By Craig Lewis, Head of Enterprise Printing, Ricoh Europe
Never before have we been engaged in so many discussions with our clients on better personalisation and targeting of their communications. The pandemic has created the need to differentiate and reach customers in new and impactful ways, and personalised print still delivers this in so many ways.
Data-driven personalised communications is something that marketing departments in many organisations want to take advantage of, because, as management consultancy firm McKinsey reports, targeted messaging can drive revenue growth of between 10-30%. But many organisations shy away from targeting their communications due to the perceived complexity and related costs. To deliver the ROI that marketing is looking for, automating the personalisation process using technology is easier than many believe and even simple personalisation can see response rates, brand loyalty and customer retention increase.
Take Retail for example. Online retail has grown significantly during the pandemic and Forbes reports that online customers experience a double hit of dopamine when shopping online – once when they place the order and again when they receive their goods. But many online retailers focus only on marketing at the point of purchase, missing out on extending their marketing communications across the customer journey. Using technology to automate the creation of a highly customised, targeted marketing piece placed inside the box with every order, allows online retailers to take advantage of the power of personalisation to maximise the customer experience and return on investment.
In Higher Education, student acquisition teams can attract prospective students with a personalised prospectus containing only the information that is relevant to the student. Relevant and unique in every instance, targeted communications, especially in print, where so much is done online these days, allows universities to stand out in what is a highly competitive marketplace.
Personalisation is among the recommendations for the wider improvement of customer communications during the pandemic in a study by Deloitte, which also advised to:
–Market from home – Deploy campaigns quickly from home and collaborate across teams using technology.
–Engage customers with empathy – Listen to your customers, and use real time data to better understand their current situation and needs.
–Optimise budget spend – View unified marketing performance, and make real time decisions to minimise any negative impact of market conditions.