More communication channels than ever are available to financial institutions, which can serve to both improve or dilute an organisation’s marketing communications strategy. Stephen Lester, propositions director at Paragon Customer Communications, discusses how the latest technological innovations including Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be harnessed to deliver more relevant messages and ultimately enhance customer communications.
Maintaining and nurturing customer relationships for any organisation is essential; businesses are built on exchanging good communications. However, as traditional face-to-face interaction wanes, the challenge for many is how to maximise opportunities to enhance customer experience through the wealth of digital channels available.
Technologies exist that can redefine the whole customer experience; they can be used to maximise data capture, analyse customer behaviour and subsequently deliver the most relevant, engaging messages with the aim of cementing longer and stronger relationships. Only by understanding customers, through every engagement, can organisations better understand people’s expectations and requirements, then proactively respond to them in the relevant way.
Digital tools are becoming increasingly important, with data gathered from opens, clicks and landing page visits, informing and influencing communications with customers for the better.
Making email campaigns more relevant
One channel which continues to play a key role in customer engagement is email, despite the introduction of the GDPR. Research carried out by the Direct Marketing Association shows that 99% of consumers check their personal email every day, with 83% still using their first ever email address as their primary account. However, while people are engaged with their inbox, often checking their emails more than 20 times a day, more than half thought that brands did not ‘do’ email well, believing most marketing messages were irrelevant and failed to engage.
In fact, only one fifth thought that 50% or more of marketing emails contained useful information, representing a significant wasted opportunity. A customer’s email address is a valuable piece of information that organisations need to nurture and use with discretion.
Maximising customer information
Technology has opened up a wealth of opportunities in the implementation of digital marketing communications, none more so than the introduction of AI. It is revolutionising the way data is being used to enrich customer relationships.
AI can be used to identify signals and patterns within data, from the best times speak to specific audiences to what messages to incorporate to maximise campaign effectiveness. AI also plays in important role in allowing organisations to better understand the potential outcomes of campaigns, improving budgeting and forecasting based on predictive models.
In the hands of independent experts, new marketing technology is playing a key role, delivering some of the most effective campaigns today, as a growing number of businesses seek to outsource their digital customer communications.
Companies like Paragon Customer Communications (CC) have invested millions of pounds to support businesses integrating offline and digital communications into one journey, enabling them to meet digitalisation targets while ensuring messages remain relevant to individual customers and GDPR compliant.
Using these technologies, data can be collated in one place, with customer billing, statement and marketing emails consolidated into one platform.
Innovative email coding with interactive formats, features and image animation can be used to formulate engaging, personalised messages delivered to individuals at a time when they are most likely to respond.
Paragon CC has helped retailers transform their email programmes, delivering revenue increases of more than £1.5m per year. A programme using AI, created for one of the UK’s largest media companies, radically reduced email drop-outs, while one leading insurance provider made significant postage and print savings after Paragon CC digitalised offline communications.
In addition, the company helped improve the nation’s health through working with public sector organisation to develop engaging email programmes to encourage people to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
 Direct Marketing Association Consumer Tracker, November 2017