There is a temptation for marketers operating in the modern multi-channel, data-centric landscape to adopt a gung-ho approach to customer communications. And who can blame them?
With the wealth of customer information now available, plus a host of digital channels (at their disposal) with which to connect with target audiences, marketers are naturally exploring all avenues to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their campaigns.
However, it appears that many consumers are growing increasingly immune and unresponsive to such methods, even when personalised. Print service provider (PSPs) can capitalise on this change in attitude by advising their customers to take a more subtle and integrated approach that uses print and doesn’t overwhelm consumers but, importantly, still grabs their attention.
A different approach
The potential of personalisation has never been greater, with 94 percent of companies in the digital marketing spectrum agreeing that personalisation ‘is critical to current and future success’1. This potential stems from the fact that detailed personal data can be mined (within the parameters of the law) to create highly targeted individual customer journeys.
But this approach only works if implemented effectively, because developing a truly individualised and impactful customer journey requires thought and finesse. In this context, there is no ‘one size fits all’.
Consequently, you may want to encourage your customers to think more laterally when developing personalised communications, and to do more than just sending the same offer via an email, text and post to a named individual. Such one-way broadcasting, while ‘personalised’, lacks the authentic personal touch that makes a positive impression on the recipient and makes them feel special.
The modern consumer wants brands to demonstrate that they value their custom, and understands them and their personal interests. If they do, then the consumer is more likely to respond and engage in two-way dialogue that strengthens their relationship with the brand.
A personal touch with print
Instead of a scattergun approach to multi-channel or cross-media marketing, it may now be the case that less can achieve a lot more. This is where personalised print can step in. Print, when combined with other mediums, can become an assimilation tool between online and offline channels and elicit the much-coveted tangible response.
PSPs can work with customers to consider how to use print in a more personal way, based on insights garnered from customer data such as previous purchasing history and product preference. Instead of a standard email promoting a new discount, why not suggest that a customer sends a personalised letter from a notable person at the company (such as a CEO), thanking them for a recent order and inviting them to use a discount voucher against their next order.
Then, as part of an integrated approach, a PSP can advise (or facilitate if they have the functionality) a follow-up email that refers to the letter and invites them to redeem the voucher against an item based on their personal tastes. Here, a consumer is not just another recipient receiving a blanket promotion – they’re a customer that the brand values and wants to keep.
By encouraging clients to think more meaningfully about individual recipients, PSPs are simultaneously demonstrating their marketing communications expertise while championing the power of print.
1 Econsultancy - Realities of Online Personalisation Report, 2013