Merry_Law~by Merry Law, President of WorldVu LLC

Another year has passed and it’s time to dust off my crystal ball to make my global mailer predictions for 2017. It’s been quite a year for direct marketers and the marketing landscape is changing rapidly in the age of big data.  You can view my previous predictions for 2016 here, if you’d like to see how those turned out.  Now, lets get down to business for the new year!

Here’s what I see coming in 2017

  1. Postal reform legislation will be delayed again in the U.S.  It won’t pass Congress before the new Congress takes office in January, requiring a new beginning for the process.  Postal reform won’t be high on the priority list for either the new administration or the new Congress.
  2. The future President will carry out his campaign promise to end or renegotiate various trade deals, causing uncertainty in trade relations with other countries.   This will slow trade between the U.S. and the rest of the world.
  3. The international economy will remain uneven, with little or no further improvement in most sectors and regions.
  4. In the international postal world, costs for mailers will continue to rise.  USPS has not raised international postage but international fees are increasing.  Other postal operators and delivery services will raise their rates, too.
  5. Mail volumes will continue the trend of 2015 and 2016, with a leveling off in letter volumes and an increase in the volume of packages and parcels.  International package and parcel volumes will not increase tremendously, and may level off
  6. The Universal Postal Union’s Integrated Product Plan (IPP), passed at their Congress in 2016, will be difficult for international mailers and their service vendors when postal operators announce how they will implement the new requirements.  (Mail will be classified by contents—documents or goods—rather than by weight.  Small packages, under 2 kilograms or 4.4 pounds, will be in their own new class of mail.)
  7. Undeliverable international mail and its return, or non-return, will become a greater issue for mailers, as more packages and the marketing and transactional documents that accompany them are sent.
  8. Addresses based on discrete global grids (What3Words, GO Code, etc.) will be a subject of much discussion and publicity, but will not be implemented as part of any national addressing plan.  Some changes will, as always, occur to national addressing plans but will be based on current postal addressing models.
  9. Drones will be used for transport to remote areas but not as “last mile” solutions.  Successful trials of drone delivery for pharmaceutical and emergency supplies have taken place in southern Africa and trials elsewhere are also occurring.  These deliveries will become more common, although the “last mile” delivery will continue to be by current methods.
  10. Concerns about hacking and privacy will not slow the move toward more mobile, Internet and cloud-based services and data storage.  Consumers will continue to be concerned but accept the risk, with companies making apologies and providing credit monitoring when large attacks happen.  Privacy legislation in the U.S. will remain minimal.

We’ll see this time next year whether my crystal ball was too cloudy to see clearly.  Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

Bad_Habits~by Katie Favreau, Jennifer Martell & Paul Harris

We know good data when we see it, and we also know when it’s not so good. That’s why we decided to give you some insight to some of our top “Bad Data Habits” that we see frequently in global databases. Here are some of the our top bad habits.

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  • Trying to store international addresses in a database meant for USA.

This habit is common on data capture forms that were designed without consideration for global address systems. All address systems are not the same and when you have a required “state” field in a country that doesn’t have any states, you’re bound to end up with a some data problems. Do your homework and know your market. If the database you’re creating will reach a global customer, you should consider how the data will be entered and stored.

See the example below of a good global data capture form.Global Data Capture Form

  • Proper fielding when data entering is essential.

The best example here is not requiring a “country” field. If a contact has only a street address and name without an identified country, that makes the address not correctable. Our earth has many people and without some essential data points, it’s like finding a needle in a really big haystack.

  • Excel corrupting data.

Excel is without a doubt a powerful tool. However, sometimes it’s not your friend. Simple commas can corrupt your data fields if you’re not careful. We’ve seen excel do some funky things in the past and we recommend you are very careful when storing data in excel. The more data you have, the more chances you have for excel to corrupt it.

See the video below for an example of how excel can corrupt your data with its autocorrection rules.

  • Placing contact names and business names in the same field.

This is a no-no that needs to be nipped in the bud fast. These data points should always be in separate fields. Here is an example, First Name: Paul, Last Name: Harris, Company Name: Global-Z International. You shouldn’t have “Paul Harris Global-Z International” all in one field.

  • Searching for a Niche Group - Magnifying GlassNot checking for dupes when new data is entered.

Duplicate data becomes unmanageable fast. A quick check before a new record is entered in a database will prevent much anger and confusion in the long run. Nothing slows you down like doing a look-up on the name “John Smith” only to find you have 13 different “John Smith” records and all of them have conflicting information populated in the fields.

Recieve A Free Data Assessment

 

South_Korea_Flag

~by Merry Law, President of WorldVu LLC

South Korea, in a project lasting for almost 20 years, has completely replaced its address system in the country.  The new address systems organization and logic changed from old addresses based on land parcels in reference to the locational hierarchical government units, to new addresses based on a building numbers and street names within a locality.

 

Learn More About the Challenges of East Asian Writing Systems 

The systematic nature of the addresses, plus the database of all address locations, provides significant advantages over the previous system.  According to the South Korean government, “The new address system will fundamentally make it easy to find a road, expedite the distribution and reduce the expenses.  This new system will also make it possible to effectively cope with disaster situations such as fire, first aid and urgent rescues. It also helps us create a more intelligent system when responding to crimes.  In addition, it will energize IT-related industries, such as mobile navigation, ITS, LBS, telemetrics and the like.”

The new database of addresses allows for quick identification of locations that will be made available at a low cost for businesses.  Ideally, will let private sector companies take advantage of the information in the database for address hygiene, delivery services, and any other permitted marketing uses.  All in all, the new system will help South Korea further advance its business opportunities and position in the global world economy.

History of South Korea’s Addressing System

South_Korea_Address3South Korea’s land-lot addresses were introduced under Japanese rule in the early 1900’s.  As expansion and urbanization occurred, the land-lot address system became more difficult to keep up-to-date.  The task of maintaining location information using the land-lot system had become increasingly costly and was not completely reliable, according to the South Korean government.  Korea Post plans to completely phase out these old addresses.  The old addresses are no longer used in governmental applications.  However, delivery of incoming international mail to the old-style addresses still continues at this time.

South_Korea_Address2Plans to change the outdated addressing system started in 1996. When authorizing legislation passed in 1997, the project has moved forward in a series of methodical stages.  With 230 self-governing bodies (various levels of governmental administrative units), the project required complex coordination between governmental authorities.  The road posts, doorplates, real estate registers, resident registrations, building registers, other official documents and signs needed to be changed to reflect the new addresses.  The final stage of establishing the new addresses was completed in 2015 with the introduction of new postal codes.

illustration

Addresses Prior to the New System

The previous land-lot addressing system, similar to that used in Japan, designated each parcel of land by reference to the hierarchical governmental units where it was located.  Addresses had two or more of these administrative units in addition to the local delivery information, such as street and building information.  A province (-do), city (-si) or municipality (-gun) was further subdivided in –gu, -dong, -myeon, -ri and –ga.  (In transliterated names, the suffix following the hyphen indicated the unit type.)  

The specific units required depended on the location, with differences in the units used in major cities, smaller towns and rural areas.  An address might include the following designations, all of which were used in the South Korean land-lot system, in addition to more specific information identifying the recipient and the premises.

  • Oechi-ri Worya-myeon Hampyeong-gun Jeollanam-do
  • Worya-myeon Hampyeong-gun Jeollanam-do
  • Juseong-dong Sangdang-gu, Cheongju-si Chungcheongbuk-do
  • Daerang-dong Jecheon-si Chungcheongbuk-do
  • Doma-dong Seo-gu Daejeon
  • Gangyeong-ri Okpo-myeon Dalseong-gun Daegu

 

An example of a typical land-lot address in Seoul, South Korea might be:

South Korea Address Seoul

Map of Seoul, South Korea. Detail from the World Map.

Map of Seoul, South Korea. Detail from the World Map.

The New System of Addresses

Today, the new addressing system takes a more practical and logical approach. Existing roads have been given names that reflect the local history and character, in consultation with local residents and Office of Street Administration.  Building numbers were assigned sequentially with odd numbers on one side of each street and even numbers on the other.  As local governments pave new roadways, they will be responsible for assigning street names and building numbers.  They will also be responsible for updating, “in real time”, the database of addresses maintained by the Ministry of Public Administrator & Safety.

The new street addresses eliminate some of the administrative units that were used in the land-lot addresses, simplifying the address structure.  The addresses are composed of the building number, street name, district, city or province, and postal code.

The following examples from Korea Post show the correct format for addresses written in the western alphabet.

South Korea Address Western Element

The format differs in Korean-language addresses, shown below.  Underlining in these examples is to indicate elements and is not used in addresses.

South Korea_Native Language

New Postal Code Numbering Formats
The 5 digit postal code breaks down like this:

  • The first 2 digits correspond to the largest administrative units: either the province or the metropolitan city.
  • The 3rd digit corresponds with the smaller sized city in the province, or the district-level area within the large city.
  • The last 2 digits are a serial number that corresponds to a specific area within the local district.

Here are two examples of the new codes:

  • 03139 corresponds to: Seoul Metropolitan City, Jongro District, Supyo 22nd Road, #17
  • 26412 corresponds to: Gangwon Province, Wonju City, Namsan Road, #203

The new addressing system also includes new “intel.” Numbers in the system indicate the distance between buildings. This can be calculated by taking the difference in address numbers between two buildings, multiplied by 10 meters, equals the distance between the two buildings. For example:

(Building 1 – Building 11) X 10 Meters = 110 meters from each other.

 

City aerial view of Busan, South Korea

City aerial view of Busan, South Korea

Adoption of the New Addresses by Residents

The South Korean people have little resistance to the new addressing system. Residents are adapting quickly and they are providing and receiving new addresses as the system expands.  The extensive planning, consultation with local governments and residents, and the time between initiation and final implementation all contributed to success of the new system.

Some observers in South Korea have noted minor objections to the elimination of the dong or other neighborhood identifier, which is no longer used in the new system.  Since there is considerable connection to the neighborhoods, the new addresses may still be given with the neighborhood indicator.  This is not a fatal problem and will disappear as residents become more familiar with and confident with the system.

Conclusion 

South Korea’s new addressing system opens doors for much better governance, communications and business related opportunities. Do you do business in South Korea? Have you considered what opportunities are in the market? If you have any questions about how and why this will impact global business, please reach out to us. Global-Z can help.

200261368-001With the addition of US data quality services to our industry leading international services Global-Z now offers one of the best ‘Global” solutions in the market.

For the last two decades Global-Z has been the market leader in data processing for international data quality. Our depth of application knowledge, advanced multi-byte writing system capabilities and flexible service delivery options gives us the cutting edge to serve our clients better than any other competitor. International contact data quality is at the core of what we do and it’s who we are.

For the last few years we have observed a market shift. The marketplace is becoming much more internationally integrated and our clients have a growing preference for one-stop solutions for global needs, including cross border recognition.   

In order to become the best, one-stop shop for global customer database cleansing, Global-Z has   added US data processing to our capabilities set. Now we have a complete range of services that will add value to our clients who prefer to work with a single vendor for a comprehensive global solution.

“Adding US data quality to our capabilities adds significant value for our clients who have   global needs,” said Dimitri Garder, Global-Z Executive Vice President. “Our primary strength has always been, and always will be, international data processing, however, now we are able to offer a more comprehensive solution worldwide.”
If you have any questions about our US processing capabilities please contact us. We’re happy to help.

UPU_Logo~by Paul Harris, Sales and Marketing

Global-Z International’s CEO Dimitri Garder, was recently invited to attend and speak at a new Global Addressing Conference hosted by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in Berne, Switzerland. The two-day event took place on October 26th & 27th during the UPU Council of Administration session.

The Global Addressing Conference was the first of its kind. The event drew a crowd of more than 160 global addressing industry leaders. Postal operators and regulators, data processing companies, data consultants and private industry project leaders were all in attendance.

The primary focus of the conference was to enhance the understanding the complex issues developing countries face when they don’t have a reliable addressing system. For many years, the UPU has taken the position that addressing is a critical human right, fundamental to provision basic services to all people across the world.

“Developed nations take addressing systems for granted because most all individuals live in an identifiable residence that has an address,” said Garder. “However, underdeveloped countries have huge percentages of their populations that live in slums. These slums were originally intended to be temporary living situations. Unfortunately, they become permanent living situations because of economic and infrastructure issues in these countries.”

For underdeveloped countries with large populations, having no addressing system is a major problem. It’s nearly impossible to find people who have no formal address and sometimes no street names. Some countries have populations who live a nomadic life and move from place to place making the problem even more complex. From a first world perspective, global addressing is important from a commercial context, but for more undeveloped countries, having an addressing system would make the difference to be able to provide basic human services like clean water, electricity and medical relief.

Garder’s presentation focused on why address hygiene is such a critical element in designing and maintaining a reliable addressing system. “The value of an address is directly proportional to the quality of the address. That’s why address hygiene is so important. In order to maximize the value of an address it’s required that the data is regularly cleaned and updated.  A well-managed addressing system can generate significant economic advantages in both the developed and underdeveloped world”, he said.

Representatives from West African nations used examples to demonstrate how no addressing system makes it difficult to fight threats. Citing the recent Ebola crisis, they explained how they couldn’t send first responders to help aid citizens that had no address. It was a major problem.

In contrast to the West Africa discussion, representatives from more developed nations spoke about having 98% of the population in a quality addressing system. Their discussion focused on how to get the remaining 2% in the system, in order to reach 100% of the population.
“When you compare these discussions, the stark contrast is eye opening,” stated Garder. “This conference’s international audience made the event a once in the lifetime experience. For the more underdeveloped countries, the conference raised more questions than it answered.”

Our friends at GrayHair Software invited Marty Shaw to speak on a panel about global addressing at the 2014 National Postal Forum. We have the video highlights from the “AskGrayHair” forum posted below. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTWL_H2b3n4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxkua1Cbp2w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_g1hxQIHdk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6NSxccsiSA

 

 

~by Paul Harris, Sales and Marketing Assistant

Merry Law, Address Data Quality Expert

Global-Z recently had the opportunity to catch-up with our longtime friend Merry Law. Merry is the President of WorldVu LLC, the editor of the Guide to Worldwide Postal-Code and Address Formats and author of Best Practices for International Mailings.

Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Global-Z: Why is it so important to for marketers to have good address quality anyway? 

Merry: Correct addresses are important in two ways: delivery (of course) and perception.

For delivery, a completely incorrect address or one that can’t be understood is not deliverable.   This can mean an invoice, a marketing offer, or a product doesn’t arrive.  Each of those creates different problems and costs before the mailing (printing, packaging, postage) and after the item doesn’t arrive (following up, reshipping products or processing refunds, and so on.)

If the address is decipherable and gets delivered, it can take extra time to get there.  (That can means delayed payments with invoices, slow order streams with marketing offers, or customer complaints with products.)  A poor address also sends a poor message to the recipient about your company.  The company is not professional, is ill-informed, and doesn’t know what they are doing.

 

Global-Z: It’s almost comical to highlight the importance of mail being delivered correctly. Do you think many marketers are ignoring address data quality issues, or do they not have the resources/time to deal with it?

Merry: Yes, isn’t it! I think many marketers and other mailers aren’t aware of all the resources available for verifying and correcting international addresses or don’t know how cost effective those services can be.  Some mailers tell me that the cost of the address hygiene services are often made up for in savings from wasted printing, postage and processing required by undelivered mail.

The same is true of the time element. The amount of time a staff is involved in dealing with returned and undeliverable mail can be greater than the staff time required by the address hygiene process.   And, the old issue of who pays for the hygiene comes up, although we know that the artificial silos between marketing, IT, and other departments on issues like address quality are counter-productive.

There’s sometimes an issue of convincing top management to invest in address hygiene.  Companies like Global-Z help demonstrate how you will benefit from address hygiene.

 

Global-Z: In 2013, you made predictions about the future of marketing. Looking back, which trends do you think will continue this year?

Merry: I think my predictions from last year have held up pretty well, although the growth in international has been a bit slower than I expected.  The restrictiveness of Canada’s legislation on email privacy was a surprise but I don’t think we will see other countries follow this path.  Indeed, the Canadian government is seeing some problems with the strictness of the regulations.

The exploration of big data and integrated, multichannel marketing (by any name) will, I think, be the ones that get the most attention from marketers this year.  The USPS discount offers for qualifying mailings that integrate digital into a mail piece are a wonderful development.  These have now been continued and expanded.  (See here for details.)

 

Global-Z: How would you describe the current state of the direct mail industry?

Merry: While there’s been a tremendous shift  to move away from mail over the last decade, there seems to be a recent move back to direct mail.  Mail works.

Internationally, there are generally fewer legal and practical limitations on sending mail than there are on email marketing.  Mail also reaches everyone, everywhere.  Studies suggest that people spend more time looking at a piece of printed mail than they do looking at an email.  As all marketers know, those seconds matter to the response rate.

 

Global-Z: What’s new at WorldVu? Are you working on any new projects that you are excited about?

Merry:   I have been doing more writing and speaking.  I am speaking more often on best practices for international mailing.  I recently presented a paper on The Value of Addresses, discussing their economic and financial value, at conferences in France and the U.S.  It’s an interesting topic that’s often neglected by both companies and by governments.  Perhaps if addresses were a balance sheet asset, top management would better understand the need to spend on address hygiene and maintenance.

AsiaGlobeIs your business global?

Do you use data capture forms on your website?

Are they optimized for global contact data?

Watch Our Webinar

 

Watch Global-Z’s first (ever) webinar titled, 5 Best Practices for International Contact Data Capture. Capturing contact data becomes much more difficult to manage on a global scale and we have the experience and expertise to help you become a data capture master!

Our presenter, Marty Shaw, has years of experience helping companies with their global contact data. Marty’s valuable knowledge will surely help your organization identify ways that you can manage all your data, accurately, safely and effectively.

Gary_Palmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~By Paul Harris, Sales & Marketing Assistant

Recently, Global-Z had the unique opportunity to speak with Gary Palmer, Director of Information Alchemy ltd, an independent marketing information consultancy and services provider which helps organizations take control of their data resource and extract from it maximum value through data-driven marketing and customer insight.

Gary works in the United Kingdom, and he has twenty years of experience in getting real business value from data resources. He spoke with us about the impact of bad data quality, information management and the future of data-driven business decision making.

We hope you enjoy our interview with Gary.

Global-Z: Why do so many organizations have a hard time starting a data governance program?

Gary: Part of the problem is that data is pervasive, and responsibility for it diffuses. Very few organizations have assigned a clear accountability for managing data. What they should be doing is finding the particular functions within the context of their own company and industry who stand to gain most or suffer worst according to the state of the data. Then they should back this vested interest with a strong official mandate to establish and maintain governance over this vital resource.

Global-Z: Has the European economy had a negative impact on businesses ability to finance and focus attention on data quality issues?

Gary: It has been proven enough times that firms who maintain marketing budgets are the ones that assume strong positions as the recession ends. Good data quality  can enhance and unleash one of the few remaining sources of unique competitive advantage. After all, only you have your customer data. Sadly, the economic conditions have become an easy out for organizations wary of what is, to be fair, a relatively new discipline. The brave few acting now will reap the benefits.

Global-Z: Let’s pretend you are a CEO of a large direct marketing company, where would a data quality initiative fall in your list of business priorities?

Gary: Poor data quality is invariably a symptom of broken business processes – so fixing that would have to come pretty high. Then an initiative to leverage the potential of the cleaned data set to deliver unique customer insights has to lie at the core of strategy for any direct marketing driven organization.

Global-Z: In the future, how do you think data analytics and tracking will affect the consumers experience when buying products and services?

Gary: In the past, marketers have had a bad habit of using analytics to spot the next opening for launching new promotions or products. This is like talking to a person who is mentally rehearsing their next utterance rather than actually listening to what you are saying.

In the future, I hope we will  see a switch to using tracking and analytics to genuinely listen to customers with the aim of readying the organization to service their expressed needs.

Global-Z: What is the most challenging part of your job?

Gary: The most challenging part of my job is overcoming the idea that data is arcane, nerdy, boring or not worthy of anyone’s attention.

Data is a resource inevitably generated by all organizations that can be a source of friction or fuel, heat and light. When data is used properly,  it can turbo charge any organization.

Global-Z: What do you like most about your job?

Gary: I like seeing organizations discover and use new capabilities based on the clean, well maintained data resource they have after I finish a project with them!