Unlocking the Insight of your Customer Data

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The travel sector is awash with data. Mobile technology is fostering new data generating consumer behaviours and is dominating the travel industry.

Google seems to have hit the nail on the head when it described the modern customer journey as a series of micro-moments. Think back to the last time a friend recommended a hotel, holiday or journey to you. Did you patiently wait till you got home to look it up? No, nor us!  60% of travel searches start on mobile and 94% continue to jump between devices as they piece together options*, likes, dislikes, reviews and final plans. And it doesn’t end there, with 85% of leisure travellers deciding on activities after they have arrived at their destination. Swathes of time is spent experiencing, then reporting on those experiences on social media– good or bad.

None of this is surprising and more than ever, we are seeing the travel businesses that embrace data driven marketing and product development lead the way. And why not? According to a study by American Express, 83% of millennials said they would let travel brands track their digital patterns if it would provide them with a more personalised experience. In fact, 85% of all ages thought that customised itineraries were far more desirable than general offerings.

Customers are generating valuable, insightful data faster that it can be analysed.

 

Where does your travel business sit?

Every business on the planet (that wants to survive) is on a digital transformation journey.

Some are at the early stages; realising that having all customer data on separate platforms is not only ineffective, but is holding them back.

Some have their data in order on one central system but now need to identify how to analyse it for actionable insights that will feed product development and better ROI.

Some are already producing those insights and making the most of the increasing spontaneity and experience-led decision making of travellers with well-timed promotions and products.

Some travel firms have been on the journey since the beginning and are advancing quickly. New analysis of 321 million social engagements by Adobe Digital Insights has found at least 8 of the largest hotels have tested virtual reality experiences during the past six months and most of these were programmes that paired with a traveller’s mobile device.

 

Five Steps for Better Data Analysis and Use

 

  1. Data Management

Data is only as useful as its storage and use.  Bearing in mind that GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) are on the horizon and come with large penalties, the right data infrastructures and processes are critical.  Your data environment needs to be GDPR compliant and allow you to capture individual interactions as they happen against one record.

 

  1. Connection

A Single Customer View will allow you to join the dots between online and offline customer journeys. Your customers will have a better experience and you will be able to use the data to spot opportunities and patterns within a client group. You’ll also see what is and isn’t working. As a result, ROI can’t help but improve.

 

  1. Deeper Knowledge

Customers expect you to know them. To know what the booked or did last, what they might want to do next and on what terms. You can’t do any of that without better use and understanding of your data.

 

  1. More Creativity

When you know who you’re marketing to and what makes them tick, you can be more creative and innovative in your messaging, reflecting them in your materials and interacting with them more meaningfully on social platforms too. With the right system, you can then watch those interactions, learn about behaviour trends and manage them.

  1. Understanding your ROI

When you are operating a CRM system that has been carefully tuned to your business’ needs, people and processes, you will be in a better position to plot your customer journeys and attribute online and offline channel success.

 

Want more?

Feel to join us for our next webinar, Digital Transformation in Travel & Leisure.

Date: Thursday 17th August

Time: 11am BST

Attendees: Best suited to marketing, sales, IT and data officers working in the travel and leisure industry and who use (or are considering) CRM for data management, inbound marketing and email marketing.

During the webinar, we will discuss:

  • The main themes of digital transformation in the travel and leisure industry.
  • What a 360-degree view of your customers looks like.
  • GDPR, a catalyst for positive change?
  • Creating a better customer experience and journey.
  • How Microsoft’s platforms and tools are helping us to improve our travel clients’ processes, productivity and insights.

It takes seconds to register. If you can’t join, you can still register for us to email you the recording. The industry is changing so quickly, it’s worth being informed.

 

 

Sources

https://econsultancy.com/blog/68183-10-spectacular-digital-marketing-stats-from-this-week/

https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/mobile-influence-travel-decision-making-explore-moments.html

 

GDPR, a catalyst for positive change

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There are two ways to look at the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

For businesses already digitally underway, it’s another important tick in the box for compliance and best practice. They may even identify a few opportunities to enhance what they’re already doing.

However, if you’re in a business that’s been dragging its digital heels, it could be the difference between growth and being left behind. The businesses in your sector that identify the opportunities of GDPR will not only comply with it and avoid heavy penalties, they’ll reap the benefits of having been forced to look at their processes.

Yes, there will be those who simply just tick the boxes and essentially plaster over the cracks that GDPR has revealed but that is a massive missed opportunity. If businesses that are digitally behind don’t untangle their existing processes, they are adding knots and loops to deal with further down the line as more and more data sources demand more and more processes.

In contrast, the businesses who use the time between now and May next year to properly review their processes and systems can look at their overall digital fitness and get an edge over the competition who haven’t bothered.

Here’s how:

Mapping the policies and processes that surround how you use and collect data will give every department ideas for business development.

Better data means better relationships. Not only that, it will ensure a better start to your customer journey as people will be parting with their data with more awareness of exactly how it will be used. People who don’t want to engage won’t provide their data. So, no wasted time chasing, and no resentment before you even begin communicating.

Technology can power most of the internal change needed and can, in the case of Dynamics 365, join up all the disparate systems in a business. That brings a massive benefit; a 360-degree view of every customer. Suddenly it’s easier to engage with customers with the right information at the right time as well as have end-to-end data governance. When all that information is in one place with the intelligence of Dynamics 365 wrapped around it, it becomes more powerful.

Reporting and Decision Making become so much easier when the data can interact across departments on the back of active data.

Staff Adoption of the new GDPR processes could be the difference between compliance and a huge fine. It stacks up that the easier staff find the new processes, the less likely non-compliance is. So again, the businesses that look to consolidate their systems into one familiar space are already ahead of the game.

How much of an opportunity do you see for your business as we march towards the GDPR?

Watch our essential GDPR webinar for more information.

5 FAQs About GDPR

It’s only 11 months until the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations come into force (25th May 2018).

Our webinar this week is taking a look at how you can start your planning process for GDPR.

First though, here is a rundown of our 5 most frequently asked questions. If any of this is new to you, or this is as far as your knowledge already goes, please do join us on Thursday!

 

What is The EU GDPR?

Standing for The General Data Protection Regulations, GDPR is the EU’s regulation of data processing for its citizens. It applies to every country holding and using data of EU members and replaces the inconsistent and out of date approaches of individual countries. It’s a binding legislative act that will replace a 20-year EU directive that first came into place when web technology was still very new. The GDPR will address security vulnerabilities that have arisen due to the digital lives we all now lead. The big aim is to enable a secure flow of data that individuals have greater control and visibility over by improving consent processes.

The GDPR applies to organisations located within the EU as well as businesses out-with, that supply goods or services to (or monitor the behaviour of) EU data subjects.  It’s important to remember that this isn’t just about you and your systems. Your suppliers will also need to play by the rules or you could still be fined.

 

Does it apply to my business before and after Brexit?

Come May 2018, we’re still part of the EU. So it will apply to every UK business. After that, it makes sense to comply anyway. If you are selling goods or services to EU members/citizens then you need to meet your obligations. If you’re operating only within the UK, the UK government has said it will probably follow suit.

 

What are the main headlines?

Storage – You need to be able to clearly define what personal data is stored, how it’s collected and how it’s used.

Processes – Businesses will have to be able to provide evidence of what type of data processing is carried out, how data is used, the flow of data throughout and out-with the organisation, access to data and protections at each step.

Consent – Consent agreements must be separate, simple and dedicated and recorded against each customer. Double opt in’s will become the standard, opt-in boxes cannot be ticked by default, and soft opt-in’s will become a thing of the past. People must understand why they are giving permission and be able to revoke it easily (even that must be recorded back to the customer file). The ‘right to be forgotten’ falls into this category too. If your existing data meets the new consent rules, it should be fine. If you’re in doubt, you should inform your databases and give them their right to be deleted.

Privacy by design – Just as it sounds; data protection should be part of the foundation of designing data systems rather than an addition.

Data Protection Roles – Depending on your business, you may be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) under the GDPR. Public bodies are included in this as well as businesses that carry out large scale systematic monitoring of individuals (e.g. online behaviour tracking) and businesses that process large scale data relating to special categories. Regardless of whether or not you are obliged to appoint a DPO, you will need to ensure you have the staff numbers and understanding that you need to meet your GDPR obligations.

 

What’s the price of non-compliance?

Substantial. Technical related non-compliance e.g. impact assessments, breach notifications and certifications will attract fines up to an amount that is the GREATER of €10 million or 2% of global annual turnover (revenue). Key provision non-compliance will attract fines up to the GREATER of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover. And that’s before we talk about reputational damage.

Data controllers within your business will be legally obliged to notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of any data breach within 72 hours of its occurrence.  Note that if you are a public authority or you regularly monitor data on a large scale, you will need to appoint a Data Protection Officer, something worth doing regardless.

 

Business v CRM Responsibility

The GDPR offers an opportunity for cleaner databases, better quality lead pipelines, lower cost per acquisition, more accurate forecasting and better ongoing CRM.

Your CRM system should meet GDPR standards by implementing privacy by design and default in build processes. However, it’s a joint responsibility. Whilst Microsoft (and we, as partners) should ensure your tech is GDPR compliant with access controls and privacy functions, you must also ensure your processes and people are also compliant.  Dynamics 365 is already well prepared in its set up for GDPR so speak with your Microsoft Partner for further support and information.

Watch our essential GDPR webinar for more information.

Your Microsoft Partner’s Role In Your GDPR Transition

Redspire is a Microsoft CRM solutions specialist and a Microsoft strategic Partner, which means we are qualified and trusted by Microsoft to deliver their solutions.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a big focus for us right now. Less than a year away, it will replace The Data Protection Act and means significant changes for how businesses handle data not least the severe fines for non-compliance. Even when the UK is out of Europe, non-conformity and data breaches can result in fines of up to €20m or 4% of your annual worldwide turnover.

There’s currently a lot of IT complexity out there. GDPR is an opportunity to streamline that technology architecture. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is already well prepared and meets those needs, it not only helps you to comply, but crucially, demonstrates that compliance.

Can your Microsoft CRM Partner support your business and people journey to GDPR compliance? The rules of finding a CRM partner still apply.

A good GDPR CRM partner should be:

  • Looking at the role of data in your organisation, finding the changes GDPR will enforce, and identifying the edits and customisations to enable them.
  • Advising on role, record and field based security for your team, reducing the risks associated with administrative rights.
  • Helping you evaluate how you answer points on consent, data purpose, and data retention.
  • Reviewing what triggers may be required throughout your system to maximise Dynamics 365’s detection and data breach reporting.
  • Pointing out the areas where Dynamics 365 will maximise the opportunity of compliance with GDPR such as turning double opt-in and lower sign up volumes into better engagement and conversion.
  • Knowledgeable in every facet of GDPR, of your current system(s) and integrations.
  • Following a process for supporting you through GDPR based on experience of your sector.
  • Prepared to continue to work with you as you get to grips with how it works in practice.

Watch our essential GDPR webinar for more information.

The Big Data Challenge for Marketers

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When we meet our clients for the first time, there are usually five immediate discussions.

The first is about how Dynamics365 will make processes and people more effective. That’s an easy one. The next four questions revolve around data – big data (size isn’t everything), data management (management is not the same as insight), storing it (cloud, cloud, cloud) and understanding it (not the what, the how).

If you are creating marketing campaigns for a product or service with a relatively short customer lead time, the chances are you are selling lots of that product or service and accumulating vast amounts of data. Data counts mean nothing if you don’t understand them.  Some (from the old world of marketing) would describe it as transactional but as we all know, a transaction is informed by context and, regardless of lead-in time, every customer is a potential relationship or referral.

How do you make that transaction mean more?  It’s not enough to manage the data better. It’s true that data is only as valuable to your business as what you do with it. If it doesn’t ultimately help you make more confident, productive decisions, spot lucrative opportunities and halt underperforming activities, it’s holding you back.

It’s 2017 though. This is not fresh news.  So what gives?

Thanks to digital technology and the realisation of customer experience, marketing plays a huge role in the entire customer lifecycle. To be effective, marketers need access to a myriad of different data sources to connect to get the 360 view of the customer. The cross-business collaboration needed can be a struggle.

There are three key differences between the marketing departments of leading businesses and those that lag behind.

 

  1. The right data

According to Openrise, 54% of marketers would cite poor data accessibility as a key barrier to data management success. 44% cited poor data quality and as a sign of the times, 37% cited poor database integration. We’d argue that the accessibility and integration points are one in the same and can be remedied with the right platform and that in time, data quality could also be addressed.

 

  1. Knowledge and Skills

There’s no point having the right data in the right place without the right people to analyse it properly. It’s a difficult one as it’s only been the last few years that marketers have needed this data focus. A cross-discipline approach across the business makes sense with Business Analysts and IT contributing. That lets marketers focus on their main skill set instead of spreading their efforts too wide whilst we wait for the next generation of marketers to join the ranks.

 

  1. Creativity

Marketing is a creative process. Content is still king so the challenge is integrating the work being done to make marketing more data driven, with the work being done to engage customers with better experiences.

Introducing Dynamics 365 has taken our conversations up a gear. Even businesses with a huge amount of data lack information that ultimately delivers decision-making confidence. Eyes light up when the penny drops that the common data model means no more silos. Information to pinpoint future opportunities is more accessible; whether it’s marketing effort, sales pipeline issues, budget reallocation, product development or expansion into new markets.

Find out more information by watching our High Volume Marketing webinar.

15 Quick Tips for Successful CRM Data Migration – Infographic

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Click HERE for a high-res PDF version of this infographic

15 Tips for data migration

Barriers to CRM: Lack of management experience and knowledge of how to approach CRM properly

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Reason Why 63% of CRM Initiatives Fail

New CRM initiatives currently have a 63% fail rate, according to a new study by Merkle Group Inc. For anyone considering CRM this is quite a scary statistic, although not surprising, when you consider the number of that barriers that face organisations implementing a new CRM system or updating their current one. These barriers include; Lack of employee buy-in, unclear business objectives, lack of long term strategy, unclear about data requirements and companies often buy systems that are not fit for their specific business requirements. These are just a few examples of barriers that face organisations considering CRM. It is of the utmost importance for companies thinking about investing in CRM to fully understand CRM what it can do and the level of commitment required to make it a success, along with the possible pitfalls and the steps required to avoid them. This article will focus on how a lack of managerial experience, and knowledge of how to approach CRM properly can cause major issues for companies who try to implement CRM without heeding this advice.

Keys to Success

In order for a CRM project to be a success, it is imperative that all levels of the organisation buy into it from the very start. This needs to be a top to bottom process, where top level management illustrate the benefits of implementation to the rest of the organisation, in terms of;
• Why there is a need for CRM in the first place.
• How it will enable the end users to increase their productivity
• How it will helps the organisation as a whole
• How it will remedy current pain points

Areas that require Understanding

When an organisation is implementing a new CRM system or updating their current one, there is a lot of information required before selecting a system that can cater to an organisations specific business needs and data requirements. Managers need to have an in-depth understanding of their customer’s buying cycle, current pain points that end users are experiencing, and the data they need to harvest in order to meet the needs of their customers more effectively.

Lack of Managerial Experience in CRM

When top level management do not have the knowledge required to approach CRM implementation properly, it will be impossible for them illustrate the benefits to the rest of the organisation, which means that they are essentially setting themselves up for failure. Many managers view CRM as a glorified address book, and in order for CRM implementation to be successful this outlook has to change as it will inevitably permeate down through the organisation to the end users. If management approach a CRM initiative without researching the full spectrum of benefits that a correctly tailored, implemented and maintained system with full stakeholder buy-in can provide in relation to their specific business objectives, they will have difficulty achieving a satisfactory ROI in a reasonable timeframe.

Management Need to Understand Customer Buying Cycle

An issue that many managers face is that they do not understand the buying cycle of their customers to the required depth. David Ciccarelli, cofounder and CEO of Voices.com says “to solve this problem, organizations should sketch out a workflow diagram that depicts the customer life cycle.” This visual tool will aid in not only customizing your CRM but fully taking advantage of its functionality.

Management Need to Understand CRM

It is imperative that management take the time to fully understand CRM and how it can benefit them in terms of achieving their business objectives and their staff in terms of how it makes their life less stressful thus enabling them to increase productivity. The process of acquiring this knowledge may not be as straight forward as some managers’ think. In order to drill down to the necessary depth managers need to engage in an on-going dialogue with front line staff, Chris Fritsch, CRM consultant and owner of CLIENTSFirst Consulting states that “To succeed with CRM, organizations should get end users actively involved before even looking at systems.” This dialogue may take some time to put in place, and significant commitment from staff at all levels to maintain, however it is an integral part of CRM implementation and if done correctly will pay dividends down the line.
Management Need to Understand Front Line Needs Pain points
If an organisation is implementing a new CRM or updating an existing one, it is crucial to understand the areas where their front line staff are experiencing issues or areas where they could be better supported. It is one of the main jobs of an effectively implemented CRM system to enable users to focus 100% on the job at hand, as opposed to getting round the flaws in their current CRM system that is simply not fit for purpose.

Takeaways

There is a lot of legwork that needs to be done before implementing a CRM solution. If this legwork is not done properly, it is likely that you will add to the 63% of companies that fail. However, if the necessary steps are taken to get to grips with what CRM can actually do and how it can be tailored to your organisation, your customers and your staff, it is likely that you will become part of the 37% of companies that enjoy a great ROI, increased staff productivity and customer satisfaction. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a fantastic tool, which can provide companies with the necessary tools to turn data into profit.

EU Data Protection Reform: It’s as Easy as A, B, C

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New EU Data Protection law: a blow-by-blow guide to dealing with it

Data Protection Law is something every CRM marketer comes up against, and in 2016 another tranche of bills will pass into law – affecting all 28 EU member states, including the UK.

While perhaps needlessly complex (like much European Union legislation!) it’s not as hard as you think. Here’s how it matters to you… with some of the good outcomes at the end.

First, the big one:

1. User consent must be explicit, not implied

Many EU businesses follow an American model where data protection is involved: consumers will be sent marketing communications unless they specifically opt out.

For EU businesses (and those doing business in the EU) that will be illegal.

In the next 12-18 months (the legislation is being introduced gradually – but not that gradually!) all EU businesses will be required to collect, record, and retain explicit proof that everyone on their mailing lists explicitly opted-in to receive marketing communications outside the topic of immediate interest.

(In other words, “ham” emails – essential stuff like transaction confirmations and billing – are allowed, but following on the next day with an up-sell or cross-sell offer is not, unless that customer explicitly said Yes to it.)

This is a fundamental difference between US and EU law. Since much CRM software hails from the US, this can create problems. Your CRM professional can advise on the right policies to adopt to stay the right side of the law.

2. Opening an account does not grant consent

You might think opening a user account is an explicit opt-in. Think again. According to the DMA, simply providing an email address or other data does not confer any right on the marketer to make further use of it.

As a case from retailer John Lewis shows, even a pre-selected “Yes, I’d like to receive emails” in your signup process doesn’t satisfy all requirements for openness and transparency. Your customer must explicitly select (no pre-ticks!) from a clear choice, without having to deal with long-winded T’s and C’s.

3. Penalties become much more defined

While there have been a few big cases, most EU Data Protection violations have been small-scale and settled without recourse to the courts. The new laws, however, allow for fines of up to 100 million Euros – and passed with overwhelming support in the EU Parliament.

Furthermore, there’s no get-out clause for honest mistakes. An individual consumer will be able to sue for privacy violations: that single email your marketing department sent in error could carry consequential risk running into the millions.

4. To avoid a repeat, you’ve got to delete

The “right to be forgotten” you’ve heard about in the news is at heart simple: if a consumer wants his/her data deleted from your servers and you have no legitimate reason to retain it, it’s time to say goodbye.

For many CRM marketers, deleting user data is anathema – in fact, some CRM applications don’t even allow it! Ask your CRM partner where your stand: they’ll be able to find a legally valid solution.

5. Being based outside the EU is no excuse!

Just as a great many EU companies have to satisfy American reporting requirements as a cost of doing business in the USA, any non-EU business that touches EU citizens falls within the scope of the new EU data laws.

It’s unclear how enforceable this will be, but pay attention if you outsource customer data (particularly security in the cloud) to countries with different legal regimes to the EU. They may be applying policies that don’t fit the new requirements.

But there’s some good news…

It’s not all red tape – particularly if you have under 250 employees. Savvy CRM marketers may even be able to turn the new EU data laws to their advantage! Are you one of them?

For instance, the requirement to appoint a named individual as your data protection czar (what SME can afford that?) is going away across all 28 states. Same goes for the impact assessments and notification fees some countries demand. And the long arm of the law, if it knocks at your door, applies EU-wide: you won’t have to deal with 28 investigations for a single alleged offence.

Overall, the new legislation does what it says on the tin: makes life harder for spammers, and smoothes the playing field across the EU’s single market of 350m people. And for many CRM-using businesses, that’ll be a good thing.

Takeaways

  • Check for consent: it must be explicit, not implied
  • The right to be forgotten applies to your database as much as Google’s
  • Fines start with a single offence and go up to 100 million Euros
  • The good news: EU Data Protection Law is now the same EU-wide

EU Data Protection Laws start with securing your customer data – and there’s no better way to start than with The ultimate guide to: security in the cloud

The-ultimate-guide-to-security-in-the-cloud

Charities urged to analyse and use data

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Charities have been encouraged to make sure they are using their various data sets effectively.

According to Peter Watson, information and systems manager at youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, good data management is “essential”, as it enables third sector bodies to understand their users’ needs and the impact of their work.

He acknowledged that getting to grips with large quantities of information can be “daunting and overwhelming”. However, he told the Guardian there are a number of ways in which they can make sense of it and use it in a constructive way.

For instance, Mr Watson said that once organisations have built up a significant body of data, they can analyse it and use it to group data into categories.

This, he stated, would enable them to find out relevant trends and patterns that could prove invaluable when it comes to improving services and determining future policy and research activities.

Identifying recurring themes could also help charities manage their relationships with supporters, clients, partners and stakeholders more effectively, with each group receiving targeted and relevant communications.

Mr Watson went on to insist that if a charity puts a data management system in place, it must make sure every member of staff knows how to use it properly.

“Systems are only as good as the people who use them, so charities need to support staff in recording data and running reports,” he commented.

“Support can happen at staff induction, in training, through telephone support and clear written guidance.”

Mr Watson added that any data management system must be reviewed on a regular basis, so charities can work out how useful it is and if improvements could be made.

He stated that getting feedback from stakeholders and system users would be one good way to see if the system is delivering results, as the findings could prompt an organisation to “improve existing fields and add new fields if necessary”.

If you’re planning to invest in CRM, the conditions need to be right for it to succeed. Download our free white paper to learn how to optimise your system.

Customer engagement white paper

What should the priorities be for data-driven content?

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Many businesses use content marketing as a means of engaging with their customers, using the information they have gathered to create targeted and relevant material, such as articles, blogs, infographics and videos.

However, digital marketing specialist Stephanie Miller has insisted that if a company wants to use its content to create "amazing customer experiences" and build brand loyalty, it must make sure it ticks four boxes, reports ClickZ.

Firstly, she believes people must understand what data marketers are using to create their content and how using it can provide them with greater value.

Secondly, Ms Miller suggested that brands avoid using content just for the sake of it, as it must be the right content and distributed on an appropriate platform at the right time.

She then advised firms to remember that customers are people and "not just CRM records". Ms Miller said bearing this in mind can reap lots of benefits, as it enables customers to enjoy positive and relevant experiences.

This, she stated, in turn encourages people "to share and meet each other, which has an additive effect on total value".

Finally, Ms Miller said that unless companies have gathered customer insights from data, they must "rely on generic responses which never feel engaging".

"Personalised communications work smarter towards brand loyalty," she commented.

Ms Miller went on to note that research has demonstrated how content is more sought after by customers than special offers.

For example, she said many people want retailers to provide information on how they can achieve their lifestyle goals.

"This suggests that marketing engagement will be more than just what is on sale and must include relevant content like a recipe or white paper or fun fact or tip of the day," Ms Miller remarked.

She added that social sharing trends back up this observation, as when a discount code is shared online, people typically talk about their brand engagement and how they personally have used the product that is being promoted.

Click here to learn more about how CRM can improve engagement levels.

Customer engagement white paper