A good example of a firm adapting to and exploiting the new 'social, local and mobile' mantras that run through the requirements for effective customer communication is HTK and its Horizon platform for multi-channel marketing, customer service automation, and customer experience management.
The objective of Horizon is pretty much a standard CRM mission statement: get the right message to the right person, at the right time, and through each customer's preferred contact method.
Development of the platform was driven by HTK's own need to grow its customer base, especially into the mid-market and SMB space.
The company moved into the multi-channel world initially around big clients such as government departments. As a result, it wanted to create a marketing and customer experience tool and make it available online as a SaaS subscription offering.
Users of Horizon include O2, Tesco Mobile, Centrica, AON and South Staffordshire Water as well as a number of public sector clients. (HTK is part of the UK G-Cloud government cloud programme.)
A good example of how Horizon can be used to transform digital marketing initiatives comes from Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa which wanted to move away from sending the same marketing content and offers to their entire customer base.
It needed a marketing software platform to help them align their marketing campaigns more closely to the different preferences and interests of each customer.
The Spa also wanted to use its data better, increase engagement and drive sales.
Marijke Morris, commercial manager at Stoke by Nayland, explains:
"Previously we were using a very simplistic marketing software which allowed us to send basic e-shots to our entire database with relatively little targeting.
"We weren't giving our customers what they wanted to hear so our engagement rates were less than one percent and our opening rates four percent."
"We were just sending generic messages out to our entire database. We weren't increasing our sales or engaging with our customers at all."
WIth Horizon, the Spa managers can now segment its database into relevant groups and target more effectively.
A prime example came with the introduction of a Winter Treatment of the Week offer to boost visitor numbers outside the summer.
This was pitched at a specific demographic within a specific geographic reach and resulted in a 225% increase in visitors to the landing page which in turn led to an uptick in business.
In the video below my colleague Dennis Howlett chats to Justin Bowser, director at HTK Horizon, about the scope and challenges of digital marketing: