Over the last year, the pace at which consumers have adopted digital technologies has accelerated rapidly. Online sales as a percentage of all retail jumped from 21.5% in 2019 to 32.8% in 2020, an unprecedented spike, while people flocked to newer ways to buy and interact with brands, such as smart speakers, messaging apps, augmented reality and chatbots.
This significant digital shift has required companies to rethink the way they engage their customers: communication channels need to be kept open, messages need to be clear and consistent, and deeper, longer-lasting relationships need building in order to benefit from the long-term opportunities.
At the same time, organizations will have to develop marketing and customer experience (CX) strategies that are more engaging, relevant and timely across various touchpoints.
Taking advantage of change
Underpinning success is the ability to communicate with customers across the breadth of digital and traditional channels, and to provide convenient, customer-centric, data-intuitive solutions and services. Only this way can brands meet the needs of evolving customer journeys.
This, however, requires a fundamental change in the way companies operate. To take advantage of the long-term transition in consumer behaviour, they will need to adopt the latest communications channels and deploy the advanced technologies that they run on. They will also need to unify previously fragmented customer data across all touchpoints and employ the analytical platforms that glean insights from the data. Combined, the implementation of these changes will provide brands with a single, centralized view of how they communicate with customers and create the delivery infrastructure to support truly frictionless customer communications.
Embracing the technology to thrive
A cohesive eco-system of modern customer communications technologies, such as this, provides organizations with several important benefits. It unifies previously fragmented communications technologies, consolidates multiple data sources, creates an infrastructure that supports future-proofed communications and, via a single sign-on portal, provides a clear view of the organisation-wide communication strategy. In addition, built-in features, such as template management, can help companies stay in control of their brand and messaging.
The other vital ingredient when deploying an advanced communications platform is acquiring the necessary expertise to manage the digital transformation and empower proble- solving and decision making within the marketing and communications teams.
Such specialist knowledge is often best procured through working with an experienced communications partner; one which is able to offer seamless support to business operations. For brands undergoing rapid technological development, expert support can bring real value in helping them maintain complete visibility of all communications and activity and make them better placed to take advantage of the digital opportunities the changing market has to offer.
Indeed, the evolving nature of interactions and relationships between brands and customers offers numerous new opportunities for brands to take advantage of. For companies needing to quickly make up ground from this year’s disruption, the deployment of a cohesive eco-system of modern customer communications technology provides them with the means to rapidly begin building better, long-term relationships with their customers, offer new and enhanced customer experiences and make use of all channels in order to deliver seamless marketing communications.
Partnerships such as these ensure that brands can not only embrace innovation by deploying industry leading technology stacks, but also sustain it in the long-term by having the appropriate operationally sound support around it.
Of course, for modern businesses, delivering optimized omnichannel communications is just the starting point. As the UK looks towards a greener future – bolstered further by the Government’s 10-point green plan – there is mounting pressure from consumers, employees, investors and activists for today’s organizations to become more sustainable in their practices.
With 57% of consumers claiming they have made significant changes to their lifestyles to lessen their environmental impact, and more than 60% reported going out of their way to recycle and purchase products in environmentally friendly packaging, consumers are looking to enterprises to do the same and think about the environmental impact of their business decisions.
Business leaders, therefore, are making dramatic changes to their organizations, prioritizing lessening their environmental impact, and, perhaps more importantly, their use of technology to enable automation of day-to-day processes. Such shifts in behavior and attitudes will likely lay the foundation for a green, circular economy that is grounded in sustainable solutions and the public good.
As the environmental impact has assumed the primacy in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies of today’s businesses, the sustainability benefits of centralizing communications with a trusted partner are considerable.
Enhanced reporting capabilities and MI (Management Information) can provide carbon offsetting information, including detailed analysis of the emissions produced by differing market channels in both digital and printed forms. This, in turn, can enable businesses to lower the carbon foot print of their end-to-end customer communications.
While streamlining the design and delivery of marketing, transactional and regulatory communications through innovative print, mail and digital technologies allows enterprises to deliver meaningful communications while minimizing their sustainability footprint.