An experienced data professional who has been working within the direct marketing industry for over 20 years. Having spent 17 years as owner and MD of Data HQ Ltd his remit covers the whole of the management spectrum including; strategy development, organisational structure, company policy & procedure and product development.
Once upon a time, the local baker knew that when Mr Vigie came in on a Friday night he was looking for half a dozen soft rolls; when Mrs Robinson popped in she invariably wanted a selection of cakes for the office.
These kinds of relationships and the depth of knowledge about individual customers are less achievable now with supermarkets, national chains and the growth of online retailers, meaning shopping is far less personal.
Relationships from effective data use
On the other hand, by making use of the advances in data management intelligence, marketers are now able to draw on even more in-depth insight into their customers. By utilising transactional history and any other data collected, a business can have the capability to:
- Offer discounts on the customer’s favorite products
- Provide pre-built online shopping lists based on recent transactions
- Recommend products based on previous purchases, wish-lists, and search history
- Send promotional emails specific to products they have viewed.
Data collected from every interaction between every department of a business and their customers (or prospects), should be brought together into a Single Customer View. This produces a holistic view of a customer, and can facilitate much better informed decisions on the above, as well as:
- When to promote to a customer – recognising the customer’s own buying pattern
- Which channel to use – some customers may only respond to traditional DM whereas it may be more cost effective to contact others by Email.
Marcomms for relationship building
Marketing Automation can be used to ensure marketing communications happen in near real-time when required, and are always targeted on the basis of the customer’s previous experience of the business and propensity towards different products or services.
This is the equivalent, present-day method of making customers feel truly valued by your brand – by showing that you know and recognise them as individuals and understand their particular needs and wishes.
For example, a situation where a customer abandons a transaction after adding items to an online basket may be used to trigger emails with offers on the products they were viewing, or customer service messages to ask if there are any problems – much as a sales assistant might have asked in a high street store.
With effective database management and intelligence, businesses can use details of previous purchases and customers’ interests to build a model, which can effectively score products with an individual customer’s propensity to purchase.
In one instance, by applying this modelling technique to a client’s data we were able to create for them a personalised email that generated around £70K in incremental sales.
Long time coming
On the whole, customers have been tech savvy for 15-20 years now and technology continues to advance at a rate that even the most techie of us can struggle to keep up with. In the same way, customers’ expectations for how we communicate with them in a relevant and personalised way have also risen.
It used to impress the average customer if they received a mass email with their name and maybe a small detail like their last purchase included within it. Now they expect more – similar to and even beyond the examples listed above – and rightly so. Businesses have the capability and just need to make the most of the data they hold, to meet those expectations.
Be the Baker!
With timely, personalised and automated marketing communications, your clients will perceive you as really understanding, and more importantly caring what they want from you – not what you can try to sell them.
The typical client will know that technology and data is behind these improved communications. The fact that as a business you are making the effort to be more effective in your communication will be what impresses, and again makes clients feel valued in a way that many seem to have not experienced since those former times.
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