Experian®, the global information services company, today revealed new insight into the economic climate with a new report that outlines how marketers can turn the prospect of a downturn into a competitive advantage.

According to Experian’s ‘Marketing success in a slowdown’ report, brands can create new opportunities to fuel business growth where spending growth in the UK is expected to slow to 2.1% in 2008 and 1.1% in 2009 . Experian’s report explains how customer insight, integrated marketing capabilities and greater agility will enable brands to quickly adapt to changes in the economic climate and create propositions more attuned to customer behaviours, preferences and purchasing patterns.

The report outlines that 2008/2009 will see digital channels play a pivotal role in customer management and acquisition. However, instead of being used in isolation, the best results will be achieved by integrating digital and traditional offline channels to profitably manage customer portfolios.

Marie Myles, Director of Marketing Consulting at Experian’s Integrated Marketing division and the report’s author, comments: “Based on our experience advising some of the world’s largest consumer brands, the turbulent economy simply means a re-doubling of efforts to derive even more valuable intelligence from every consumer interaction. As our report recommends, this means dispatching with collecting ‘interesting’ information. Instead, it is all about honing in on gathering insight that will enable a brand to create compellingly different and better propositions to its competitors’ that are all tailored to each customer at that point in time.“

The detailed report from Experian provides 12 actionable recommendations for marketers to deliver new growth opportunities, including:

1. Understand customers and their needs:
Customer insight needs to be continually revisited to ensure that it is up to date – focusing research investment on this area and not solely on the brand. Marketers need to use this intelligence to create engaging and relevant messages based on a solid understanding of each customer’s preferences, needs and behaviours. This will pave the way for true one-to-one communication and enhanced brand loyalty.

2. Analyse and segment:
Customer profiling, clusters or RFV models are essential to identify which customers are spending the most, how to uplift sales and to detect high value customers that show signs of diminishing value. As new trends emerge, marketers can use this insight to adapt and refine retention marketing techniques on a personalised basis.

3. Adapt products and services:
It is imperative to assess the environment and for marketers to re-evaluate their propositions. In a changing economic climate brands need to be responsive to evolving buying habits. By taking this approach, marketers will be able to offer a better service to customers, making it harder for competitors to lure them away.

4. Integrate channels to increase customer engagement:
Customers expect to be contacted through different media. Companies need to understand these media links and weave different online and offline messages to build compelling, engaging and personal experiences. Integrating channels at different stages of the customer buying cycle and customer management programme will drive benefits including a more consistent and persistent message.

To download a free copy of ‘Marketing success in a slowdown’ visit www.experianim.com/slowdown

This press release can be found on http://press.experian.com.

Published on: 12:00AM on 30th July 2008