Enhance client value
Clive Stringer, Business Development Director for Pitney Bowes, looks at the opportunity that omnichannel presents. ‘Omnichannel’ is a marketing buzz word, but its meaning still seems to vary from business to business. For some, it’s used interchangeably with the term ‘multichannel’, to describe the ability to communicate across separate physical and digital channels. Others use it to describe a specific strategy in which different channels are used to communicate a single, consistent message. ‘Multi’ refers to many, and ‘Omni’ means all, but the true meaning of ‘omnichannel communications’ is far more than using all channels available to connect with a customer. It’s about generating a holistic brand experience, connected and consistent at every touchpoint, with the customer at its very heart. And it enables businesses to create a clear, meaningful, single view of a customer which means the customer can actually enjoy, and react to, the communications they receive.
Research from Neustar1 reveals that 62% of companies say they currently have, or plan to have, an omnichannel strategy in place. An omnichannel strategy is, for many, the nirvana of customer engagement. As businesses identify how they will deliver this from an operational perspective, a great opportunity opens up for managed print service providers to reestablish themselves as an invaluable extension of their clients’ business.
Involving a service provider in delivering this new strategy:
– Removes the need for a company to make significant investments themselves in integrated communications technologies for physical and digital delivery
– Ensures regulatory compliance, as service providers have robust systems and processes in place to safeguard customer data and guarantee integrity
– Provides the ability to respond to customer preference in terms of channel choice, enhancing the customer experience
– Ensures consistency of brand message and style across all channels, critical to an omnichannel strategy
– Enables the precise management and tracking of results to monitor effectiveness
– Provides businesses with the chance to respond quickly to consumer sentiment, seasonal fluctuations and competitor activity, as many service providers run 24/7 operations with fast turnaround
– Ensures access to experts that are likely to have worked with clients on similar strategies
In order to continue to meet their clients’ evolving requirements and deliver powerful, effective, physical and digital communications, service providers are rolling out their own transformation programmes. They are implementing new technologies and platforms to help them drive productivity and efficiency:
– Using SaaS platforms which make it easy to manage, change and protect digital communications
– Adopting mail technologies which are faster, better, and more flexible, as advanced inserters enable rapid changeover of envelope size, enabling accurate personalisation
– Implementing digital colour inkjet to enable deeper, brighter, razor-sharp full-colour print
– Taking advantage of the Industrial Internet, which makes it possible to harness production data for detailed analysis and improvement
Integrity Print, the UK-based innovative print firm, supports some of the UK’s best-known and most ambitious brands, including Thatchers’ Cider and the British Red Cross. Its clients are increasingly looking to adopt omnichannel strategies to improve the customer experience, so Integrity is working to integrate its technology and process platforms to enable this. Sales & Marketing Director Andrew Law comments: “As our clients respond to their customers’ changing behaviours, we need to do the same, reacting quickly to requests and enabling clients to make the most of the true potential of ‘omnichannel’. For us, this means using the data that we manage for clients to provide integrated, consistent, physical and digital communications that deliver client engagement across all devices. It also means generating intelligence that clients can use to create a single view of their customer, so they can offer a truly great customer experience”.
He continues, “As a business, we’re in the process of a transformation that has seen us roll out new software and hardware technologies to deliver high performance capabilities. This evolution allows us to create interactive, responsive and compliant customer communications across a range of markets”.
In the age of the empowered customer, we expect relevant, personalised, contextual communications across our channels of choice. An omnichannel strategy enables this, so businesses can get closer to their customers, develop an accurate understanding of their behaviours, and communicate with them in the way the customers themselves choose. It’s a fantastic, unprecedented opportunity for print service providers to become more relevant in a fast moving communications world, and ensure they are the ones providing thought leadership to their clients.
1 Research from Neustar as featured in AdWeek