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Donât underestimate the personal touch

As the old adage goes, “knowledge is power” and in the data heavy world of today, this certainly rings true. For any business, understanding what makes your customers and prospects tick and, ultimately, what will keep them engaging and buying from you, brings financial reward.


The growth of customer channels has resulted in a data explosion and more opportunities to enrich the customer experience further, transforming the marketing landscape completely.But, while the benefits of big data are now recognised by organisations across multiple sectors and progress is certainly being made to ensure it is being used to deliver more relevant interactions, this is simply not enough to secure the hearts and wallets of consumers.
Data provides brands with the window into their customers’ worlds, which, if harnessed effectively, will enable them build stronger relationships. So, why, in such a competitive market, aren’t more businesses using this insight to run campaigns that are personal to individuals?


Promotional marketing, in particular, is an area that brands should be capitalising on when it comes to delivering a more personalised approach. Promotions provide a powerful channel to capture the interest of consumers, as the Marketing Gap Report 2014 highlighted with 8 in 10 shoppers reportedly switching brands because of a promotion and a third being motivated to buy a product by a free sample. Yet like all aspects of marketing, it will only generate a significant ROI if the messages and offers are hyper-relevant.


Customers are more aware than ever before of the power of their data; while they are now more willing to share it, this transaction comes with higher expectations around how a brand will use it. They want a better experience, rooted in personalisation.With vast volumes of data now available, there is no reason not to use it and use it properly. So, what should businesses keep in mind to ensure they are driving personalisation throughout their promo marketing strategies? Is your business built to deliver personalisation?


Once upon a time, inserting a customer’s name on a piece of direct mail was considered a sufficient means of personalised communication. And, while this still remains important, it is really personalisation at a very basic level; customers want and expect more.
A promotion delivers a far greater positive impact if based on the preferences of the individual it is aimed at. The increase in customer channels has led to a greater number of data-generation opportunities and more routes through which promotions can be delivered, but businesses need to understand how to use these to their advantage.


Ensuring your business has the correct systems in place to capture data from each touchpoint is crucial as this will impact the promotions and wider marketing that follows. Unsurprisingly, truly personalised promotions will only be achieved if all data insights are being harnessed; failure to do this will lead to inaccuracies and poor ROI. Promotions need to be planned correctly and managed throughout to ensure they fit seamlessly within the customer journey to enhance it, rather than disrupt it, putting the customer off completely.


Don’t underestimate the power of the personal touch. In a market where customers are spoilt for choice when it comesto brands, businesses need to ensure their promotions continually deliver standout and prove their relevance to every single consumer they engage with.

Customer loyalty is not what it once was; one miss-targeted offer is enough to lose them forever. From the type of promotion being offered and the channel it is communicated through, to the way a customer adviser greets that individual if they call the contact centre with an enquiry, brands cannot afford to overlook data signposts and must keep the customer experience for each individual front of mind.

Giving customers a choice over the type of promotions they want to receive opens the dialogue further with them, makes it more personal and gives the business the all-important insights to build future interaction around.


The growth of customer touchpoints has led to the proliferation of data, which businesses should be capitalising on to create promotions that are going to deliver value to both customer experience and bottom line. There’s little point in working hard to gain the data in the first instance if it’s not going to be harnessed.


Big data provides the big answers, but only if approached in the right way. Customers now expect interactions that are personal to them; get this right and the financial returns and customer loyalty that is obtained will ensure a business remains market leading. What are you waiting for?

Joanne Varey is managing director of Granby Marketing Services

- See more at: http://www.granbymarketing.com/blog/dont-underestimate-the-personal-touch/#sthash.Lb7QPJtX.dpuf

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