Print and Smart Data

Author: Paul Spiers

After the meteoric and unescapable wave of Big Data, the time has come to start thinking about Smart Data.

Author: Paul Spiers

After the meteoric and unescapable wave of Big Data, the time has come to start thinking about Smart Data.

Today, all organisations – regardless of size – have an almost limitless supply of data at their fingertips, comprising of structured customer data (traditional channels such as transactions, call-centre, POS etc.) and unstructured (information generated by digital platforms such as social media).

These same organisations are all looking to act on insights from the analysis of said data to create more effective, targeted customer communication in real-time (more on that here). A wonderful concept, but harder to apply in practice.

Analysing this data is an extremely time-consuming, an almost perpetual task. New customer data comes thick and fast, and capturing and analysing it has to be just as quick if a company is going to reap the real-time benefits.

Fortunately, this is where print service providers (PSPs) can step in and help customers untangle the invisible wires of Big Data to help them make smart decisions.

Opportunity for print service providers

PSPs venturing into data management services is nothing new. However, the sheer volume of data has accelerated this trend. There is a growing market of clients who need help to make sense of their data to improve their communications in an omni-channel world. It’s a fantastic opportunity for PSPs, especially those in the direct mail, cross media and multi-channel markets.

As ever, the level of data management that a PSP can offer depends on their size, experience and skillset. And while a large direct mail company may be better generally better positioned than an SME printer to take advantage of this at face value, there’s no reason that all PSPs can’t take a baby-step approach to manage their client’s data and lighten their load.

Below are few potential steps a PSP could take:

  • The first step is to work with a customer with whom they know their target market, helping them to clean and filter their data-lists – based on end-user response to a campaign – to improve the quality of the data
  • The second step is about analysing each customer touch-point to refine that data
  • The third step is for PSPs to filter information into their client’s CRM system
  • The fourth step (if they’ve got this far) is to one day take complete ownership of the data

Of course, it’s easier said than done. Trust between PSP and customer is paramount, and PSPs have to guarantee data protection and compliancy. But given the size of the opportunity, the hard work and commitment required to set up a data management service can pay huge dividends if PSPs can help their customers to be smarter with their data.

Are you a PSP working with data or looking to explore the opportunity? Let us know about experiences below!

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