ADD2009 Pure Promoter Ltd – email marketing software

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2009
Date signed: 
13 July 2016
Decision by: 
Emma Strain, Assistant Director of External Relations

Executive summary

The GLA uses an external provider to carry out targeted email marketing campaigns about the work of the Mayor and London Assembly. Following a competitive procurement process in 2014, Pure Promoter Ltd (Pure 360) was successfully appointed as the GLA’s supplier from April 2014 – March 2017. 
Pure 360 is now fully embedded across the GLA and is being used by various teams across the GLA at volumes exceeding the initial expenditure of up to £20,000 under DD1209. The GLA is happy with the performance of the provider and would like to continue to use Pure360 for the remainder of the contract term, 31 March 2017, but requires approval of additional expenditure.
 

Decision

That the Assistant Director of External Relations approves expenditure of up to £20,000 from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 to Pure Promoter Ltd to provide email marketing services and make strategic improvements to our offering.

 

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The GLA introduced a new email marketing strategy in 2014. Following this, a competitive procurement process between five companies was carried out to appoint an email marketing supplier. Pure Promoter Ltd (Pure 360) was successful and was appointed as the GLA’s supplier until March 2017.

1.2    Pure 360 is fully embedded across the GLA. Pure 360 allows the GLA to be more strategic in how it communicates with Londoners to ensure that they only receive information that is relevant and of interest to them. It also ensures we can track and optimise performance.

1.3    The GLA has been using Pure 360 since August 2014. DD1209 approves use of this service until March 2017 with an expenditure of £20,000 from 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2017. Due to Pure360 being used by various teams across the GLA which are sending email marketing communications in large volumes, we will exceed £20,000 and require ADD approval for additional funding of up to £20,000 for continued use of Pure360’s email marketing software over the remainder of the contract term. 

1.4    The original expenditure forecast of £20,000 from 1 April 2014 – 31 March 2017 was based on email marketing volumes from the previous supplier. This was before the GLA’s email marketing strategy was in place so email volumes and frequency were much lower. While the GLA sent more emails (c. 200 per year), the GLA sent emails to less people (c. 50K). The GLA now has a structured email marketing programme and several teams across the GLA are using the Pure360 service, including the Marketing Team, Arts & Culture Team, Team London, the London Assembly’s External Relations Team, and the Intelligence Unit. The GLA now sends, on average, 102 emails per year. Sending emails via Pure360 is charged per email sent and the GLA’s database of email subscribers has grown exponentially from c. 50K to c. 250K. Therefore the cost has far outstripped the original forecast. The current estimates are based on the GLA communicating with the c. 250K contacts on a monthly, bi-monthly and quarterly basis depending on what the contact has signed up for. £20,000 will allow the GLA to comfortably grow our email lists and increase use across the GLA.
 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1     The objective of using Pure 360 is to enable the GLA to be more strategic and holistic about how it manages email communications. It ensures that our approach reflects audience requirements, such as mobile friendly, relevant, interesting and meaningful content.  

2.2    The intention is to use Pure 360’s simple-to-use platform to continue growing our email programme, working collaboratively with them to ensure that we’re innovating and improving the service we offer to Londoners.
 

Equality comments

3.1    The general duty to promote equality arising from the Equality Act 2010 which requires the Mayor to have due regard to the need to “encourage people who share protected characteristics (which there are nine; age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation) to participate in public life or in other activity in which their participation is disproportionately low”. This sits alongside the Mayor’s duty, set out in the Greater London Authority Act 1999, to have regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity, eliminate unlawful discrimination and promote good relations between different minority groups.

3.2    The construction of all GLA marketing campaigns take into consideration the audience for which the campaign is aimed at.  In every case, materials are assessed to ensure they are fully accessible and in line with the public sector equality duty.
 

Other considerations

a)     Key risks and issues 

4.1    The success of the GLA’s email marketing strategy relies on having a simple-to-use, effective email marketing service. The risk of not employing Pure 360 is that it would disrupt the operative processes embedded into the GLA for the last 24 months, the collaborative procedures followed by staff and the successes delivered to date. A new procurement process would also require additional resource and budget, which is unnecessary. 

b)     Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 
    
4.2    External Affairs’ priorities in the GLA business plan 2015-17 include:
o    Deliver an effective and efficient public information service to support the Mayor’s and the GLA’s communication with Londoners (p71)
o    Deliver integrated marketing campaigns utilising both digital and traditional marketing assets, which allow the Authority to promote its work effectively and listen to Londoners’ opinions and concerns. (p72)

c)     Impact assessments and consultations
    
4.3    The successes we’ve had so far in terms of engagement with our content shows that embedding and using Pure 360 across the organisation has been successful.

Pure 360 is used by the Marketing Team, Arts & Culture Team, Team London, the London Assembly’s External Relations Team, and the Intelligence Unit. 

 

Financial comments

5.1    DD1209 approved the procurement of Pure 360 to provide email marketing software services from the 1st April to the 31 March 2017 for up to the value of £20,000. Due to the increase in usage across the GLA, approval is now being sought to increase the contract by a further £20,000 which includes making strategic improvements to service provision.

5.2    The cost of the additional service provision (£20,000) will be contained within the existing ‘Marketing, Brand & Digital’ budget held within the External Affairs Directorate for 2016-17. If this proposal is approved, total contract costs including that previously approved via DD1209 will be up to the value of £36,000. 

5.3    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.
 

Planned delivery approach and next steps

Activity

Timeline

Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

July 2014

Announcement [if applicable]

August 2014

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

April 2016

Final evaluation start and finish (self)

March 2017

Delivery End Date [for project proposals]

March 2017

Project Closure: [for project proposals]

March 2017