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Back-to-school campaigns: are UK retailers ready?

As back to school campaigns begin in full swing, the pressure is on retailers to engage with customers in more meaningful and personalised ways.

As back to school campaigns begin in full swing, the pressure is on retailers to engage with customers in more meaningful and personalised ways. And considering there’s been an 86% increase in U.K. consumers who want suggested products and services based on their preferences in return for their loyalty, according to Cheetah Digital’s 2022 Consumer Trends Index, learning more about them is time well spent.

Access the Cheetah Digital’s 2022 Consumer Trends Index here.

The days of retailers blasting one single, generic message to their entire database are, hopefully, a thing of the past. Technology like AI and machine learning has made it easier to determine who gets the next message and when.

Mastering the art of progressive profiling

The most forward-thinking retail marketers are ‘progressively profiling’ customers’ interests, preferences, motivations and desires. They know it’s a perpetual process and, like learning and homework, progressive profiling never stops — it simply evolves.

Progressive profiling allows marketers to ask the next best question to expand their knowledge of an individual. New data provides reasons to reach out with a more relevant message or offer — how many children is he purchasing for? What are the children’s ages? What do they study? and so on.

Download Cheetah’s back-to-school white paper here.

Think ‘passing notes’ at scale

Skim any thought-leadership blog on better back-to-school email marketing, and you’re likely to tumble down an optimisation rabbit hole of subject line length and call-to-action placement. These are, of course, important. However, the revenue gains accrued are just the tip of the iceberg.

To truly deliver better back-to-school email marketing and have emails that actually get noticed in noisy inboxes takes treating every recipient like an individual. That means, messaging that goes beyond a first name or lumping consumers into generic buyer personas. Getting your email opened, read, clicked and converted starts with building more meaningful relationships with consumers.

Email has consistently reigned supreme as U.K. consumers’ preferred channel for receiving offers, content, incentives and rewards from brands. In fact, according to Cheetah Digital’s report, when it comes to driving sales, email beats paid social and display advertising by up to 128% in the U.K. This is largely due to email’s hyper-personalisation capabilities.

Engage across every channel

According to Cheetah Digital’s report, there’s been a near 60% increase in U.K. consumers who feel frustrated with a brand whose personalisation initiatives fail to recognise their unique desires and needs. This year, getting a personalised omnichannel experience right is the path to increased revenue in customer retention in a saturated back-to-school market.

Customers interact with an average of six digital touchpoints when engaging with a retail brand, oftentimes unpredictably, says Cheetah Digital’s report. Each of these experiences, whether it’s content on social media, landing on a website, offers from SMS or email or payment through wallet, etc. must be integrated to deliver a truly consistent experience. This is vital for letting your customer seamlessly move from one experience to another.

Take this all-too-familiar customer experience for instance. A customer purchases new school shoes, which is a necessity purchase rather than desire. It’s not uncommon for this customer to be hounded with display ads, emails and personalised website content for kids’ school shoes for the next month even though she has no desire to purchase another pair anytime soon.

Ultimately, a true omnichannel experience is about putting the customer at the heart of your strategy, where all channels and touchpoints revolve around them — not merely the product.

Download Cheetah’s back-to-school white paper here.

About Cheetah Digital

Cheetah Digital is a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider for the modern marketer. The Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite enables marketers to create personalised experiences, cross-channel messaging, and loyalty strategies, underpinned by an engagement data platform that can scale to meet the changing demands of today’s consumer. Many of the world’s best brands, including Starbucks, Hilton, Neiman Marcus, Levi’s, and Williams-Sonoma trust Cheetah Digital to help them drive revenue, build lasting customer relationships, and deliver a unique value exchange throughout the customer lifecycle. To learn more, visit www.cheetahdigital.com.

About the Author

Nick Watson, VP Client Success EMEA, Cheetah Digital

Nick Watson is VP Client Success EMEA at Cheetah Digital and has supported brands like Coca-Cola, Shell, Manchester City FC, Bauer Media and Reckitt Benckiser collect over 1.3 billion preference insights, purchase intentions and opt-ins from consumers to power truly personalised marketing. After many years at BBC Magazines and Tag: Worldwide, Nick joined Cheetah Digital to help create technology that made it easier for marketers to collect ‘zero party-data’ across all owned, earned and paid channels. Nick is now leading the Customer Success team in EMEA.

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