consent is withdrawn, those data subjects have the right to have their personal data erased and no longer used for processing by the data collector, nor by any other entity who has ever used or purchased or rented that data legitimately in the past.

But, in order to do this, every company that has anything to do with the rental or sale of legitimately collected and fully opted-in data from EU data subjects will henceforth be required to retain extensive details on that same consumer data. In a single transaction, this might include seven or eight separate companies – e.g. the advertiser, its agency, two, or sometimes more, intermediaries, the data collector and a data processor. What the GDPR requires is that every one of those companies must retain every detail on every consumer in every transaction, so that, should the consumer decide to withdraw consent, that consumer can be provably deleted from every place it ever existed – including hard drives, on premise servers, backup datasets, cloud servers, and the like. Up until now, best practice typically mandated the total erasure of consumer data from all these parties’ storage when it was not in active use, to ensure that the data could not possibly fall into unintended (read: hackers’) hands.

But now? Now, we have increased the likelihood by at least 10x that this data will be hacked somehow, because companies cannot delete data that is no longer permitted to be used. Everyone involved must retain all records so that, three years after consent was given, a consumer can withdraw consent and the data handler can prove that the record was deleted. And, as we all know, everyone’s data storage is subject to hacking under the right conditions.

The long arm of the A29WP, soon to be known as the European Data Protection Board

The brand new enforcement body for the GDPR, currently called the ‘Article 29 Working Party’, has a shocking amount of completely unfettered authority over companies everywhere in the world. All EU nations are automatically and wholly subject to the GDPR and its enforcement authority with no exceptions or option to modify by individual EU countries. Additionally, every company everywhere that handles data on EU citizens is also automatically subject to this group’s absolute power – though it’s anybody’s guess how the EU believes they can enforce such a broad mandate outside its own borders.

The A29WP also has the exclusive and unchallengeable right to search and seize records in question – from any company anywhere – and conduct their own independent, sovereign investigations, functioning as the only adjudicating body as to the outcome of the investigation. They are truly judge, jury, and executioner, with no oversight and no appeals. And, when they and they alone decide they have found infractions, they are able to levy two levels of harsh penalties:

  • For operational infractions, such as insufficient or wrong contract clauses, the penalty is 2% of annual worldwide revenues, or €10m, whatever is greater.
  • For infringement of privacy rights, noncompliance with an order from the supervisory authority, or other more serious violations, the penalty is 4% of annual worldwide revenues, or €20m, whatever is greater.

The data storage, consent tracking, and evidentiary requirements of the GDPR law are so extensive that very few, if any, companies will be able to confidently consider themselves as compliant. And that means that companies all over our increasingly interconnected world are truly at risk anytime the A29WP decides they’d like to have a go at them. It also means that the number of illegal data collectors and sellers will skyrocket – and that is nothing but bad for consumers.

The law helps the companies the EU most wants to hurt

It seems obvious to many that the EU fashioned this legislation to punish, or at least attempt to limit, the activities of the companies that the EU loves to hate: Facebook, Google, Uber, and the like. Ironically, it is these huge, technically sophisticated companies that will overcome the GDPR hurdles without missing a beat. They’ll simply divert a platoon from their army of lawyers and engineers to build all the needed compliance elements called for in this lugubrious legislation. And while they sail past the difficulties, virtually every other company that does business with EU citizens will suffer direct, immediate and, in many cases, life-threatening harm to their businesses. First these companies – most of them EU-based businesses – will spend years trying to properly architect solutions for all the requirements, causing them to ignore other critical parts of their businesses. And, finally, they’ll be hobbled trying to afford building and managing those same solutions.

Some industry experts in the UK predict a 50% loss of revenue for audience data collectors, brokers, ad platforms, and related services such as data cleansing and processing. There is no question that truly compliant, marketable audiences will become scarcer by the minute – we’re already seeing this across Europe and the law isn’t in force for two more years. And, like any free market, the more the supply dwindles, the higher the price will go for the supply that is considered compliant. Targeted, relevant marketing will become more difficult, less specific and will reach fewer consumers for a much higher price. All but the largest businesses and services will exit the market, while the remaining behemoths dominate the market and raise prices. The idea that this will hurt those big guys that the EU loves to hate is a fallacy. It will only help them by demolishing everyone not big and profitable enough to withstand these requirements while small and mid-sized companies are destroyed.

While we’ve only outlined these three areas, don’t let that fool you into thinking these are the only problems – quite the contrary. This legislation will hurt the global economy and EU businesses – owned by those same consumers the law says it wants to protect – for many years to come.




Market Focus: Auto Shoppers in the U.S.

Article in Target Marketing Magazine, March 21, 2016

By Kitty Kolding. Content is below.

Efficiently reaching auto shoppers at the right moment is critical for automotive marketers and their agency partners. While there are many proven marketing tactics that drive car sales in the US, one approach is being exploited by just a few very shrewd OEM marketers: Data driven direct marketing.

A direct marketing data audience is defined as a list of individuals (and their contact information) who share a specific set of attributes or activities that have been collected and codified into a database that can be re-sold for marketing purposes, with the proper consents from the data subjects to allow for this use. Contact methods include email, direct mail, telephone and SMS.

Automotive audience data available in the U.S.

The data on these audiences are gathered in many different ways, including specific product buyers, loyalty card holders, book buyers, magazine subscribers, logged in website visitors, charitable donors, consumers conducting online research into a product they're considering purchasing, and consumers taking surveys and exchanging their interests in certain products for various incentives.

When gathered legally and with the proper consents in place, marketers are able to access to these highly responsive lists of consumers for specific marketing campaigns. This method offers marketers one of the most efficient and precise methods of reaching target customers given the many, very granular selection criteria available for targeting purposes. Direct marketing, and in particular email, also has the benefit of being one of the most measurable media channels available, offering very clear response rate tracking and reporting - something marketers increasingly value in today's omnichannel, attribution-focused marketing world.

That's the good news. The challenge, at least in the U.S., is finding which audience sources are the best for a given campaign. This is a nontrivial task, since there are more than 30,000 separate consumer direct marketing audience sources and 20,000 B-to-B audience sources in the U.S.

The chart above is a high level summary of the available audience options for the Auto category, developed by Infocore's Audience Analyst team. The analysts identified eight categories into which auto-related consumer audiences can be classified. Each category contains several, separate audience groups quantified in the bar graphs. The largest sized group is referenced on the far right table ("Maximum Audience Size") and specifies the maximum number of individuals reachable in the largest audience group in a category.

The Categories

  • ACTIVE SHOPPERS are sourced from networks of websites that bring buyers and sellers together as the consumer researches new vehicle options. These are exceptionally motivated, serious shoppers that have expressed an interest in a new vehicle and have requested to be contacted by a local dealership. These consumers may have registered at a website, submitted request for quotes for target vehicles, and opted-in to receive promotions. They are pro-active in searching websites for more information about autos of interest. Importantly, these sources allow marketers to reach consumers based on the make and model of the car they're searching for, and similar vehicles in that competitive set.
  • INTENDERS/HAND RAISERS data sources are created from online consumers visiting automotive network sites, and other retail sites. These purchase intenders are in the early stage of researching autos of interest prior to seeking out a dealer. In-market timing is forward looking, self-reported intent to purchase a target vehicle in the upcoming one to 12 month period. Three months, six months, one year. They have opted in to receive promotions and offers to help them in their buying decisions. These sources also capture specifics about the make and model of the vehicle they're searching for.
  • OWNERS have been sourced by traditional direct mail and online survey data collection and may be interested in purchasing a vehicle in the near future. These consumers have self-reported information regarding their vehicle of interest's make and model, insurance renewal dates, age, gender, income, and other lifestyle factors.
  • INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP audiences are consumers sourced by partnerships with auto dealerships, warranty companies, national car clubs, state records, auto after-market, and insurance companies.
  • COMPILED SOURCES are comprised of data from a broad range of consumer sources such as magazine subscriptions, verified consumer transactions, responses to email advertisements, travel sites, financial products and services, and other proprietary data sources. Extensive demographic characteristics are typically available.
  • LEASE END audiences are sourced from online, self-reported websites and consist of individuals that have stated that their lease is coming to an end, and they are interested in continuing to lease or purchase a new car. This data is available by make, model and year, as well as demographic and lifestyle data for this file as well. Previously, these records were purchased at high cost from a credit bureau and a firm credit offer was required but they are now much more readily available.
  • MODELED DATA sources use industry derived models and economic conditions to predict which households are likely to purchase a car within one of 30+ automotive categories within the next 6 months.
  • AUTO ENTHUSIASTS are car buffs that want to be informed about vehicle related trends and developments. The records are sourced from automobile magazine subscriptions and attendance at auto shows. These avid hobbyists spend their free time on DIY auto repair projects, researching vintage car history, and attending auctions.

Execution

This kind of high quality data is typically priced on a CPM (cost per thousand) basis, which varies from $100 to $400 per thousand, depending upon the volume of records being acquired, the precision of the selection criteria, and the contact media being used - e.g. postal records are less expensive than email records.

And for those of you wondering whether it's legally permissible to send prospecting emails to people who haven't opted in for your messages, fear not. This third party email approach was specifically designed to lawfully reach only consumers who have agreed to receive messages from third parties.




3rd Party Audience Email is the Best Kept Secret in Acquisition Marketing

Article in Dealer Marketing Magazine, February 2016

By Kitty Kolding. Content is below.

The U.S. auto market continues to enjoy strong sales, and OEMs remain very sophisticated in their media approach to marketing new vehicles and promoting key sales events.

But with the constant pressure for a strong media performance with measurable results, automotive marketers are more emphatic than ever that new customer acquisition programs - "conquesting" in the automotive parlance - must meet the following criteria:

  • PRECISION/EFFICIENCY, to ensure that the marketing message is reaching exactly the right individuals - and only those individuals.
  • TESTABILITY, offering the opportunity to test the tactic without committing huge sums of money.
  • SCALABILITY, so that if it is working, the tactic can be scaled up sufficiently to truly move the needle for a big brand while garnering price efficiencies at higher volumes.
  • MEASURABILITY, so that the marketer can objectively measure the results without being held hostage to a mind-numbingly complex attribution model.

One method that earns consistently high scores on all these criteria is the use of third-party audiences reachable by email to acquire new customers.

Yet too few marketers take advantage of this effective tactic, often because of a fundamental misunderstanding of how the process actually works.

Some marketers mistakenly believe that it is not legally possible to contact consumers using email if a consumer hasn't already opted in to receive messages from them.

The direct marketing industry, however, has perfected a way to legitimately solve these important privacy issues, while giving marketers some very sophisticated, high-impact options for email-based acquisition activities.

U.S. audience data market

To give some perspective: In the U.S., there are about 10,000 audience sources available to reach U.S.-based consumers via email, and approximately 25 to 30 of them are especially effective for reaching in-market auto shoppers - individuals who are actively shopping for a new vehicle.

Each source is broadly defined as a list of individuals and their contact information that share a specific set of attributes or activities.

Each of these individuals has given the audience data collector proper consent to allow selected third parties to market to them.

This is incredibly fertile ground for auto marketers because they can reach consumers at the time when they are most likely to be responsive - when they are actively researching vehicles.

Marketers can send a customized email directly to the consumer's inbox, and ensure that it is in context and highly relevant to the specific interests of that consumer.

These consumers' email addresses are never sent to the advertiser. Instead, the advertiser's message is sent to the selected consumers via the audience data collector, with whom the consumer has a permissioned relationship.

A dedicated email reaches only those consumers who meet the advertiser's criteria, and lets advertisers reach out to these email audiences with full, legal permission.

Getting it done

Executing a third-party email campaign is fairly simple. The marketer and/or its agency develops the HTML email, including numerous links back to the marketer's digital real estate.

The creative is distributed to the chosen audience data sources and thoroughly tested in less than a day. The dedicated email is then deployed to the selected recipients on a schedule that meets the advertiser's needs.

The creative includes a "friendly from" in the email header, which is the domain of the audience data source. The consumer's email client sees and accepts this white-listed domain, and, when using high-quality sources, the email is delivered with greater than 95% in-box placement rate.

All opens and clicks are tracked, and within 48 to 72 hours, a performance report is generated and delivered to the marketer, detailing these specifics.

Why it works

This type of email campaign works because:

  • The marketer reaches highly qualified, completely new prospects with each campaign. The marketer can "suppress" existing customers from the recipient list to ensure that the message is reaching only new prospective customers.
  • All complexities related to opt out, unsubscribe requirements, and spam complaints are managed by the audience data owner, not the advertiser.
  • The performance of the campaign is quickly and unambiguously knowable. The advertiser can test several subject lines and versions of their creative, and almost immediately see which are performing best.
  • Marketers can design a variable approach to recontacting these same consumers after that first email is delivered. Some marketers will send a direct mail piece to those consumers who open an email. Others will follow up with those who click on a link using social or mobile. Still others will add in digital touches after the initial email contact.

In the automotive category, some OEMs target only consumers who live within a specific distance of their dealerships locally, regionally, or nationally.

Others customize the message with things like the name of the closest dealership, their hours of operation, the address and phone, and the name of the general manager, increasing response rates dramatically.

Other players look to push out mobile, in-app ads whenever one of the targeted consumers drives within a certain distance from one of their dealerships.

All of these tactics create meaningful increases in response rates and valuable synergies in the media mix, worthy of testing for any auto marketer.




The Best Kept Secret in Acquisition Marketing

Article in RESPONSE Magazine, January 2016

By Kitty Kolding. Content is below.

Choosing the most efficient tactics for new customer acquisition is both critical and a constant challenge, especially given the myriad options available to marketers today. One thing we know for sure is that winning acquisition programs must meet the following criteria:

  • PRECISION, to ensure that the marketing message is reaching exactly the right individuals — and only those individuals
  • TESTABILITY, offering the opportunity to test the tactic without committing huge sums of money.
  • SCALABILITY, so that if it is working, it can be scaled up sufficiently to truly move the needle for a big brand while garnering price efficiencies at higher volumes.
  • MEASURABILITY, so that the marketer can objectively measure the results without being held hostage to a mind-numbingly complex attribution model.

One method that consistently scores well on all these criteria is using third-party e-mail lists. Yet, too few marketers take advantage of this effective tactic, largely due to a fundamental misunderstanding of how the process actually works.

Marketers commonly believe that, due to privacy and spam regulations, they are unable to contact consumers using e-mail if that consumer has not already opted in to receive messages from them. Although the spirit of that belief is correct, the direct marketing industry has perfected a way to legitimately solve for these privacy issues, while giving marketers some very sophisticated, high-impact options for e-mail-based acquisition activities.

For perspective: in the U.S., there are around 20,000 audience sources available to reach U.S.-based consumers via e-mail. Each source is broadly defined as a list of individuals and their contact information who share a specific set of attributes or activities that have been collected with the proper consents from the data subjects, allowing third parties to market to them.

These audiences include sources like: buyers of specific products (in-store and online); loyalty card holders; registered visitors at content and research websites; online survey data; self-reported data related to product interests; and dozens more.

Each audience data source consists of a specific list of individuals and its own combination of contact options that third-party marketers can use to reach them, including e-mail, direct mail and/or phone. Each source collects some demographic details about those individuals. Finally, and perhaps most critically, each source has obtained specific forms of consent from the individuals that allow third parties to contact them under certain circumstances.

Done properly, the consumer’s e-mail addresses are never sent to the advertiser; instead, the advertiser’s message is sent to the selected consumers via the audience data collector, with whom the consumer has a permissioned relationship. This gives advertisers the ability to select and reach out to these e-mail audiences with full, legal permission.

Executing a third-party e-mail campaign is pretty simple. The marketer and/or their agency develop the creative, which is distributed to the chosen audience data sources and thoroughly tested. Within a day, testing is complete and the dedicated e-mail is deployed.

The creative includes a “friendly from” in the e-mail header, which is the domain of the audience data source. The consumer’s e-mail client sees and accepts this white-listed domain, and, when using high quality sources, the e-mail is delivered with better than a 95-percent in-box placement rate. All opens and clicks are tracked and, within 48-72 hours, a performance report is delivered to the marketer.

High-volume marketers appreciate this approach for many reasons. First, the marketer reaches completely new prospects with each campaign, and each individual reached is explicitly qualified based on the marketer’s criteria. The marketer can “suppress” existing customers from the recipient list to ensure the message only reaches new prospective customers.

Also, all complexities related to opt-out, unsubscribe requirements, and spam complaints are managed by the audience data owner, relieving the advertiser of significant risk.

Third, the performance of the campaign is quickly and unambiguously knowable. The advertiser can test several subject lines and versions of the creative, and almost immediately see which are performing best.

Finally, marketers can design a customizable approach to re-contacting these same consumers after that first e-mail is delivered. Some marketers will send a direct mail piece to consumers who open an e-mail. Others will follow up with those who click on a link via social or mobile. Still others will add in digital touches after the initial e-mail contact.




The Nature Of Consent When Acquiring Email Data

Article in MediaPost, Published January 19, 2016

By Jess Nelson. Content is below.

Some 10% of marketers admit to buying third-party marketing data and emailing lists, according to a recent Yesmail study.

Although acquiring email lists may at first seem counterintuitive in an opt-in marketing campaign, there are several benefits to data acquisition that email marketers should consider when forming a strategy on how to expand their email subscribers list.

Kitty Kolding, CEO of marketing data acquisition company Infocore, compares marketing data acquisition to media buying.

“Our expertise comes down to being able to find the right data sources, vet them, and understand the nature of their types of data sets,” she says.

When looking for third-party email lists to acquire, Kolding says it is critical to understand local legislation, such as Canada’s Anti-Spam laws, and abide by the set criteria for each region.

Since legislation can change from country to country, marketers should take a look at the law and know what the nature of consent means in every region.

Kolding explains how there are opt-in markets such as Germany that are much more difficult to acquire third-party data for because all marketing messages must have been voluntarily received by the consumer -- in contrast to the United States, where it is assumed a consumer has opted-in to receive a message unless otherwise stated.

However, there is a somewhat little known middle road that marketers can take if a consumers may have opted-in to receive third-party messaging when they signed up for an email marketing list, or if a company is willing to send third-party advertisements to their email lists.

Another added benefit of data acquisition is how precise and targeted lists can be. “It will probably shock you on how precise we can get with this type of marketing, particularly in the United States,” says Kolding. “There is no other place with as much data with as much precision and with as much depth.”

In the United States there may be an average of 200 records per capita, says Kolding, which far exceeds burgeoning markets in the United Kingdom and Brazil that may have 10 or 12 data records per capita.

It's not just about the right people receiving the right message at the right time, says Kolding, but about the right people who have been qualified to receive the right message at the right time.




DaaS Defined

Demystifying the fundamentals that marketers need to know about data as a service.

Article in Direct Marketing News, by Elyse Dupre, Published January 13, 2016. Content is below

With all the customer data marketers have on hand, do they really need data as a service? Quite possibly, because DaaS isn't about getting more data; it's about having the right data when marketers need it. Still, many marketers are unsure of what DaaS actually is, unapprised of the benefits and drawbacks of using it, and uncertain of how they can find the right vendor to meet their needs. Here's a primer:

WHAT IT IS

DaaS is a repository of data sources aggregated by a vendor that marketers can shop on-demand through service connections, like the cloud, and pump into their systems to fuel their marketing efforts. Cory Treffiletti, VP of marketing for DaaS platform Oracle Data Cloud, likens a marketer's software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to a luxury vehicle and DaaS to the gas that powers it.

“In that example, you want to buy the highest octane, most efficient gas so you can maximize the engine in that car—that's the role DaaS plays,” he says.

WHY YOU WANT IT

This model offers marketers numerous benefits. According to Anders Ekman, president of DaaS provider DataMentors, one benefit is that DaaS “makes big data small” by allowing marketers to cut through the clutter and find the data they need. Doing so delivers another benefit: allowing them to go to market faster. Ekman adds that DaaS can lower costs and drive efficiency by helping marketers craft more targeted messages. “You're able to market to fewer and do better,” he says.

Kitty Kolding, CEO of data acquisition agency Infocore, adds that acquiring data from a central repository, such as the cloud, allows marketers to avoid the time and monetary costs associated with implementing, storing, and maintaining their own databases. Plus, she says, it enables marketers to pass on these technological and data processing responsibilities to vendors—freeing up their time to focus on their strategies and messaging.

“The idea is compelling because those costs are real,” she says.

WHY YOU DON'T

Marketers drawn to those benefits need to tread carefully. Kolding points out that the lure of DaaS is based more on the fantasy of what could be than on reality, and that marketers still have a long way to go before these benefits can come to fruition. “There are a lot of really cool things happening, but the reality of merging all of these data inputs [and] figuring out exactly who you're dealing with…is very, very hard to do,” she says. “I don't yet believe that the technology is up to the task, and I don't believe that the sources of data are in a condition yet that allow a marketer to really synthesize everything that's out there.”

Indeed, there are quite a few DaaS-related challenges that marketers have yet to overcome. One area, perhaps surprisingly, is the limitations of the data on offer. Although DaaS provides marketers with a variety of data, they're limited to the data sources their vendor offers, Kolding says. What's more, she says, marketers aren't buying data as much as they're renting it. After all, once they stop paying for a particular data source, their pipeline is cutoff. “You don't have that data anymore,” she says. “That's the promise and peril.”

Another issue is that DaaS does not guarantee data quality or security, points out George Corugedo, CTO of data management solutions provider RedPoint Global; so, marketers need processes in place to manage these aspects.

“Data as a service isn't going to solve your data quality problem, which is an enormous problem across the board with marketers,” he says. “They often live in a world with very fragmented data. Just because you put it in a data-as-a-service environment, doesn't mean it's integrated.”

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

So, how can marketers determine whether DaaS is right for their organization? And, if so, how can they select the right vendor? Kolding advises marketers to start by identifying what they hope to accomplish through DaaS. Oracle Data Cloud's Treffiletti suggests that marketers follow a three-step construct to better determine their needs and how a vendor's services will meet them: data in, adding value, and data out.

Data in is all about ingesting, organizing, and accessing data, Treffiletti says. To do this, he notes, marketers have to identify which data sets they have and which ones they need, as well as where the incoming data is going to come from, how they're going to store it, and how they're going to use it.

Adding value, he continues, involves connecting the data points, using analytics to derive insight, and establish success metrics. “Many companies offer elements of value, but few are capable of doing all of these,” he notes, “and even fewer can do this accurately and at scale.”

Finally, data out relates to the distribution of data and the ability to transfer it to partners, activate it, and manage the licensing of it, Treffiletti explains.

After marketers complete this three-step vendor review process, he notes, they need to do an internal examination to see if they have the right people and processes in place.

“You need people with analytical skills, but also with a commercial mind-set,” he says. “You need people who can either do or manage the analytics, but are experienced in understanding consumers and revenue-driving requirements. This is a unique combination of skills and ones that are becoming more and more valuable to the marketing organization.”

In fact, Brian Hopkins, VP and principal analyst for Forrester Research, asserts that DaaS isn't enough. It provides the “raw materials,” he says, adding that many providers don't offer the analytics capabilities needed to derive the insight marketers need. “There's this enormous gap between data and action, and just providing data as a service doesn't create the action. It's just data.”

To drive this action, Hopkins recommends that marketers aspire to create a “System of Insights”: a trifecta of people, processes, and technology that work together to access data, leverage analytics and data science to derive insights, test those insights against business outcomes, measure customers' response to those insights, and refine.




Data Analysis Reveals Highly Segmented Consumer Groups

Article in WWD, Published October 26, 2015

By ARTHUR ZACZKIEWICZ. Content is below.

For brands targeting fashionistas, jewelry buyers and dedicated consumers of beauty products, target audiences in these segments are broad and diverse, according to a just-released "audience landscape" analysis report by marketing firm Infocore Inc.

The company studied target audiences in the fashion apparel, beauty and jewelry segments. The report, said chief executive officer Kitty Kolding, involved collaborating with brands and leveraging the company’s own analytical insights to "better understand the nature" of target audiences.

With self-proclaimed fashionistas, Infocore found 55 separate audiences, which can be then classified into 15 distinct categories, which brands can use to "pinpoint their target audience with offers customized for their exact fashion interests and lifestyles," the company said. For example, in the fashion apparel study, the analysis identified three audience groups within the "style at a discount" category. In the "urban" category, five specific audience groups were identified. And in the "trendy young adult" category, 10 audience groups were revealed.

The audience group is culled from a specific marketing database. And in the U.S. alone, there are more than 30,000 of these data sources.

Kolding said there is crossover in these data sources, and the maximum audience size within each group varies and reaches into the millions. "There’s a lot of crossover, and consumers can fit into different categories" the ceo said. "And, for a brand, it would be smart to overlay different categories together to target."

The beauty products analysis included 10 separate categories and 81 audiences. The categories included skin care, nails, health and beauty, fragrance, antiaging and cosmetics, among others.

In the jewelry analysis, the categories ranged from "fine jewelry" to "bling" and included 64 separate data sources. Infocore also looked at the demographic profiles of the audiences and data sources. The firm found, for example, a maximum audience size of more than six million for individuals with a net worth between $500,000 and $1 million. Again, this sort of insights would allow a brand to develop a focused approach in direct marketing efforts to a specific target audience.




Three Tips for Going Global

Article in the AMA blog, Elevate, by Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore, Inc.

Published on August 12, 2015. Content is below.

When it comes to enriching customer data for CRM initiatives or conducting new customer acquisition campaigns using a channel like e-mail, U.S. marketers have the benefit of working in the most prolific, efficient data market in the world.

The U.S. has more than 200 times more data available per capita than any other market. CMOs and senior marketers in the U.S. can count on the ideal combination of market dynamics:

  • Low hurdles related to data privacy and data compliance
  • A vast array of data providers offering specific, comprehensive, granular data options
  • Relatively inexpensive and consistent pricing across the board
  • The ability to obtain and deploy the data quickly, and with very few executional problems.

With the exception of the U.K., that same combination of ease, consistency and abundance is not present in almost any market across Europe, Asia or Latin America. Data privacy legislation is significantly more stringent and limiting, with some markets imposing jail time or fines of $1 million per day for errant data collectors.

The quantity, diversity and specificity of data available in international markets is a fraction of the inventory available in the U.S. ecosystem. Pricing is a full-on adventure for which one should always have an experienced guide, and the turnaround time to execute on a project often is two to three times what it would be in the U.S.

Yet, as many corporate behemoths know, we live in a truly global marketplace in which the highest growth rates often are coming from markets outside the U.S., requiring marketers to quickly adapt to a new set of rules and, in the process, re-set nearly all of their U.S.-derived expectations. Here are three best practices for bringing your brand into the global spotlight:

1. Understand local data privacy legislation.

Local data privacy legislation, which controls what marketers can and cannot do, is changing very rapidly—and sometimes onerously—in many parts of the world. The free-wheeling, “anything goes” data mentality in the U.S. is not shared by other governments, many of which apply increasingly strict limitations on data collection methodologies, data storage and security requirements, data transfer outside the borders of their country and to third parties, and the permitted use of personal data for marketing purposes.

Collecting consent from a data subject is far more complex than ever before, and requires data collectors to monitor things like the context in which the consent was collected, and the “reasonable expectation” of how the data would be used.

All of this may seem daunting, but it’s actually entirely manageable as long as marketers are working with partners who are experienced with international programs. Start by looking at existing privacy legislation to understand what is and is not allowed in that market. Then check out the data source(s) under consideration for the project and whether their data does or does not comply with local legislation. Finally, look closely at how the data collector obtained the consents from the data subjects, and be sure that the current campaign approach is permitted given the nature of those consents.

2. Re-set your turnaround time clock.

Americans are known for their expectation that everything will be done on an emergency basis. The rest of the world rarely operates on our expedited time scale, so before building your execution plan, assume that your activities will take two to three times as long as they would in the U.S. This goes for everything in the project, including identifying and selecting local partners or sources, negotiating with partners or sources for the project, and deploying a campaign or getting enriched customer data back from a processor.

Factors like radically different time zones also create serious problems when trying to manage to a tight timeframe: The time difference between Chicago and Sydney is 15 hours, leaving a very small window of time to conduct conference calls. In some cases, interpreters are needed to refine project specifics and that can gobble up precious days in a tight plan. Local conventions can throw U.S. marketers for a loop, too: Many Middle Eastern markets take their weekends on Fridays and Saturdays instead of Saturdays and Sundays, rendering that Friday deadline for your project in Dubai pretty unworkable.

3. Don’t export your U.S.-based assumptions.

We worked with a client recently who wanted to execute a telemarketing campaign in parts of Europe, basically taking its U.S. approach and replicating it in five Western European markets. We were able to convince the client that the markets would not react well to this campaign via telemarketing. Instead, they used a different approach that was less costly and brought a much higher overall response rate and return.

Direct mail can be a very effective medium in certain markets. Many Latin Americans respond extremely well to good mail pieces, but the postal services in many countries in that region, overall, are notoriously unreliable. In some Latin American countries, only 50 to 60% of the mail pieces actually make it to the mailbox. To remedy that, marketers can reach out to private mail delivery services like Sky Postal, which we’ve seen add a 40% lift in response rates simply because virtually all of the mail pieces actually were delivered.

E-mail is many marketers’ medium of choice in the U.S., but in markets such as China, e-mail isn’t the best option, given the way that the population consumes media. Social media platforms are more effective, but since Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube are all banned in China, marketers must use locally built platforms such as Weibo, China’s biggest social network; WeChat, a free messaging and calling app; Youku, a video-sharing site; and Sohu, a gaming, media and search site.

The key to success with these platforms is working with partners who have huge followings and can reach millions of individuals with a marketing message. This is very doable, and can bring some impressive results if marketers are willing to go with what works in a given market.




International Data Collection Is The Next Frontier

AdExchanger Article quoting Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore, Inc.

By Allison Schiff. Published on July 7, 2015. Content is below.

Data collection can pose a challenge beyond borders.

Looking for IT professionals who work at companies with more than $20 million in revenue and headcounts over 250? Fashionistas between the ages of 18 and 34 with an affinity for shoes?

Most data providers could take care of that type of request before breakfast in the US, where the majority of available data on file is compliant, detailed and current. But if a brand’s looking for international reach and scope, the assignment is a bit trickier, said former Cravebox chief Kitty Kolding, now CEO and president of data acquisition company Infocore.

Infocore uses a predictive scoring system to assist brands like Honda, Toyota, IBM, Disney, American Express and Procter & Gamble assess which global data sources will perform best for campaigns in advance of live testing.

Infocore also works with data providers like Epsilon and Experian to help them expand their global footprint.

"Once you get out of the US and Western Europe, it can be somewhat of an adventure to find accurate, legal data that you can use for a client’s specific purposes," Kolding said.

And those purposes can get quite specific. Over the years, Infocore has received some pretty wacky data requests, including tea buyers residing in Singapore, deceased consumers in Mexico and Canada, middle-class women age 50-plus who are either about to reach or have already entered menopause located in India, China or Russia and are also affluent enough to pay for health insurance and consumers in major EU cities between age 30 and 45 who have at least one child, one pet, one smartphone, an elderly relative living with them – and who have been the victim of a crime within the past 12 months.

But offbeat demands aside, pulling together even the more mundane data requests to reach consumers outside of the US often comes attendant with some fairly sizable hurdles.

"It’s not only a challenge to find good data, you also need to make sure that it’s compliant with quickly changing legislation and the particular do’s and don’ts in each country," Kolding said.

Take China. As mediaQuark CEO Tom Simpson noted in a previous chat with AdExchanger, "Data can be quite hard to come by in China, with publishers and advertisers slow to move into this space due to privacy concerns. Although many clients do fantastic work with data in silos, this hasn’t necessarily translated to the industry as large, [but] it is a significant opportunity for the next few years."

It’s an opportunity Infocore is looking to capitalize on by cultivating relationships with data providers on the international scene.

Infocore tracks roughly 12.3 billion records in 85 countries, 80% of which are consumer, 20% of which are B2B. But rather than processing the data itself, Infocore logs information about the data sources, including how many records are available for purchase, how those records are priced and if it’s compliant, aka whether the opt-in process was carried out in a kosher fashion.

In a recent project for the China arm of a large multinational CPG company, for example, Infocore was tasked with taking the company’s client file, which comprised only the full name and address, and beefing it up with verifiable demographics. But because international data sources can be spotty, Infocore had to pull gender from one file, the presence of children in the home from another, income level from a third and so on, all while making sure that each new data nugget was obtained in a fully permissioned way.

Brands also have to play by the local cultural rules. In some countries, for example, it’s either forbidden or culturally not acceptable to store revenue numbers on privately held companies, while in Hong Kong there are three different do-not-call lists, which means providers need to scrub any telemarketing files against all three regional DNC registries before use.

"It all functions a little differently depending on where you are," Kolding said.

But in the US, where brands are spoiled for data riches, there are other challenges to overcome. With so many data sources to choose from, it becomes a matter of identifying which one has the best records to match a particular request. According to Kolding, there are around 50,000 unique sources of data available in the US to reach consumers and business individuals – roughly 200 times more than anywhere else in the world.

In some cases, it’s just a matter of opening a brand’s eyes to the possibilities. One Infocore client, for example, a large retailer, was looking to reach new movers. In negotiations with Infocore, a rep from the retailer made a comment along the lines of, "We’re already using all of the new mover sources out there."

"So we said, 'You’re using 275 sources?' and they paused and said, 'No … there are only three or four, right?'" Kolding said. "But there are hundreds of sources out there for every type of individual. When we showed this retailer how many potential sources there were just for new movers in the US to choose from, they were blown away."




Continued Privacy Worries That Could Eradicate Predictive Analytics

Article in eM+C by Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore, Inc.

Published on April 24, 2015. Content is below.

Predictive analytics is an extraordinarily sophisticated business practice that is so successful it might just evolve itself to the brink of extinction.

Tech writer Vangie Beal defines the space nicely:

"Predictive analytics is the practice of extracting information from existing data sets in order to determine patterns and predict future outcomes and trends. Predictive analytics doesn't tell you what will happen in the future. It forecasts what might happen in the future with an acceptable level of reliability, and includes what-if scenarios and risk assessment."

For decades, marketers have been trying to find and exploit patterns in what makes their customers buy, buy again, stay, switch, browse, click, join, sign up, opt in and check out. And while the astonishing science behind the dozens of different strains of predictive analytics is exploding, it's not even close to keeping pace with the stunningly vast amounts of data being collected and made available every minute of every day, on a healthy percentage of the Earth's inhabitants.

In many countries, data privacy laws have recently and rapidly grown much more stringent, with the penalties for breaking those laws becoming significantly more onerous with each revision. Take, for example, the $1 million dollar a day fines set forth in Canada's CASL legislation, and the prison sentences being meted out in places like Hong Kong.

The laws are generally clearly written (with China being a huge and notable exception), consistently enforced and abundantly available for inspection to all concerned. The discourse on these issues is serious, the boundaries are defined, and the apparatus for adjudicating infractions in most countries is known and robust.

What's less obvious — and to some more worrisome — is the current murky state of data that's collected and weaved together for use in something referred to as "alternative scores," which are being churned out in endless complexity and with increasingly specialized purposes through the discipline of predictive analytics.

Everybody knows what a credit score is, and what it's used for. We're also aware that a person's credit history — the combination of data elements that feed the sophisticated models and algorithms that make up our credit score — can and regularly do contain errors. To remedy this in the U.S., we can readily examine our credit reports and use a carefully regulated process to correct erroneous information held by credit bureaus.

As far as data privacy goes, most of us generally understand what opting in and opting out means. Every day, most of us are presented with at least one decision to allow or prevent an entity from collecting a little, or a lot, of data about us. But there are other kinds of scores — these alternative scores — being widely used today.

Some are used for things that make sense to most of us. They're increasingly adept at determining whether someone will commit fraud, cheat on their taxes, engage in criminal activity or become ensnared in terrorist propaganda leading to sometimes horrifying results. Protecting ourselves from these behaviors by finding them before they happen seems at worst a necessary evil, and at best a welcome safeguard.

Yet some other alternative models are used to predict other kinds of things, and could be considered a little creepy.

Maybe you're OK if data about what food you buy, how much you weigh and some key details of your family health history are combined to produce a score that says you're on the bullet train to diabetes. But maybe you're not — especially if that information somehow interferes with your ability to get or keep a particular job.

Maybe as a senior manager at Hewlett-Packard you're thrilled to have access to the company's "Flight Risk Score," which identifies employees who are at risk of leaving their jobs, which would leave you with a big, productivity-crushing hole in your senior team. But what if you're the employee, and you suddenly realize your company is keeping track of your raises, changes in position, performance evaluations and is synthesizing them into a nice, neat predictive score on you?

And there's the now-famous case of Target which, in 2012, noticed a correlation between certain products being purchased and pregnancy and, therefore, started marketing baby- and pregnancy-related products to those consumers as soon as that purchase behavior began. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it freaked out a lot of people, especially those who hadn't yet mentioned the impending parenthood to their families, significant others or employers.

Eric Siegel, executive editor of "Predictive Analytics Times", refers to these as "unvolunteered truths," and says they're the source of the head-on collision that this critical area of statistical science is about to experience. Why? Because jillions of these data points are collected and synthesized every day, yielding one customized, predictive score after another. The problem is that this is done without the data subject's knowledge or consent and without the individual's ability to either correct errors or opt out of the process. As such, those data privacy regulators and watchdogs are turning their attention toward predictive analytics.

Advocates of predictive analytics — which I generally consider myself to be — remind us that alternative scores aren't specific to a single person, and are instead an aggregated pattern of documented facts from many individuals that, when combined in certain ways, yield a likelihood of some future behavior. However, for some, it might not feel that way when you're the one receiving the maternity wear promotions and you've yet to disclose your pregnancy — to anyone.

I'm not casting aspersions. My company developed proprietary alternative scores to compare and contrast entire audiences for direct marketers, uncovering previously unconsidered matches between specific promotions and the thousands of audiences that marketers can choose from for email and other direct marketing campaigns.

As we built those tools, we looked closely at the tenets espoused by IBM's Jeff Jonas, who has spent years baking in data privacy guards into its SPSS Modelers software. An inspirational figure in the field, Jeff is elevating the discipline by making infraction-proof systems, which is the template used for our tools — our systems never bring in any individual audience member's personally identifiable information. So for now, we like where we sit in the privacy spectrum, and we remain hopeful that the science of predictive analytics can continue to grow and thrive, while the industry creates reasonable oversight and privacy protections.




Infocore Launches Predictive Scoring System for Marketing Data

Through a Worldwide Partnership with Callcredit Information Group

Carlsbad, CA, Jan 12, 2014

Infocore, the leading global data sourcing agency to Fortune 500 companies, announced the launch of a new Predictive Data Scoring System that helps marketers assess – in advance of live testing – which data will perform best for specific marketing initiatives. Through a worldwide agreement with the UK’s Callcredit Information Group, Infocore now offers this unique and proprietary capability in 40 countries around the world, including the United States.

US marketers have an over-abundance of direct marketing data available: there are more than 30,000 separate consumer data sources on the market in the US alone. However, until now, there has been no empirical way to analyze and score all this available data without live testing, forcing marketers to make decisions without sophisticated assessments to inform those critical choices.

Infocore’s new Predictive Data Scoring System gives marketers the ability to obtain a deep and nuanced understanding of a given dataset prior to testing, allowing them to fully understand its overall coverage, as well as its relative strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to a specific marketing objective. With that in mind, marketers can much more confidently select data that has the highest likelihood of success for a specific marketing initiative.

“Callcredit is a sophisticated global company with unparalleled data and segmentation assets all over the world. We’ve worked closely with them for years, and recently collaborated to create this exciting, completely new solution to support both our US-based and our global clients,” said Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore. “Now, for the first time, we are able to understand – with exceptional precision – the collective nature of the individuals included in a given dataset, and compare that to a detailed target profile from a client requirement. This allows us to very clearly identify which data sources truly contain the exact type of consumer that our client is seeking, saving them time and money, and significantly increasing campaign efficacy and efficiency. We’ve never seen anything like this in the marketplace, and are excited to bring this forward with Callcredit and their CAMEO segmentation system.”

“We are thrilled to a part of this Infocore initiative and are pleased to contribute our data assets towards solving this very real problem in the data marketplace,”said Martin Bradbury, International Client Services Director at Callcredit. “Our CAMEO global segmentation system feeds parts of Infocore’s proprietary scoring system to produce a completely new way to add project-specific precision and intelligence to marketing data selection, in the US and all over the world.”

The Predictive Data Scoring System is fully capable of delivering a detailed Data Profile and associated data score on consumer datasets in 40 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

About Infocore

Infocore is a global data sourcing and insights agency, serving Fortune 500 marketers and their agencies in more than 85 countries around the world. Its blue chip clients use this carefully vetted data to power their customer acquisition and CRM initiatives, and to enrich their large customer databases with critical data elements and triggers, enhancing the efficiency and potency of their B2B and Consumer marketing activities. In business for over 20 years, Infocore is a strong, profitable, well-known brand in the marketing data and insights industry, with a sterling reputation for service, precision, expertise and deep market knowledge. As an acknowledged global expert in acquiring high quality data for US based multi-nationals, Infocore’s current clients include Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, NetFlix, IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Disney, American Express and dozens more in the Tech, Financial Services, Automotive and Consumer products sectors. Infocore also works closely with some of the biggest agencies and customer analytics firms in the world, including Merkle, Epsilon, TBWA Chiat Day, Hacker Group, ASPEN Marketing, Ogilvy, RAPP and many more.

Contact: Terese Kelly at Rosica Communications
201-843-5600 || terese@rosica.com


About Callcredit Information Group - www.callcredit.co.uk

To learn more about Callcredit please download or view our Media Pack

Duncan Bowker, PR Manager, Callcredit Information Group Tel: 0113 388 4300 || Mobile: 07557 263 660 || Email: duncan.bowker@callcreditgroup.com

Lucy Smith, Press Officer, Callcredit Information Group Tel: 0113 388 4300 || Mobile: 0786 739 5104 || E-mail: lucy.smith@callcreditgroup.com

Amy Bhavra, Press Officer, Callcredit Information Group Tel: 0113 388 4300 || Mobile: 0755 716 2990 || E-mail: amy.bhavra@callcreditgroup.com

Callcredit Information Group assists many of the most successful global blue-chip organizations and well-known brands to drive value from their marketing spend. The business brings together experts from across the fields of international credit referencing, marketing services, interactive solutions and consultative analytics to provide clients with a range of innovative and effective products to discover new customers and to engage with current customers.

Products and services include the international CAMEO market segmentation suite — the world no.1 consumer intelligence tool, and award-winning database solutions to positively verify consumers; global operations to help expand businesses into new markets; digital solutions to improve the overall journey consumers make during interaction with a brand; and, consumer marketing data to for acquisition, database enrichment, and data-driven customer development programmes.




Infocore Names New Chief Operating Officer

Carlsbad, CA, November 1, 2014 -- Infocore, the leading global data sourcing agency to Fortune 500 companies, announced Mark J. Davis as the company's new Chief Operating Officer. Davis, who has a long and distinguished career as a senior operations and finance executive, is charged with managing the fast growth from Infocore's intensive product development spanning more than 80 countries worldwide.

Most recently Mr. Davis served as COO of The Wrap News, Inc. - an early-stage, venture funded, technology-based company serving the entertainment and media industries.

"As we continue to innovate and extend our capabilities around the globe, the demands of managing our technology applications and our product development initiatives grow along with them," said Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore. "Mark's expertise in these areas as well as his significant financial acumen made him the ideal choice to help lead our expansion."

"I'm thrilled to be joining Infocore, especially right now, as their unique set of capabilities and expertise are in such high demand," said Mr. Davis. "The opportunity to work with some of the world's biggest brands, supporting their international expansion from market entry analysis to on-the-ground execution is very exciting. This is exactly where I want to be."

Prior to his tenure at The Wrap News, Mr. Davis was Vice President, Strategy and Interactive Media for The San Diego Union-Tribune where he was the senior executive in charge of the company's digital and mobile businesses. Prior to the San Diego Union-Tribune, he was the Vice President of Business Development at Economy.com, an economics research and data firm, where he built the digital business through product development as well as the development of partnership, joint venture, and sales relationships.

Davis received his MBA from the Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester and his BA from the University of Notre Dame.

About Infocore

Infocore is a global data sourcing and insights agency, serving Fortune 500 marketers and their agencies in more than 85 countries around the world. Its blue chip clients use this carefully vetted data to power their customer acquisition and CRM initiatives, and to enrich their large customer databases with critical data elements and triggers, enhancing the efficiency and potency of their B2B and Consumer marketing activities. In business for over 20 years, Infocore is a strong, profitable, well-known brand in the marketing data and insights industry, with a sterling reputation for service, precision, expertise and deep market knowledge. As an acknowledged global expert in acquiring high quality data for US based multi-nationals, Infocore's current clients include Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, NetFlix, IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Disney and dozens more in the Tech, Financial Services, Automotive and Consumer products sectors. Infocore also works closely with some of the biggest agencies and customer analytics firms in the world, including Acxiom, Merkle, Callcredit, Epsilon, TBWA Chiat Day, Hacker Group, ASPEN Marketing, Ogilvy, RAPP and many more.

Contact: Terese Kelly at Rosica Communications
201-843-5600 || terese@rosica.com
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Asian Governments Tighten Laws for Gathering Personal Data

Trend Spreads Across the Region, Leaving Marketers Rushing to Catch Up

Advertising Age. By Angela Doland. Published on April 16, 2014.

In data circles, it’s referred to simply as “the Octopus case.” And it’s at the center of why data-protection laws in Asia are getting so tough, so fast.

Consumers in Hong Kong use a payment method called an Octopus card to buy everything from public-transport tickets to fast food. Like the eight-armed sea creature, the cards have reach.

But in 2010, Octopus Holdings acknowledged making millions of dollars by selling off cardholders’ personal data — without their permission — to companies including insurance firms.

Amid the public outcry, Hong Kong went from relaxed data-protection laws to strict ones. Marketers now need clear consent from consumers to send materials to them. And marketers who use data that was improperly obtained can face up to three years in prison and a $65,000 fine.

It’s a trend spreading across the region, as countries that didn’t worry much about data protection tighten their laws, sometimes suddenly. That’s leaving marketers exposed as they try to learn more about consumers in countries with fast-growing economies.

The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have or are preparing to enact data-protection laws providing for fines and prison time for violators. China and Singapore are in flux, too.

“It’s a bit of a nightmare to keep up and be compliant — there’s a sentiment in these countries that the practical execution of these things is really tough,” said Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore, which helps Fortune 500 marketers navigate international rules for acquiring data.

Scott Thiel, co-chair of the DLA Piper law firm’s data-privacy group in Asia, said there’s a “real risk for businesses looking to acquire databases of potential customers.”

At issue is whether that data was acquired with appropriate consent.

“What we’re seeing is the need for not just relying on someone saying, ‘Yes, I did get consent,’ or even a contract that says, ‘I got consent,’ but actually being involved, saying ‘Show me the process. How did you gather this information? I’d like to see an audit trail,’” he said.

Singapore “has gone from zero to hero” with a law going into effect in July, Mr. Thiel said. It has the toughest financial penalties in Asia, with fines up to $800,000.

In the Philippines, where regulations are designed to reassure marketers that its call centers will handle data safely, a foreigner convicted of breaking the law might be liable for prison time, then expulsion.

In credit-card-loving South Korea, a data theft just affected more than 100 million cards. In February, the financial regulator shut down some operations of three card-issuers — KB Financial Group, NongHyup Financial Group and retailer Lotte Group.

China’s rules were piecemeal before, and its new guidelines are still vague and have yet to be enforced, Mr. Thiel said. That’s making it difficult for companies to know where to focus compliance dollars. And “because it’s not been the subject of extended legislative dialogue like you get in democratic countries, that’s caught a lot of businesses unaware,” he said. However, new rules from the Standing Committee raise the possibility that Western businesses operating in China might see their business licenses canceled as a penalty, he said.

Marketers are waiting to see how strictly new Asian laws will be enforced. In the past year, Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner has referred 20 complaints to the police, Mr. Thiel said. Fourteen relate to direct marketing.

“What it clearly points to is a genuine, meaningful application of these new laws,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Direct Marketing Association of Singapore has a two-and-a-half-day program to help companies prepare for changes coming in three months. Marketers have shown goodwill about getting compliant, but “there’s no question many are not yet ready,” said Lisa Watson, the association’s chairwoman.




Infocore Announces Exclusive Alliance with Lists4Europe

Carlsbad, CA, February 27, 2014 — Infocore, the leading global marketing data acquisition company to Fortune 500 companies, announced today an alliance with Lists4Europe, a network of top independent marketing data brokers and managers with access to more than 8,000 datasets in the continent. The collaboration cements Infocore’s role as Lists4Europe’s exclusive representative in the United States.

“Lists4Europe is a powerful network of companies with decades of experience, insight and relationships throughout Europe. Infocore has been working with several members of the group for many years, and we’ve consistently been impressed with their expertise,” said Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore. “Becoming their exclusive US representative is an exciting extension that we believe will bring even more value and greater insight to our clients seeking data in European markets.”

To support its global clients, Infocore has been cultivating data partnerships around the world for more than 20 years. In 2013, Infocore launched its International Data Repository, a sophisticated database that tracks and maintains extensive details about the datasets outside the USA. At present, the system is tracking approximately 7 billion records in more than 65 countries, and delivers extensive coverage all over Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, and parts of the Middle East and Africa. This new alliance deepens Infocore’s European data expertise, offering an even more extensive array of options to Infocore’s global client base.

“Infocore is a very strong and experienced player in the global data marketplace. We’ve enjoyed a very good and productive relationship with them for many years, and are thrilled to expand and extend Lists4Europe’s reach in partnership with Infocore”, said Arnaud Le Lann, principal at Euroleads, a founding member of Lists4Europe.

“Infocore’s client base includes numerous heavyweights headquartered in the US. Through the partnership with the Lists4Europe network, Infocore expands their access to the top local European data sources to address their individual needs”, said Stephan Merz, principal at d2m and also a founding member of Lists4Europe added.

About Infocore

Infocore sources strategic marketing data from more than 65 countries for Fortune 500 marketers and their agency partners. Its blue chip clients use this carefully vetted data to power their direct marketing, customer acquisition and CRM initiatives, and to enrich their large customer databases with critical data elements. In business for more than 20 years, Infocore is a strong, profitable, well-known brand in the marketing data industry, with a sterling reputation for service, precision, expertise and deep market knowledge. Infocore is an acknowledged global expert in acquiring high quality data for global marketers in the Tech, Financial Services, Automotive and Consumer products sectors, working with clients directly and with some of the biggest agencies and customer analytics firms in the world.

About Lists4Europe

Lists4Europe is a centralized service provider of quality European Data & Direct Marketing knowledge and solutions. Built from a total of 8 renowned companies located in 7 key European markets, Lists4Europe provides a unique service, giving direct marketing and data consulting from the Europe’s most experienced companies. List4Europe members have been providing a complete range of Direct Marketing solutions since decades, including Data Cleaning and Enhancement, Email broadcasting, Design and creative adaptation of direct marketing materials to local markets, Lettershop and fulfillment, Data processing, etc. Our network also provides support to lead international marketers through the maze of European privacy laws.

Contact: Terese Kelly at Rosica Communications

201-843-5600 || terese@rosica.com

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U.S.-Style Personal Data Gathering Is Spreading Worldwide

Adam Tanner, Contributor FORBES | Tech

U.S. firms and marketers are often portrayed as especially rapacious and aggressive in their collection and use of our personal data. Yet the trend of gathering as much information about potential and existing clients as possible is spreading fast worldwide.

Pick a target group in a far off land and data brokers can often produce a list of people with addresses, emails and a list of consumer characteristics. “For example, you might be interested in female, affluent consumers in China, Hong Kong and Singapore,” the California data broker Infocore advertises in its international data catalog. “From that we’ll access our repository and send you a custom data summary.”

Infocore has access to 6.5 billion personal records worldwide: 1.9 billion personal records in Asia, 1.65 billion in Europe and 1.2 billion in Latin America, with Brazil far ahead of other Latin America countries. Africa and the Middle East lag behind in personal data collection, which means Infocore has access to just 55 million records. By next year, Infocore expects to have access to 10 billion records worldwide (yes, that is more files than there are people in the world as companies have multiple data records on some people and none on others).

Such personal data files are built on public records, warranty card information, contest applications, online forms, smartphones and other sources.

Kitty Kolding, Infocore’s president and CEO, says her clients marketing to individuals abroad include some of the world’s best-known multinational companies such as Cisco, IBM, Dell , Netflix, Disney, Kimberly-Clark and big auto manufacturers. Major U.S. data brokers such as Acxiom and Merkle are also major clients of Infocore, she says.

Infocore sold 150 million records over the past year. Consumer data files typically cost $80 to $450 per 1,000 names, and some clients buy millions of dollars worth of foreign personal data files a year. “The economy is healthier than it was. Marketers are far more willing to spend then six or 12 months ago,” she says.

At the annual Direct Marketing Association conference this week in Chicago, an increasing number of firms are looking to take advantage of the spread of U.S.-style data gathering abroad. “More organizations are asking for multicountry/global solutions,” Experian, a major U.S. data broker, wrote in a recent report.

In some countries, commercial collection of consumer files dates back for decades, in other places such files are relatively new. “Turkey is very prominent right now. The data industry is very nascent right now,” Kolding says. “But there is a lot of long term profit to be had.”

Some countries are more restrictive in what personal data can be gathered, with Europe a prime example. But even within Europe, some countries allow access to personal data that would be considered intrusive by American standards. For example, in Sweden, marketers who obtain a person’s social security number, which might come from signing up for a loyalty program, can then access government files on that person including tax revenue information, says Peter Trap, director of international business development at Bisnode, a European data broker with annual sales of 450 million euros. The Netherlands has super precise postal codes, to the extent that some buildings have different codes for different parts of the building, so knowing the ZIP code tells a marketer a lot.

Spain, by contrast, is especially restrictive, and does not allow the merging of different records, meaning that if one store knows your phone number and the other your email address, they cannot create one master file.

In the big picture, with every passing day, marketers are collecting ever more information worldwide. “The trend is there to collect more, and more powerful data,” says Trap, whose company has access to 350 million personal data dossiers in 19 European countries. Their largest client is consumer goods company Procter & Gamble.

As companies worldwide have begun to realize the value of personal data, some have taken shortcuts in putting together marketing lists of people who would not expect that their data would be commercially sold. “There is a lot of data which is very questionably obtained,” said Kolding. “In China there is way more data than you would think. Some of it is dodgy.”

Some of these practices date back a long time. One example emerged soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Someone obtained all of the home phone numbers in Moscow, including unlisted ones, and published them on a CD selling for a dollar or two at local markets. Among those whose home number was included was the former president, Mikhail Gorbachev.

View the article at FORBES.com http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamtanner/2013/10/16/u-s-style-personal-data-gathering-spreading-worldwide/




Infocore Names New Vice President of Global Markets

Carlsbad, CA, September 5, 2013 — Infocore, the leading global marketing data acquisition company to Fortune 500 companies, announced Jade Boneff-Walsh as the company’s new Vice President of Global Markets. Boneff-Walsh, who specializes in the development of international strategic alliances and cross-cultural negotiations, will be charged with further enhancing Infocore’s global data partnerships within the direct marketing industry.

Boneff-Walsh served as Global Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Entrepreneurs’ Organization in Alexandria, VA for the last six years. There she was responsible for negotiation, implementation and management of the global partnerships and alliances for the non-profit, where she negotiated more than 20 strategic partnerships in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Latin America.

“For more than 20 years, Infocore has been sourcing global marketing data for Fortune 500 companies. To capably serve our clients, whose business interests span dozens of countries on every continent, we have continued to invest in and deepen our global network of relationships. Right now, we’re able to deliver access to more than 5.5 billion records in over 40 countries outside the US, and the demand for high quality, global marketing data continues to dramatically increase,” said Kitty Kolding, CEO of Infocore. “Jade’s extensive expertise in global alliances and relationship development, along with her incredible acumen and ability to do business within dozens of cultures, will position us to achieve our next goal, which is access to over 8 billion non-US records by the end of 2014.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Infocore, especially right now, as big marketers get more and more serious about delivering strong, measurable marketing results outside the United States,” said Ms. Boneff-Walsh. “The stakes are so high, and we’re in the center of the bullseye, providing access to global data and insights that I don’t believe any other company, anywhere in the world, can equal.”

Prior to her tenure at Entrepreneurs’ Organization, she held various positions at corporate companies and agencies. She was CEO and Marketing Consultant at Just-a-Click Marketing & Design in Alexandria, VA where she provided cross cultural marketing and communications strategy services, and served in senior marketing roles at Comcast and SBT Online. Early in her career, she was a journalist for major publications in her native Brazil.

Boneff-Walsh received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Faculdade Casper Libero, and a law degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, both in Brazil. She achieved her MBA of International Business from the Holmes Institute in Sydney, Australia and has attended courses at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley for Negotiations, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training & Research for Cross Cultural Negotiations. Ms. Boneff-Walsh is fluent in four languages including English, Portuguese, Spanish and French, and is currently learning Japanese.

About Infocore

Infocore sources strategic marketing data from more than 40 countries for Fortune 500 marketers and their agency partners. Its blue chip clients use this carefully vetted data to power their customer acquisition and CRM initiatives, and to enrich their large customer databases with critical data elements. In business for 20 years, Infocore is a strong, profitable, well-known brand in the marketing data industry, with a sterling reputation for service, precision, expertise and deep market knowledge. As an acknowledged global expert in acquiring high quality data for US based multi-nationals, Infocore’s current clients include Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Toyota, NetFlix, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Dell, Disney and dozens more in the Tech, Financial Services, Automotive and Consumer products sectors. Infocore also works closely with some of the biggest agencies and customer analytics firms in the world, including Acxiom, Merkle, Epsilon, TBWA Chiat Day, Hacker Group, ASPEN Marketing, Ogilvy, RAPP and many more.

Contact: Terese Kelly at Rosica Communications

201-843-5600 || terese@rosica.com

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