SPC recently had a successful few days at CRMC 2019 in Chicago. It was our seventh year participating in what many believe is the most relevant and well attended retail marketing conference in the U.S. Our team came away energized by what we shared and what we learned about the latest trends in retail marketing. Plus, it was great to connect with brand giants including McDonald’s, AutoZone, Macy’s and Shoes.com.
Several team members were at CRMC and helped us make an impact. A fun twist was our matching orange & blue shoes that had people talking. Our exclusive lounge area next to the bar also proved valuable in generating discussions.
The most valuable thing we got out of being there was participating in the exchange of cutting-edge CRM-related strategies and ideas. SPC led two open sessions providing insights into the new USPS offering called Informed Delivery as well as showcasing the latest retail use cases leveraging IP targeting and geo-framing technology.
It’s All About Making it Personal
Some of the most valuable take-aways from CRMC came from the series of educational sessions held by industry experts. Many of the sessions stressed the importance of providing personalized experiences for customers. People want to feel special and retailers and vendors have more tools at their disposal than ever to make that happen. Through this heightened understanding of the customer, brand engagement can flourish.
With the amount of information that individuals provide to companies, there is a growing expectation that they will use that data to customize experiences with their brands. Here’s how some brands are succeeding:
- Individualized offers and program benefits.
- Flexibility in how customers earn points beyond just purchases, like updating profiles or sharing a brand experience on social networks.
- More ways to redeem points, such as donating them to charity and pooling them with others.
With the emergence of more accessible and truly impressive technology, companies continue to find new ways to be disruptive in the market.
- AI: Artificial Intelligence has turned marketing on its head. Not only can brands keep tabs on user activity, but they can use that information to accurately predict products and experiences that will appeal most to customers on an individual level.
- Facial Recognition: For a while now, facial recognition technology has been used for unlocking your phone or having fun with a Snapchat filter, but now companies are utilizing it in more creative ways. One fast food chain is using it to recognize returning customers and predict what they will order. Another brand is using it to track eye movement and understand which content they produce is most engaging.
Our Role in CRM
At CRMC, we had the opportunity to share the role we play within a CRM ecosystem, and how new media and technologies continue to complement print. In addition to “personalization,” the other buzzword at CRMC was “digital.” While many retailers think about digital marketing as communications that occur on a handheld or computer screen, they’re overlooking the opportunity to take advantage of huge strides that have been made in digital print technology.
At SPC, we have the capability to create highly personalized pieces from high-volume lists, with up to 100% variable content on every piece of mail. And we’re able to accomplish this by still offering our clients dramatic reductions in cost compared to just a couple of years ago. So, while the delivery mechanism may be more traditional, the impact of the digitalization of the process and the message it can deliver can be really great.
Most important, this was our first opportunity to showcase SPC as a formidable end-to-end marketing services provider with industry-leading print capabilities, data-driven direct mail services and loyalty program offerings, creative services and innovative technologies such as IP targeting. One potential customer reacted perfectly by stating, “I didn’t know SPC had all this capability. I thought they were just a printer.”
We look forward to collaborating with established partners and new ones we met at this year’s conference. SPC will continue to be a strong voice as hyper-personalization, digital channels and digital print continue to disrupt the marketing industry.
Senior Vice President Business Development