Ricoh Europe, 1 March 2016 – Ricoh has teamed up with Methis Software, a partner in its developer programme, to offer /data.mill, a solution that automatically interrogates and corrects data inaccuracies quickly, simply and affordably, on a global basis. The partnership responds to the need for clean customer data which is fundamental to engaging, cost-effective, personalised print and digital media campaigns.
“We have all received direct mail with the wrong details about us, which invariably encourages us to put it straight in the recycling bin,” says Benoit Chatelard, Vice President Production Printing, Ricoh Europe. “Previously, ensuring the creation of data sets with the most current details could have meant many hours of manual correction, which adversely affected project times and cost effectiveness.
“Thanks to our joint development with data cleansing and address management specialist Methis Software,” Chatelard adds, “it is now faster and easier to produce highly tailored communications using data that is automatically double-checked, cross-referenced and enriched for maximum accuracy in the right format. In addition, /data.mill integrates with existing CRM solutions for a more efficient variable data workflow. Additionally, the data-cleansing API can be added to web forms to prevent wrong data making it into a database.”
This sophisticated but easy-to-use solution gets delivered as a free Microsoft Excel plug-in and allows data such as names, addresses and telephone numbers to be automatically corrected. This includes the application of the correct gender to each record in many regions. Ricoh currently offers six different credit packages to pay for the cleansing functions.
“Drawing on many databases, /data.mill can correct inaccuracies, remove typing errors and can even provide geo-marketing details,” Chatelard explains. “Correct salutations are applied, and standardised text is used to eliminate erroneous capital letters. IBAN and BIC numbers are reviewed, email addresses are validated and phone numbers can even be identified as fixed, mobile and whether mobile numbers are still in use.”
The preparation and use of clean data will become increasingly important in the future, and /data.mill can reduce the time spent on data cleansing by as much as 95% while at the same time reducing opportunity for error. With the vast amount of data available online, not all of it correct, it can be easy to acquire and use incorrect data. With /data.mill’s integration in web forms, this can be avoided. A regular review of existing data also ensures that databases are updated as people move or their details change.
Easy to use and cost-effective, the cloud-based solution with servers located in Austria and Germany complies with data privacy legislation, removing another concern for operations who wish to produce personalised communications.
Another key attraction of /data.mill is its flexible pricing plans. Clients can choose the number of credits they need per campaign, making it easier to work within specified budgets. Ricoh offers six standard packages, each with the option to easily add more credits as required. “Operations can state how many units they want to use at any given time and choose what and how many elements they want to have checked. This allows tight budget control and allows a clear view of how much each campaign will cost. Estimating becomes highly accurate for greater market competitiveness and less risk to profitability.”
These benefits were what marketing agency arge zeit media was looking to enjoy on behalf of one of its clients, an international petrol company. It chose 5.5 million credits from /data.mill in order to cleanse and correct the addresses of loyalty card holders in Austria in conjunction with a hybrid mail service called livepost. Chatelard continues, “For arge zeit media, we used ten types of data analysis, reviewed 234,000 data sets and found that 10,000 were undeliverable. That saved €7,000 from just one campaign by eliminating undeliverable mail prior to going to print.”
Chatelard adds, “If you don’t get the basic facts right, recipients will not be interested in the product you are marketing no matter how good it is. By using /data.mill, marketers can ensure data accuracy and often open new doors with both existing and prospective buyers. By analysing what has been purchased as a result of these campaigns, marketers can then continue to refine their offerings, making it easier to develop future Precision Marketing campaigns for highly tailored and ultimately more successful communications.”
Currently available in Central Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), /data.mill credit-packages will be made available across Europe in the coming months.