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Marketing success in 2017 will be partly down to how well we engage with our customers.  In a recent blog post by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA, 2016), it suggested that 2017 is the year of customer engagement and that brands need to consider how best to truly engage with their customer base, not only at the point of purchase, but whenever the customer needs help.  No mean feat.

As is often the case, technology offers an answer, which is clear to most ‘savvy brands’ (DMA, 2016).  The meteoric rise of mobile use by consumers and organisations for performing day-to-day personal and business tasks points to an ‘easy to access’ platform of engagement – the difficulty can often arise when attempting to harness the technology in order to actually deliver what your customer needs or wants.

Making use of mobile apps to reach new clients and retain existing is hardly news, I hear you say, but with so much choice and competition out there, how do you differentiate and stand out from the crowd?

We looked at this challenge with a particular focus on building supplies organisations and their trade customer base.  Initially we considered how to make a trade persons’ day-to-day life easier with a free mobile estimation app called Quilder (allows the trade person to create their own branded quotes, shopping lists and invoices from their phone).  This has seen considerable success with significant sign up.

We then thought about how this app could be adopted by building supplies organisations to better engage with their trade customer base.  We anticipated that by delivering a product that was of value to the trade person and not just a means to purchase, the building supplies organisation would truly have a unique product in the market.  The building supplies company offers the app to their trade client base not only as a means of improving their day-to-day working lives, but to also make the purchase activity easier and (happily for the supplies company) centred around their products.  For the building supplies company, this means increased client loyalty, engagement and revenues as positive word of mouth around the trade market increases take up rate.

In turning our app into a customer engagement platform, we are able to offer a product to the building supplies sector that provides real benefit and value to both the supplies companies and their trade customers. It’s a win win for customer engagement.

DMA (2016) 2017 and customer engagement. (online) https://dma.org.uk/article/2017-and-customer-engagement (accessed 20th January 2017)

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