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Future of communications: Personalised, relevant and driven by data

Future of communications: Personalised, relevant and driven by data
Written by Amy

In retail, the saying goes “the customer is always right”, so naturally when it comes to building customer relationships and retaining loyalty in an increasingly competitive market, taking heed of the expectations of consumers is more crucial than ever before – none-more-so than when it comes to customer communications. Nick Barbeary, Client Development Director at Paragon Customer Communications, explores how retailers can derive maximum value from data and insight technology to deliver impactful marketing strategies and a transformed customer experience.

 The success of any retail brand depends on the happiness of its customers. Maintaining that contentment in an ever more complex marketplace that is being re-shaped by digitally-savvy retailers like Amazon and eBay, and driven by evolving customer dynamics, remains a challenge for even the most accomplished businesses.

Marketing technology and data has the potential to enable brands to deploy customer-centric, multi-channel communication strategies. It means each marketing message feels timely, relevant and highly engaging, whilst every message optimises the most suitable channel for the target audience. The most crucial advantage of data-driven strategies, however, is that such individualisation is backed up by logical and fact-based intelligence harvested through data insights.

By effectively leveraging data from multiple sources, and capitalising on advances in marketing technology, behavioural models and AI-enabled solutions, businesses can achieve higher levels of marketing performance. At the same time, data-driven decision-making can help organisations to make informed decisions and take appropriate risks to exploit prospective revenue and profit growth opportunities.

In a highly-competitive industry, however, retailers have a limited window in which to maximise existing data to improve business performance. Indeed, every day that passes without action can potentially cost businesses not only in terms of improved customer experience, but also revenue and profits. Organisations, therefore, can no longer afford not to exploit data-driven opportunities, especially whilst competitors may be getting one step ahead.

The ‘communication conundrum’

 The adoption of data-rich communications approaches, nonetheless, also brings its own set of unique challenges. By virtue of the large banks of customer data that must be captured and handled to allow for such strategies, organisations are often faced with considerable trials – especially in a highly-regulated retail market.

Add to that, the need to gather the necessary insights from datasets to deliver personalised customer communication campaigns, and navigating a myriad of channels through which to communicate, and retailers can struggle to realise the true potential of data and marketing technology.

Quite often these multi-channel strategies required a multi-vendor procurement approach, where a number of suppliers is required for the various services being implemented, be that specialists sought for the supply of print management or digital communications professionals for online campaigns. This, naturally, creates its own set of trials.

Not only can having multiple suppliers result in siloed divisions, with their own cost centres and supply risks, but it can also lead to an incohesive purchasing environment in which there is increasingly complex sourcing, tendering and evaluating, and where onerous, time-consuming, ordering processes impact on productivity.

Consolidated approach

In the modern retail climate, retailers are increasingly deriving value from consolidating omni-channel communications strategies with a single dedicated partner. Working with a valued communications partner enables organisations to benefit from the expertise and fresh ideas of innovators and leading communications strategists.

Such collaborations can make advantageous use of the company’s assets: mining its data to profile customers, mapping customer journeys and deciding on the most effective communication channels. In this way, the company can improve its Return on Investment (ROI) while making certain that its objectives, such as acquisitions, upselling or compliance, are achieved.

In the digital-era where data plays such a pivotal role in modern communications strategies, an expert partner can also deliver the data insights required to execute complex strategies and their knowledge of how data is best applied is central to creating highly effective, personalised customer journeys. In instances where a retailer is uncertain about the best use of its data, a partner will have the latest technologies on hand to analyse customer behaviour and deliver apt end-to-end solutions that can deliver commercial results.

While the “customer is always right” mantra has held true for quite some time, the amount of power wielded by consumers has never been higher than it is right now. A dedicated partner can provide businesses with the means to meet the evolving needs of customers by adopting a cohesive and efficient omni-channel communications approach that not only brings all channels together, removing unwanted silos, but also puts the customer at the heart of any campaign – all whilst reining in marketing expenses and reduce purchasing costs.

 For more information about the evolution of data and insight technology, and how to better leverage your multi-channel spend by consolidating to a single supplier, visit:

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