UNO April 2019

Targeted communications: The only correct formula

The consumer is changing, continuously and at a shocking pace. Brands can attest to this, as their day-to-day task is to try to win and retain customers, always focusing on meeting their needs and exceeding expectations.

Today, this mission is ever more complex because, in addition to being more knowledgeable and demanding, consumers are also more sophisticated—largely because of the invasion of technology in their lives. New gadgets, apps and programs come out indiscriminately and overnight, influencing how we communicate, work, study, play and even relate. We live in a highly connected world, where technology and innovation continue to change our behavior and, therefore, our participation in society.

For the record, at Worten, we like technology a lot. We are a technological and future-oriented brand that follows trends closely, recognizing that change happens every day and is here to stay.

“We live in a highly connected world, where technology and innovation continue to change our behavior and, therefore, our participation in society”

When the future is now, we must be sure of the choices we make and, above all, what we offer to consumers. We need to have strict criteria regarding how, when and to whom we communicate—and to do this, we must listen to consumers, to what they have to say. Then, it is up to us to make the right choice, at the right time. Because though it is important to know how to listen, it is no less important to know when to speak.

In communications (not only for brands), you must define your priorities (should I communicate A or B?) and guide the conversation (I will communicate A to X and B to Y). Only then do you begin consider and define the best channels or platforms (I will use social network Z to communicate A to X). We should not be overly anxious to communicate just because the available technology allows us to, even enhancing this flow and speed.

As soon as we know the consumer very well, this overeagerness to speak, respond and inform is softened, as we have found the right information, tone and channel to help us effectively reach the customer, without constraints or obstacles. It is a kind of homework that, when done continually and well, allows us to bring home the highest grade in the class, year after year—with the bonus that it’s the client giving the grade!

At Worten, we focus on targeted communications, filtered using customer data, mostly digital. For example, in 2018, we sent more than 50 million newsletters and 15 million targeted SMS messages. We believe text messages and emails are excellent tools for communicating immediately, informally and inexpensively with customers, with the added value of spontaneously placing our brand at that individual’s top-of-mind. We must not forget that, regardless of the business area in which we operate, if we prioritize how consumers perceive our brand, we will significantly accelerate our growth and, consequently, our market leadership.

Although today we face a more sophisticated consumer, as we have seen previously—one with varied technological tools that facilitate and impact their daily lives—it is not the use of modern methodologies that makes the difference in consumer-brand relationships. What really counts is that we can transmit coherent, relevant data that brings us closer to our target audiences. The more we know about a consumer’s profile, the better we understand their lifestyle—and consequently, the more prepared we are to communicate with them. Knowing who our consumers are, where they live, as well as their preferences, needs and purchasing capacities, we can launch our message, ensuring a (nearly always) positive response that often translates into purchases of the product or service offered. Or, at the least, we reinforce the consumer’s emotional attachment to the brand (which is still very important).

“The more we know about a consumer’s profile, the better we understand their lifestyle—and consequently, the more prepared we are to communicate with them”

These are the so-called brand lovers, who embody, in practice, a spontaneous communication channel favoring the brand. Those who like it speak well of it, recommending it in an organic and credible way. Word-of-mouth is based on common experiences, and the perception that this individual person—who’s just like us—has of any given product, service or brand.

More or less demanding, more or less knowledgeable, more or less sophisticated, consumers today all want information relevant to them—or at the least to their close family, because past that the distance is enormous. Otherwise, the communication will have failed its purpose and the brand its objective.

Our approach, therefore, is targeted communications. The formula for this is not top secret. It involves hard work, but have no doubt it will be compensated in the very short term: identify your audience and impact it with the appropriate messages, using email, SMS or social media. In the end, this will translate into increased sales, reduced team effort and, more importantly, a better position for your brand. And all this can be achieved because the communication was accurate. Nice!

António Fuzeta da Ponte
Worten’s Brand and Communications director
He has been Worten’s Brand and Communications director since December 2017, where he manages a multidisciplinary team that combines Brand Management, Public Relations, Social Networks, Brand Activations, Sponsorships, Brochures, Point-of-Sales Communications and Own Brands. Currently, he works on the Iberian Peninsula. In 1996, he began his communications career in media consulting at Edelman PR in Washington D.C. He then returned to Portugal, where he joined Imago Agency (now LLYC). In 2000, he joined Telecel as one of the founders of its YORN brand, where he was responsible for the brand and communications. He later headed Events and Sponsorship for Vodafone. In 2005, he began his career in brand activism with his role as director of Customer Service, where he remained until 2015. Then, he decided to open his own company, KISS - Brand Lovers. [Portugal]

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