The future of integration
by Ruaraidh Thomas, MD of Data Lateral.
Recent news reports have been full of items about how brands are harnessing the power of data insight and utilising it to help inform and improve their operations and their communications processes – for example, Marks and Spencer using localised store planning as they announced recently. It is encouraging to see more brands starting to introduce this level of data insight into their marketing strategies, using sophisticated analytics to create effective value-adding campaigns.
However, although such activity is becoming more widespread and data is more of a customer-facing talking point than ever before, there is still much that brands can do with this rich knowledge source at their fingertips.
With the introduction of smartphones, digital TV and tablets, consumers are continually inundated with information from a variety of sources. Social networking, of course, has been one of the biggest developments in recent years and marketers are keen to jump on the opportunities that these innovations present. However, brands should be careful not to focus all of their attention in this direction. Consumers do not live in a single channel world, and so there is a risk of communications being lost or even customers driven away if we all lose sight of the wider picture of channels and touch-points available.
Now is the time for brands to use the opportunity of all the channels available to them; to harness the deluge of information at their disposal; to concentrate marketing effort across both traditional and digital channels; to ensure that all communications are in sync; and most importantly, that they are engaging with their intended audience.
The key to driving successful integrated campaigns is for us as service providers to help brands recognise that marketing channels are not in conflict with one another and that they can realistically work harmoniously together. With so many advances being made in the industry and marketing channels evolving so rapidly, effective and efficient use of all these channels provides a huge opportunity for brands to take data-driven marketing one step further by adapting their communications to suit each medium, whilst still keeping overall messaging consistent.
Although many businesses have already begun to establish integrated campaigns and programmes, it is inevitable that due to the growing volume of data available, analytical and database marketing will play an even greater role in marketing strategy.
Ultimately, the brands that are most likely to be successful in their marketing efforts are those that identify the various sections of their target audience using strategic insight derived from data. The opportunity is then to create integrated programmes across multiple channels, producing results that add value to the business not just in terms of ROI, but also overall customer satisfaction.
20 May 2013: In the third of our special series of articles profiling the database marketing industry, we catch up with Hopewiser, Alchemetrics, Callcredit and greenstone data solutions.
22 May 2013: Insurance provider Ageas has appointed Mark Hanson as Marketing Director for its two over 50s insurance brands, RIAS and Castle Cover.
20 May 2013: Comet Global Consulting, the customer interaction expert, has secured an additional two-year deal with Sky, to further develop and support the company’s customer relationship management and customer interaction systems and operations.
21 May 2013: — Experian has launched a new online credit risk and marketing portal putting a wealth of vital business information at the fingertips of UK SMEs.
8 May 2013: Hector Vass, former Systems Architect in the Customer Lifecycle and Optimisation team at the Lloyds Banking Group, has joined marketing analytics agency Metametrics as Chief Technology Officer.
8 May 2013: The Institute of Fundraising’s Special Interest Group for Insight in Fundraising has announced the shortlist of finalists for the Insight in Fundraising Awards 2013.
8 May 2013: ghd, the UK hair-straightening brand, has seen conversion rates soar as a result of improving the shopping experience on mobile devices using data gathered through Celebrus Technologies’ software.
7 May 2030: Maileva, a European leader in hybrid direct-mail solutions, and Selectabase, a supplier of marketing data, have joined forces to offer marketers what they call "a unique, easy-to-use and cost-effective direct-marketing solution".
7 May 2013: Really Simple Systems, one of the world’s largest providers of hosted CRM systems, has announced availability of an interface to Sage One – Sage's online accounting system.
15 Apr 2013: Following the launch of the Smartdepart suppression file last month, data and targeting specialist Wilmington Millennium has now launched Smartlink, a new goneaway database for direct marketers.
15 Apr 2013: Celebrus Technologies has deepened its partnership with Teradata through its new ability to feed individual-level digital channel data directly into Teradata Real-Time Interaction Manager.
15 Apr 2013: Data8, the data enrichment specialist, has added to its suite of real time data validation applications with the introduction of bank account validation.
15 Apr 2013: The consolidated revenue of Weborama, the European leader in the management, distribution and tracking of targeted online advertising, grew by 5% in the first quarter of 2013.
5 Apr 2013: Kwik-Fit Group has appointed customer engagement agency Lateral to handle the automotive company’s customer eCRM programme.
5 Apr 2013: It is predicted that, over the next year, the human race will produce 4 Zetabytes of new data, which represents about 1 quintillion new objects. Are marketers ready for this deluge and is it an opportunity or a threat, asks the IDM?