Preparing for GDPR

Many Companies like Lloyds are prepared for GDPR but many are not. iContact Digital Ltd offer public Wi-Fi sponsorship opportunities across the UK from Bus, Rail, Coach, Airports, Shopping centres, Cities and Regions, Education and more. Strong, safe delivery of your message to a targeted audience engaged with the most relevant and current public platform available without GDPR concerns. 

Two years into preparing for the May 2018 GDPR deadline, Lloyds Banking Group has overhauled its CRM strategy across its major brands to focus on ‘how to’ content rather than product marketing.

For example, in the run up to Christmas, Lloyds might have previously emailed customers about the latest credit card deals or rewards for opening a new bank account. This year, customers will instead receive information about how to shop safely online or what to do if they realise they’ve been the victim of identity theft.

This shift away from product-focused marketing and towards relevant content came as a direct result of its work to prepare for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which began in force over two years ago.

Lloyds is in the minority of businesses to have committed significant resource soon after the directive was announced; unsurprising given the sheer volume of first party data it manages and potentially catastrophic consequences if it finds itself on the receiving end of a fine amounting to 4% of total revenue.

Tackling it head on, it gathered a group of experts who were divided into 11 ‘workstreams’ to manage specific aspects of the directive – such as data privacy, the right to be forgotten, the usage of data, requests for information – and the impact of each cross the business.

Anna Hingston, the group’s head of CRM, has been leading a ‘customer and communication’ team, looking at how group-wide marketing will be affected by the changes as well as making customers aware of what the changes mean for them.

“We tend focus on customer consent with GDPR but there are a lot of other aspects,” she told The Drum.

“The first thing we did was a large-scale piece of research to find out what customers think of [Lloyds’] marketing today. Do they understand how data is used in very simple terms and what the regulation means for the autonomy of individuals?”

According to the research, customers said they trusted the company with their data but wanted the comms to be more relevant and help them deal with things like fraud, identity theft and password protection.

The Information Commissioner’s Office’s (ICO) draft guidance has said organisations “must ask people to actively opt in” and must not “use pre-ticked boxes, opt-out boxes or default settings” and that individuals have the right to withdraw consent at any time. Finally, consent reviews must be a regular process.

And so, Lloyds concluded that if it was going to avoid potentially losing a swath of customers, it needed to overhaul the CRM programme to better reflect what people actually want and need to know from its different banks.

This strategy recently launched with the Lloyds brand and will soon be rolled out with Halifax and the Bank of Scotland.

Hingston said it is now working on further research to understand the effectiveness of the new approach and how it should be tailored to each of the brands.

As the deadline nears, Hingston will also spend the next nine months ensuring that the group’s roster of agencies are equally prepared for the implications of GDPR.

A recent survey found that almost a fifth of marketing and advertising agencies would go out of business if they were to be hit by a fine for non-compliance of the legislation.

Some 70% said they wouldn’t be certain of their ability to detect a data breach. Meanwhile, just 37% said they would be equipped to deal with it in the required timescale of three days.

Hingston said that, being a financial company, there are already a lot of compliance hoops that its agencies have to jump through and so is confident that come 25 May the transition will be a smooth one.

Digital shop Zone is one such agency it works with. Its director of CRM and data, Gianfranco Cuzziol, said it has embarked on a three-pronged plan to ensure it will be ready.

Firstly, educate – or facilitate the education – of the various client teams to ensure they are aware of the implications of GDPR.

“We do this by running GDPR sessions for our clients and by leveraging our relationship with the Direct Marketing Association to ensure for example that we keep up to date with the latest from the ICO,” he said.

Secondly, take stock of every website, email, app, database, privacy policy that is under a joint remit to understand what needs to be done between now and next year.

“We run audits for our clients to ensure we understand this,” he said.

And finally, ensure that any work being delivered is future proofed for GDPR – whether that be in terms of data collection or how data is to be used.

“Let’s not forget, if we don’t help our clients get this right, we won’t be able to deliver their marketing objectives let alone their business objectives.”

Original Article by By  at The Drum

Unilever backs voice to deliver digital transformation

“Going forward, Unilever’s digital transformation will have an increased focus on addressing the needs and passions of consumers, moving away from the “interruption” of traditional advertising.”.

iContact Digital WiFi is offered as a sponsorship media – no user data is needed, no pop ups or programmatic banner adverts. Advertising partners on our platform get genuine and safe media value – “This months free wifi service is brought you with the help of XXX Building Society etc”. It offers genuine CSR benefits too, bringing revenue back onto the networks to help sustain, support and expand free public WiFi

This is the future of digital promotion.

If you want to find out more, please call us on 0161 477 0777


Amazon’s Alexa platform will play a key role in Unilever’s ongoing digital transformation, as the FMCG giant looks to tap into the power of voice search to stay connected to consumers.

Full article from Marketing Week here:

Facebook recently urged to disclose how it collected data on ‘insecure’ youth

In a recent Sky news article, it was revealed that Facebook has allowed it’s advertisers to target vulnerable young people who are feeling “worthless” and “insecure”. It revealed that the company collected sensitive data on young users’ emotions and “mood shifts” and allowed advertisers to “target them at their most vulnerable”, according to the report. Pretty shocking stuff and another example of why people are becoming more and more wary of social media platforms attempts to monetise their service. More worrying is the type of company that would want to use that data to promote their products in that way. A stronger moral compass is definately required.

iContact Digital WiFi is offered as a sponsorship media – no user data is needed, no pop ups or programmatic banner adverts. Advertising partners on our platform get genuine media value – “This months free wifi service is brought you with the help of XXX Building Society etc”. It offers genuine CSR benefits too, bringing revenue back onto the networks to help sustain, support and expand free public WiFi

This is the future of digital promotion.

If you want to find out more, please call us on 0161 477 0777

Full Sky article is here:


TV advertising investment flatlines

Advertising spend in the UK rose 3.7% to reach £21.4bn in 2016 despite the pressures of Brexit. However, investment in TV adspend has declined and it’s predicted that it will continue to fall in 2017.

Full story here:


Most people don’t watch TV adverts anymore – fast forwarding through them or watching catch up TV. How can you be sure that you are getting best value for your ad budgets?

iContact Digital WiFi is the newest, most relevant platform to promote your brands and products. Ask your agency for more information.

Thanks to our friends at The Drum


Declines in Traditional Digital Advertising revenues

…if you could ever describe digital advertising as a traditional media!

Declines in desktop and mobile ad impressions, plus ongoing restructure charges, plus playing catch-up in the header bidding game led to a dip in Rubicon Project’s fortunes, as disclosed on its latest quarterly earning call. See the link below for the full story.

We believe that a significant value of digital advertising lies with sponsorship of registration and landing pages on free public wifi platforms. No smoke and mirrors, just fully accountable eyeballs on your message.  Call us to chat about this further. 0161 477 0777

(Many thanks to our friends at The Drum for the link)

Google considering Ad-Blocker for Chrome Browser

It’s a constant source of irritation for many – you are right in the middle of an interesting article when a random advert pops up to spoil your view!

I don’t know many people that would click through onto the advert, even if it was relevant. It’s seen as an intrusion and many Ad agencies have already realised the obvious: it can have a very negative brand impact.

Programmatic Advertising is becoming the naughty unspoken “P-Word” and now it looks like it could soon be blocked!

True brand value can be delivered by sponsorship and association with giving something to your potential customer. Just imagine the registration page of every free public wifi service telling your customers:

“Welcome to your free wifi – brought to you in partnership with XXXXX Bank PLC”

Great Brand Value and association with giving something back, instead of popping up all over the place!

Read the full Google article here (thanks to our friends at The Drum):

11 Digital Marketing Trends Predicted for 2017

Mobile Comes First

Probably on every digital marketing trends list since mobile phones first had the ability to use the internet, the relentless increase of users accessing the web through mobile means its importance continues.

This year there were two important markers for mobile web browsing: Google announcing a mobile-first web index, and the fact that mobile traffic has overtaken desktop for consumer internet usage.

iContact Digital WiFi platform brings connectivity to the mobile / tablet user in City Centres, Public Buildings, Public Transport networks and more.

Full Brandwatch article here (with thanks):

Looking Ahead: We Predict 11 Digital Marketing Trends for 2017

Barclays aim to be best digital Bank in the world

Sustainable and ‘free to use’ public wifi networks could facilitate that achievement.

Read the full article here:

Government Digital Strategy 2017

Published 1 March 2017 – UK Governments digital strategy focuses on the following points:

1. Connectivity – building world-class digital infrastructure for the UK
2. Digital skills and inclusion – giving everyone access to the digital skills they need
3. The digital sectors – making the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business
4. The wider economy – helping every British business become a digital business
5. A safe and secure cyberspace – making the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online
6. Digital government – maintaining the UK government as a world leader in serving its citizens online
7. Data – unlocking the power of data in the UK economy and improving public confidence in its use
Click here for the full article:

iContact Digital WiFi platform is fundamentally helping to achieve these objectives at street level and on public transport. Helping to sustain existing ‘free to use’ public wifi services whilst earmarking revenue to expand those networks into areas of digital exclusion.


Google will punish sites that use annoying pop-up ads

Google is about to deal a small blow to some of the most annoying ads on mobile: pop-ups and interstitials. It’s not a stretch to argue that readers don’t like these ads. So Google is making a call that websites that use pop-ups and interstitials are worse search results and may rank them lower because of it.

There are a “hundreds of signals” that go into Google’s search result rankings, so it’s not like every website that uses these ads will feel pressured to remove them overnight. If a site with a pop-up still has the best information, it’s still likely to appear first. But this change ought to benefit one site over another when those two sites appear roughly equal otherwise.

Google’s intention is to not just direct people to more informative results, but to results that work better for them — e.g., don’t annoy them with a pop-up — too. This is something Google has increasingly been doing with its search algorithm. Last year it began boosting the rank of “mobile friendly” websites, and in 2014, it began boosting the rank of sites with encryption as well.

As you’re probably aware, not all websites offer mobile sites, and most websites are still not encrypted. So it’s not like every time Google says “jump” that developers and publishers immediately jump. But search ranking is something that most developers pay close attention to — it’s often a major source of visitors — and Google’s continued nudges could make a difference in the long run.

These new changes will go into effect next year, beginning on January 10th. From that point on Google will start lowering the rank of sites “where content is not easily accessible.”

For the most part, Google is targeting overlays that gray out the content beneath them to prevent you from reading a website, either for a few seconds or until you find and very carefully tap a little X to dismiss them. These count regardless of whether they load immediately after a page is opened or whether they appear after scrolling a certain distance. On top of that, it sounds like Google will also count ads that create the effect of a pop-up without actually being a pop-up, by taking up most of the page after a site is loaded (you may have seen one of these if you’re reading this article on mobile).

Not all pop-ups and overlays will be counted in Google’s new rankings. Pop-ups needed to meet a legal requirement — like verifying someone’s age — are still okay, as are smaller banners at the top of a screen that use, in Google’s not-at-all-defined formula, a “reasonable amount of screen space.”

Publishers are likely to be unhappy about the change, as it’s liable to take away either visitors or ad revenue. And it’s fair to question whether Google should be the one to dictate when ads are and are not acceptable. But that all said, its intention here seems to be pretty reasonable. These ads make websites into slightly worse search results, and Google is going to start treating them that way.

iContact Digital WiFi is not affected by this development – our platform is sponsorship based and not PPC / programmatically driven. Call us to find out more? 0161 477 0777

  • SOURCE: With thanks to Google and