Data disconnect: marketers struggling to understand their customers

Despite increased sophistication in how data is being collected and used, new research by Callcredit Information Group has revealed that marketers are struggling to really understand their customers’ needs and expectations.

Whilst almost two-thirds (65%) of marketers believe that smart marketing has helped them outperform the competition, the ‘So you think you know your customers?’  report revealed that marketers may not have as clear a view of their customers as they think. In fact, 47% of marketers believe that more than half of their customers have a very high understanding of how companies use their data. But in reality, less than one in ten (9%) consumers feel this way.

The research uncovered a number of further significant differences in what marketers believe customers think and what they actually do. Three in five marketers (61%), for example, think that consumers are frustrated with the way businesses access and use their data. In truth, fewer consumers (52%), although still a large number, say they are exasperated with this.

Similarly, a majority (81%) of marketers believe customers have become more selective about whothey allow to access their data. Whilst the number of consumers (62%) who have become stricter on this is significant, it is lower than marketers think.

This disconnect is leading to missed opportunities and ineffective marketing efforts. Whilst almost half (47%) of consumers have become less likely to respond to promotions, for instance, just 30% of marketers have taken note of this trend.

Steve McNicholas, Managing Director, Credit and Marketing Data, Callcredit Information Group, commented: “With truly data driven businesses having the competitive advantage in today’s digital environment, marketers must – first and foremost – ensure that they really understand their customers’ data expectations. Without this insight, no matter how smart their tactics, marketing strategies will fall short of expectations.”

When comparing this year’s (2017) responses to those asked in Callcredit’s ‘The Data Dilemma’ report last year, it’s evident that marketers are using a growing number of data sources to inform their decisions. The use of internal sources such as CRM and marketing data, for example, has nearly doubled in usage – from 37% in 2016 to 67% this year (2017). Interestingly, one in five (21%) marketers still see providing clear directives based on customer data insights as their biggest challenge.

McNicholas continued: “One of the main reasons marketers don’t have as clear a picture of what their customers think, is because the growing number of data sources is making it difficult for them to determine what data is useful and what is not. There are a number of steps marketers can take to overcome this problem, including setting up a preference centre to ask customers how they want to be marketed to and figuring out what data actually improves the effectiveness of their efforts. As understanding their customers will become even more critical for businesses once the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect later this year, the time for marketers to get smarter is now.”

To find out more on Callcredit’s seven tips on how marketers can get smarter and improve their understanding of customers, download your free copy of the ‘So you think you know your customers?’ report.

200 marketing decision makers with responsibility for customer insight completed an online survey in September 2017. This was supported with an online survey amongst 2,004 UK consumers. The research was conducted by London-based research agency, Loudhouse.

Don’t get hung up with fraud this New Year and check for warning signs when buying a second hand phone

Mobile phone fraud prevention specialist, Recipero, part of the Callcredit Information Group, is urging consumers and retailers to undertake device checks when buying a second hand phone to avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the January sales and beyond.

Recipero’s CheckMEND data* reveals, that the number of device checks made on second hand iPhones has almost doubled in the last four years, highlighting the growth in the size of the second hand phone market and the increased awareness amongst some consumers and retailers of ensuring the legitimacy of second hand phones.

Last January there was a spike in the number of iPhone checks performed via the Recipero CheckMEND service. More than 1.3 million checks took place (more than 400,000 up on the month before) and Callcredit’s analysts are expecting upwards of two million at the start of 2018.

Mark Harman, Managing Director of Recipero, said: “Even though our findings highlight that there has been an increase in second hand iPhone device checks, fraud is prevalent in what is a market for increasingly expensive devices. Latest ONS crime figures, compiled from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, show 401,000 mobile phones were reported as stolen in the 12 month period ending March 2017. It’s important that consumers and retailers take the necessary precautions and check the history of a device.”

The Recipero data also revealed a surge in the number of searches on the CheckMEND database following the introduction of new iPhone models – as it shows the number of device checks being performed increasing by over a third (36.6%)** in the period after a new release.

Mark concluded: “A check on a second hand phone includes a device life history that starts at the point of manufacture, through ownership changes, right up to it being recycled. The device is checked against IMEI, a phone’s unique reference number, loss and theft reports and police crime reports in the US and UK, insurers title information and settled claims.
These checks provide information which will flag up (red) in a CheckMEND report if the device is compromised, helping to protect those purchasing a second hand phone from acquiring a lost or stolen device.”

*Based on CheckMEND UK data of number of checks made on iPhones each month from Jan 2014- Dec 2017 inclusive. Taken from the Recipero database which is part of the Callcredit Information Group.

**Based on the average number of CheckMEND iPhone device checks two months prior to a new iPhone launch and the average for the two months following.

Preparation is the key to staying safe this winter

You will hear this saying a lot in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas. Preparation is not only a great idea help your Christmas planning run smoothly, but it’s worth preparing for those unforeseen circumstances around the festive period.

The last thing you want around this time of year is to worry about burglars but according to The Office of National Statistics, police recorded burglary is up by 3% and theft by 7% compared to last year. So, it is imperative we do as much as possible to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our property as safe as possible.

Follow a few simple tips for a safer holiday season:

Staying Safe this Winter

  1. Register on Immobilise: Before you get too busy with Christmas preparations take some time to record your valuable items on Immobilise, so you have a secure list of precious items.
  2. Deter potential criminals by investing in a motion sensor outdoor flood light and some Immobilise window stickers.
  3. Fake it till you make it, with a Fake TV that recreates the same flickering glow that looks like someone is watching TV, and invest in light timers especially if you are going away.
  4. Keep curtains closed, at night especially when it gets darker earlier and ensure Christmas presents are out of site.
  5. Don’t advertise on social media when you plan to go away. Publishing your movements can let burglars know when there is an empty house.
  6. Preparation is key. Be sure to cancel any scheduled deliveries such as newspaper or milk deliveries that might alert someone you aren’t there.
  7. Don’t hide spare keys. Burglars often watch a house for a few days before attempting to break in and leaving them a key makes it that much easier!
  8. Secure the outside of your home with deadlocks on windows and make sure any sheds or garages are secure.

Jack McArtney presents at the Wireless Repair Expo: Do IMEI checks matter? Enabling hassle free activation, maximize residual value

‘The Wireless Repair Expo 2017’, the official partner of Mobile World Congress, Americas, is just around the corner!

Running from 12-14th September and offering 12,000 square feet of exhibitors showcasing best of class in wireless repair. The Wireless Repair EXPO will offer live hands-on training and business owner’s workshop sessions onsite. Learn techniques on how to support and improve your business.

On the 12th September Jack McArtney, the VP Industry Relations for Recipero and leading innovator in mobile device fraud and theft will be presenting between 4-5pm.

Jack will be discussing how to improve confidence in buying and selling smartphones by using Recipero’s ecosystem of reliable operators, resellers, consumers and law enforcement showing you how the industry could save billions and strengthen reliability of IMEI data on lost, stolen, blocked or blacklisted phones.

Then join us for a cocktail party to round up the event and network with people in the know.

The Wireless Repair Expo 2017 is being held at the Moscone Center, 747 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103.

For further information please contact us (Recipero website / email) or visit the following site for additional event details:

Festival season is upon us, so keep your valuables safe!

It’s that time of year to kick back and relax at a festival and listen to your favourite kind of music but have you thought about how to keep your valuables safe from loss or theft.

Festivals can be an absolute goldmine for thieves, although there is plenty of advice out there about what is in vogue to wear at festivals this year, there isn’t much advice about protecting your property.

Opportunists can present themselves at any time especially in large crowds so whether you are protecting your iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or HTC phone, or are worried about your wallet and camera there are a few things that you can do to keep your valuables safe.

  1. Firstly, you need to register any valuables on Immobilise, the national property register which is linked to the police database (NMPR) where if any property is found the police can run a search and return it to the rightful owner. It is a must do for gadgets such as your mobile phone, which you will want to take with you to a festival. You can register any property on Immobilise, so get registering!
  2. Try not to bring too many valuables in the first place, but if you do don’t leave anything unattended or in tent. Sometimes there may be free locker areas if you do have something you want to lock away.
  3. Keep valuables in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night.
  4. Only take as much cash as you think you will need and try separate cash from cards.
  5. Don’t put phones and wallets in your back pocket.
  6. Report any suspicious behaviour or crime to police immediately.

Stay safe this festival season and have a great time doing it!

Beware of the Mobile Phone Moped Muggers!

Thieves who steal mobile phones straight out of people’s hands as they zoom by on their, often stolen, mopeds are becoming an increasing problem for the public and police.

It’s completely shocking to the person being attacked. Martin Lewis, the money saving expert, who was one of the latest victims can confirm this from his recent attack near Oxford Circus. He tweets about his incident: ‘About 40 minutes ago two men on a moped just rode up on the pavement and snatched my mobile out of my hands. The speed and accuracy was frightening.’ To read more on this attack click here.

Scotland Yard claims that moped muggers are snatching 20 phones an hour and that thieves mainly go for iPhones. If the phone is still switched on then they reset it and sell it on, if not then they will trade it for parts.

If the owner has been astute enough to register their phone on, the National Property Register, they would immediately be able to change the status of the device flagging it as stolen to traders, as well as report it to the Police*. UK Police officers are the ONLY people with authorisation to access the Immobilise database to check the status and ownership of a mobile phone and repatriate it if it is recovered. The Metropolitan Police advise mobile users to activate their phone’s security features when they receive it and to register valuable possessions with for free, pre-loss or theft.

In this increasingly common crime the phone’s owner is often not the only victim. If you are buying a second hand mobile phone, whether that be an iPhone, Samsung, HTC or any other smartphone, then CheckMEND can help you avoid stolen property. An online check costs as little as £1 and will highlight if a phone is blocked, stolen or compromised in someway.  CheckMEND is the most comprehensive device check available helping consumers, traders, recyclers and retailers buy and sell second-hand goods with confidence.

The moral, however of this post is not to give thieves opportunities to steal your possessions or profit from your loss. Try to avoid using your smart phone in public, be cautious, and to be on the safe side always register new phones or mobile devices on

* Flagging an item as stolen on Immobilise means that information is immediately available to the Police when they conduct searches for it on the Police only NMPR system. In the event of a crime, a report should also be made directly to Police so they are able to investigate it appropriately and request additional details when relevant.

Beat the Burglars this Summer


Summer is such a great time of year… the sun is shining (well some of the time), the evenings are longer and everyone seems to be in a much better mood. Whether you are breaking up from school, university or just looking forward to that long-awaited summer holiday (like me), we will all be preparing for some fun activities this summer.

As part of that preparation be aware that if you’re leaving your home and worldly possessions unattended, for even a short period of time, make sure it is safe and secure. The last thing you want after all the excitement of the summer holidays is to find that your possessions have been stolen in one of the 2.1 million burglaries that occur in Britain every year!

So, what can we do about it?

Deter burglars

Homes are 5 times more likely to be burgled if they have no security measures, so it is really important that we do as much as possible to deter burglars from targeting our homes. Taking just a few steps can make a huge difference in keeping your home safe.

  • Lock your doors properly. It sounds so simple but most burglars get in through windows and doors that aren’t locked properly or have flimsy mechanisms. Be sure to invest in strong, visible locks.
  • Install an alarm. Nothing puts burglars off more than an alarm going off.
  • Put Immobilise stickers in obvious places such as garden sheds so they are visible to burglars who will know you have listed your property on Immobilise which makes it harder for them to sell it
  • Use timers on your light switches and get a Fake TV 

 Lock Down 

Remember to lock everything up and keep anything of worth out of sight

  • Keep expensive jewellery in a locked safe
  • Keep TV’s and tech equipment out of view of windows
  • If there is someone you trust, ask if they can check on your property for you and take in your post
  • Don’t discuss holiday plans on social media. Burglars are more likely to live in your surrounding neighbourhood and may even be part of your social network.

Register on Immobilise

  • Should you be unfortunate enough to have any possessions stolen, having a list of everything on immobilise provides the Police with the information they need to be able to return your belongings when found.
  • Immobilise offer many products to mark your property which means it is much easier to identify. From UV pens to the infamous ImmobiTAG for bicycles. Click to visit the Immobilise shop. 


What’s the difference between ‘Locking’ and ‘Blocking’ of a mobile device?

There is a vast difference between blocking and locking of a smart phone or mobile device and it’s important not to confuse the two.

A locked phone is when a phone will only function on a particular mobile network and is in effect locked to that network. This usually occurs when you take out a contract with a network provider on a brand-new phone so that they can subsidise the cost of the phone into your monthly payments and encourage you to stay with that network provider.  It is however, possible to unlock a phone if you do want to change network providers and it isn’t illegal to do. You will often find unlocked phones available for purchase on second hand websites such as ebay or Gumtree.

A blocked phone, often referred to as blacklisted phone is an entirely different matter. This is when a phone has been compromised (stolen or lost) and has had a block put in place, usually by the rightful owners’ network operator. When a block is put in place, it is put on the phones IMEI (the number to individually identify each phone). This means that when someone inserts a SIM card in the phone and attempts to use it, the phone will not be able to join a network and therefore won’t work. It’s also useful to point out that countries such as the UK operate cross-network blocking which means a blocked / blacklisted phone will not operate on any network in that country!

To help avoid purchasing a blocked phone you can use CheckMEND to do a check on the device before you purchase it. All you need is the IMEI number of the device (which you can ask the seller for) and you can then get an instant check on the device which can inform any buying decisions

How to buy and sell phones and mobile devices online safely

Online shopping has rapidly become the easiest way to buy goods. With only a click of a button or tap of a screen between us and our next purchase, it’s no wonder that 95% of British people buy goods via the internet. According to The Daily Mail, 1 in 4 British people now shop online at least once a week, although this way of shopping is more convenient it does increase our exposure to fraudulent activity.

By this, I mean that although you may feel ‘safe as houses’, sitting at home on your laptop browsing your favourite sites, you can’t be quite as confident that what your buying is completely legitimate. There are more and more scams to be aware of and avoid especially when buying or selling any mobile devices in the second-hand market.

Many great bargains can be found in online auction and classified ad sites, and in turn you can, as a seller, make some money on the items you no longer need. It’s true what they say ‘one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure‘.  However without knowing the seller is reputable, it is very hard to be confident that a device is genuine or compromised. One well established way to put your mind at rest is to purchase a CheckMEND report.

A CheckMEND mobile device check costs as little as £0.99p per device and can help inform your buying decision by reporting on a devices current status and history including if it is blocked, marked as lost or stolen, plus many other important data checks. It’s like getting a clean bill of health when your device comes back clear, a green flag to proceed!

If you are selling an item, it is a great idea to sell it with a CheckMEND history report to build trust with your customers, achieving faster sales and higher prices in the process.

Trade with confidence when buying or selling second-hand goods, run a CheckMEND device check now.

The first Immobilise ‘Registration Station’ is here to prevent bicycle crime

South Wales Police and ‘The bike Shed’ in Pontacanna have teamed up for a new initiative to reduce crime in the Cardiff area using The UK National Property Register ‘Immobilise’ to its full potential.

The very first ‘Registration Station’ is now in operation for anyone who purchases a bike or takes it in for repairs or servicing. There is a conveniently set up station in the store where you can register your bike there and then. It’s quick and easy and a perfect solution to encourage people to protect their property.

Registering your bike on immobilise means you are more likely to get your stolen property returned to you. The Police have a direct link via the NMPR to be able to quickly and easily trace the rightful owner of the property and if found stolen can make convictions much faster. According to Cycling UK, a bike is stolen every 90 seconds in Britain. Despite this, only two percent of bike owners bother to register their bike to aid its recovery.

Richard Landsdown, from The Bike Shed, said:

We are delighted and very keen to be kick-starting the initiative in Cardiff and truly believe that this is the most positive anti-bike theft initiative that we have found. Thousands of bikes will be registered with us this year and the Immobilise station is accessible to everybody in store. The more people who register, the harder it will be for bike thieves.

Les Gray, Commercial Director for Immobilise, said:

We are pleased to support this initiative that benefits bike owners and reduces crime. It’s a great example of responsible retailing and pro-active policing – ownership registration within the shop will ensure the quick and easy process is made even more convenient and captured at point of sale or service.

To update your account or register on Immobilise now please go to: