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Targeted marketing: key to retention?

A quarter of consumers in the UK continue to be bombarded with six or more irrelevant marketing communications per day, according to a recent study on customer data and personalisation carried out by customer identity management specialist Gigya.

With 44% of UK consumers saying that they would ignore all future communications from a company that doesn’t target them effectively — with a further 15% going as far as saying they would stop purchasing any products from that company altogether – the message is clear: brands are failing to use personal data appropriately to deliver value to their customers.

Richard Lack, Northern Europe Director at Gigya, reinforces the lesson to be learnt for many brands: "First-party customer data is one of the most valuable assets a business can have. The benefit is clear: brands that leverage this rich data to provide personalised, relevant offers and experiences will be rewarded with significantly higher conversion rates than brands that do not."

Such a simple concept in principle: use data appropriately, to provide experiences and information that your customers would actually like to receive from you. And yet, so many brands are evidently failing this fundamental requirement for relevance in the digital age.

Why? Well, simply put, many companies are still struggling to catch up with the new post-internet model of marketing, built on gaining permission and earning relevance. Instead, a significant proportion of brands are merely using a newfound sea of personal data to plough on with the old-school "push" model of marketing, built on bombarding audiences with a stream of messages and products.

It’s been almost a decade since Seth Godin, Yahoo's former Vice President of Direct Marketing, published his influential digital-era marketing manifesto, Permission Marketing, yet his recommendations are still just as pertinent today:

Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them… Real permission is different from presumed or legalistic permission. Just because you somehow get my email address doesn't mean you have permission. Just because I don't complain doesn't mean you have permission. Just because it's in the fine print of your privacy policy doesn't mean it's permission either.

The internet has levelled the balance of power between consumers and brands. Businesses prospering in the digital age are those that realise, respect and respond to the privilege of access to big personal data.

They are those that develop a genuinely customer-centric approach to marketing – taking the time to understand their target consumer’s location, demographics, lifestyle habits, wants, and needs – and then delivering personalised content that intelligently serves those needs. This is what builds trust, adds value and creates relevance.

Companies that continue with the dated, 'scattergun' approach of non-targeted digital marketing campaigns, will soon find themselves on the wrong side of relevance as their customers begin voting with their email accounts – and ultimately, their wallets.

To find out how censhare can help you make the most of your data through effective, personalised communications, take a look at our Targeting, Data Extraction and Advanced Analytics solutions.