Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Marketers Zero In on the Multiplatform Consumer

Advertisers look to data to improve personalization and consumer relationship

Most UK consumers are moving beyond “always-on” to a more complex state involving multiple media devices, often used simultaneously. This multiplatform behavior makes it harder than ever for advertisers to keep track of their audiences.

Following and responding to consumers now embraces all kinds of initiatives, including general gathering and analysis of customer data, customer relationship management (CRM), mobile apps, loyalty schemes and location-based marketing. In many cases, these efforts are not integrated; in 2015, advertisers will make significant progress in tying them together, according to a new eMarketer report, “UK Key Trends for 2015: Consumer-Focused Technologies Shift Up a Gear.”

Data is a prerequisite for more profitable relationships with actual and potential customers; 70% of UK marketers polled by Research Now for Adobe in Q2 2014 said capturing and applying data to inform and drive marketing activities was “the new reality,” and 66% said marketers needed to embrace hyperpersonalization. A similar proportion (65%) said data from websites, ad campaigns and so forth helped to inform their marketing creative, too.
As marketers hone their efforts, UK residents are more exposed to targeting and personalization than ever before. In September 2014 polling by Redshift Research for BloomReach, provider of a personalized discovery platform, among UK digital shoppers who had some experience of personalized communications from online retailers, 69% had been shown product recommendations, and 63% had seen a named greeting. A further 44% had been shown product collections based on their previous site behavior. Importantly, 27% of communications had also taken the consumer’s location into account.
Personalized messages and recommendations are one way of improving consumer engagement and loyalty in the digital age. Another approach is to link payment technology more closely with systems that can deliver personalized offers. Visa recently inked a partnership with personalized-offer provider edo Interactive to deliver relevant offers redeemable at a point of sale. This could be massive; Visa accounted for 72.8% of UK payment cards in 2013, according to Datamonitor. If shoppers are actively using those cards, most will see personalized offers from 2015—which could benefit retailers as well as shoppers.
There’s some evidence that linking payment facilities with loyalty programs may be a good move, and one that smartphone owners will welcome. A May 2014 Marketing Sciences study found that 49% of UK adult smartphone owners were interested in collecting loyalty points via a mobile wallet, and 43% were interested in using a mobile wallet to redeem vouchers. Many retailers in the UK—John Lewis, Amazon and Tesco among them—already boast highly successful mobile apps. As retail volume continues shifting to mobile platforms, eMarketer expects merchants to enhance the personalization and loyalty features in those apps.

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