This week kicked off with positive news for us all. A vaccine is ready to roll out, retailers can open 24/7 over the festive season and of course the countdown to Christmas has begun. Using this marketing momentum for retailers, the time to grab your consumers attention is now.

Direct Mail has seen a huge increase in engagement over this year. With more people than ever working from home and the need for more tangible and personal communication at an all-time high, 40% of consumers agreed that direct mail became a part of the new routine. We saw clients increase their mailing volumes month on month, and a recent campaign for a leisure retailer saw a huge 86% increase in sales as a result.

Direct mail offers a lasting, trusting and tactile form of engagement that plays an essential driving role for your customers brand journey. Research from Royal Mail – Marketsearch 2020 shows that 88% of consumers engaged more with direct mail in 2020 than ever before. Engagement and online traffic increased by 64% and online sales increase by 25%. However, direct mail can never reach it’s full potential without the addition of digital marketing and email communication. Email has a much shorter life span but delivers the immediate and up to date content to keep your brand present for the consumer. When primed with direct mail, customers spend 30% longer engaging with digital communication. The two side by side offer a unique brand experience – increasing brand engagement – instilling brand loyalty and providing timely and personal communication throughout.

To ensure these channels are utilised to the full, communication must be timely, accurate and compliant. With quality data, correct addressing and relevant content, the two can work seamlessly:

– Drive customer engagement
– Increase ROI
– Promote positive brand reputation

To find out how REaD Group can help you unleash the full potential of your data

Contact our team today!

Understand your customers with Actionable Insight

Data quality is more important than it has ever been and for brands within the financial sector – it is essential!

 

Ensuring the customer and prospect data you hold is accurate, up to date and compliant is a benchmark of responsible data management and marketing. Consumers expect it, the law requires it and it delivers massive cost savings, better ROI and reduces the risk of brand damage.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour, trust and brand loyalty for the retail banking sector. The Edelman Trust Report – Brand Trust in 2020 – shows 44% of Insurance consumers are open to switching to alternative providers that have demonstrated a more compassionate and personal approach to communication this year. The importance of personal experience has become central to any successful marketing channel in 2020, and building that trust through personal, timely and accurate communication is essential to your brands reputation, growth and retention. The Croud 2020 ‘Covid 19 and the financial Vertical’ express that 60% of consumers agree that personal experiences ensure that much needed consumer loyalty.

A key part of maintaining this trust is through the consumer data you hold and how you use it. Data quality is the first step to ensuring brand reputation and loyalty in this uncertain time. The best place to start is through the identification and suppression of individuals who have moved from the address you have in your database using a credible suppression file such as REaD Groups definitive Gone Away Suppression file (GAS).

Why compromise the success of your campaigns, risking the reputation of your brand and trust of your customers or prospects by continuing to send communications to individuals using their old address?

Using a credible gone away suppression service will bring many business benefits:

  • Reduce campaign costs and improve ROI
  • Prevent the brand damage  caused by sending mail addressed to previous occupants
  •  Help you to adhere to the data quality requirement under Data Protection Act 2018
  • Help you to keep in touch with customers and supporters and maximise retention and LTV

Unleash the power of your Data with REaD today!

Contact our financial lead 

Learn more about our Gone-away and Suppression files here 

Data quality is more important than it has ever been and for brands within the insurance sector – it is essential!

Ensuring that the customer and prospect data you hold is accurate, up to date and compliant is a benchmark of responsible data management and marketing. Consumers expect it, the law requires it and it delivers massive cost savings, better ROI and reduces the risk of brand damage.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour, trust and brand loyalty in the insurance sector . The Edelman Trust Report – Brand Trust in 2020 – shows 44% of Insurance consumers are open to switching to alternative providers that have demonstrated a more compassionate and personal approach to communication this year. The importance of personal experience has become central to any successful marketing channel in 2020, and building that trust through personal, timely and accurate communication is essential to your brands reputation, growth and retention. The Croud 2020 ‘Covid 19 and the financial Vertical’ express that 60% of consumers agree that personal experiences ensure that much needed consumer loyalty.

A key part of maintaining this trust is through the consumer data you hold and how you use it. Data quality is the first step to ensuring brand reputation and loyalty in this uncertain time. The best place to start is through the identification and suppression of individuals who have moved from the address you have in your database using a credible suppression file such as REaD Groups definitive Gone Away Suppression file (GAS). Why compromise the success of your campaigns, risking the reputation of your brand and trust of your customers or prospects by continuing to send communications to individuals using their old address?

Using a credible gone away suppression service will bring many business benefits:

  • Reduce campaign costs and improve ROI
  • Prevent the brand damage  caused by sending mail addressed to previous occupants
  •  Help you to adhere to the data quality requirement under Data Protection Act 2018
  • Help you to keep in touch with customers and supporters and maximise retention and LTV

Read more about why suppression and gone-away identification

is a must for insurance brands!

Contact our insurance lead

Anyone remember those TV adverts, with a guy trying to disguise himself as a new customer in order to get a better deal from a brand he already buys from? I can’t remember the brand it is advertising, but it strikes a familiar chord. We have all suffered the frustration of being suckered in by a great introductory rate only to get screwed on the year two cost. In fact, one of my friends was lamenting recently about how his one-year introductory price from his broadband provider was over and now the price was being hiked up.

At the same time, the Government has encouraged energy suppliers, banks and mobile phone providers to make it easier to switch. All you need to do now is send a text to move your mobile provider and it is incumbent on the bank to move all your Direct Debits to make it easier.

In the insurance sector, the aggregators have completely broken the model. Switching and checking prices across suppliers is easy. To win business, insurers are cutting costs and losing money on year one. This has created some bad PR, and new legislation to ensure that existing customers are not penalised is being suggested. To be fair, there has been a lot of activity recently to try and rectify this balance, and convince existing customers that they are getting as good a deal as new customers. That may even be what the advert is trying to tell us.

Attracting new customers is hard!

Despite all of this, and maybe what this shows, is that attracting new customers to your brand is hard. There is more competition than ever before. New entrants are increasing across all markets, many of whom need to “buy” new customers to demonstrate scale, as well as intermediaries who promise to find new customers at cheaper costs.

During the ‘80s, there was an adage that attracting new customers was six times more expensive than keeping an existing customer. I’d love someone to look at doing that calculation now. I would wager the price to acquire has gone down but that the movement between brands has increased massively.

As part of my role at the DMA on the Customer Engagement Committee, we have been looking at the role that brand engagement plays in the acquisition of new customers. It has thrown up some really interesting insights. What the brands who have a low year one cost are relying on is inertia: that once we move to a brand we won’t change. And in general, that is true, although inertia does vary by sector. However, 70% of people in the DMA survey said that they would consider moving if there was a better price available. So, while that inertia still exists, by chasing customers with lower prices we are actually creating more switchers every year – the irony.

The role of brand and channel

It is also true that brand plays a big part in acquisition. Only around 25% of people consider new brands when they are looking to buy for the first time. Having exposure to a brand name and feeling confident that they are quality and secure makes a difference. So new entrants do struggle, which is probably why they compete on cost.

The other interesting area is around channel and how brands find new customers. Nearly three-quarters of consumers chose email as either their first or second most preferred way to receive comms from new brands and nearly half suggested post was their favourite. At REaD Group we spend a lot of time helping people recruit new customers. And most of that happens through very traditional media channels – direct mail, telephone and e-mail.

We have a travel client, for example, who do really well recruiting new customers using PPC, SEO and digital display, but also do really well with off-the-page adverts. We worked with them to introduce good old direct mail into the mix – primarily to drive new brochure requests. And the results have been stunning, with people buying expensive holidays straight off the mailing. The ROI is over 500 to 1 and growing with each campaign.

While it is clear that what are generally considered as newer and more exciting media channels such as programmatic, social media and digital TV are playing an ever-increasing role in acquisition, what is also clear is that great use of data and targeting “offline” also works well. And actually, in reality, the clever brands are those that use all media channels to engage and then convert new customers.

As individuals we don’t think of channels at all. What we see are adverts for new and interesting products delivered in the most relevant ways. Whether that is on our favourite sites, on Facebook, through the post or in our inbox will depend on us as people. One size does not fit all!

So, overall, maybe chasing new customers based on price works but probably not for the long term. In the longer term, whether you are a new and exciting disruptor or an established brand looking to consolidate your market share, building a programme that starts with the brand and is backed with well targeted direct communications across a range of relevant channels is going to create a much more sustainable outcome.

Getting to know your customer

And at the heart of this is knowing the customer, knowing where they spend their time, what they are like and what they respond to. Whether inbound or outbound, the more we know about the consumer, the better our marketing will be. And this is equally true for new prospects as it is for existing customers.

In general, brands know a lot about their customers, particularly the behaviour they exhibit both in terms of how they come to buy the product they have and also what they buy while a customer. For example, brands like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have had detailed insights for years due to loyalty schemes. Online brands can see every transaction and tie it to an individual, they can see what is browsed before buying, how they have found the brand, and which offer they have come in on.

However, whether they understand their customers outside the context of their brand is up for debate. There is so much more to a person than what they buy from one brand. There is definitely a role for data sharing to help understand consumers more. Before GDPR there was the idea of data triangulation where brands considered swapping data to help infill what they don’t know. GDPR has pretty much killed this idea so that then leaves third party data and what can be done to enhance what is known about a customer.

Fortunately, there is more data than ever before that can be used inside what is legal, and what is ethically right, to enhance what brands know about their customers, where they live and the areas the live in. Third party data, open source data and other non-PII data can be transformative if applied correctly and intelligently.

No one needs to wear a disguise anymore: brands should know enough about both prospects and customers to be fair, clear and transparent on pricing.

With our data and insight, REaD Group can tell you more about your customers and prospects that any other provider.

Get in touch  to book in a chat with one of our team.

View our Download Here

This year REaD Group proudly sponsored the first online Insight in Fundraising Conference ever! Following a day packed with discussions on ‘Insight in a fast-changing world’, we explored the positive potential for insight driven supporter engagement, and addressed the challenges charities faced in 2020.

We heard from a range of charities and organisations; JustGiving, British Red Cross, The Children’s Society, Blind Veterans UK, Wood for Trees, Kew Gardens, National Deaf Children’s Society, St Ann’s Hospice, Lloyds, Sainsbury’s, Action for Children, Kidney Research UK, RNID, Prostate Cancer UK, Cats Protection, Shelter, Scope and Macmillan Cancer Support. All emphasising the importance of accurate data and knowing how to use it.

“In the middle of every crisis, lies great opportunity”

-Albert Einstein

The opportunities were there. With many marketing channels no longer an option, charities had to utilise what they had.  More supporters working from home, an increased engagement in direct mail and a huge increase in supporters ‘will to donate’. The foundations were laid out and ready for action! However, the next challenge for charities was utilising the few fundraising channels still available, and, setting the new goals to achieve them. We saw charities offer alternative gifting options, more focus on spending patterns and understanding customers WFH behaviour. Understanding supporters has never been more essential, and this is where customer insight, segmentation and data analysis comes in to its own.

Understanding your supporters and prospects is key! – and ensuring your data is accurate and complient is the way to get there. Many of the charities and organisations above have paved the way for data led marketing in an uncertain time. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and data is how to find it.

Download our Insight in Fundraising overview here 

Contact REaD Group today!