Beware of the blues

Osborne: Society feeling pinch
Osborne: Society feeling pinch

In the wake of George Osborne’s budget announcement, all parts of society are feeling the pinch. The budget seems to hit middle-class consumers the hardest, with average income likely to fall by more than £1,500 this year – unfortunate news for marketers who target higher earners in the hope that they will spend more.

In addition, the Office for National Statistics reported that UK retail sales fell by 0.8% in February – 0.2% more than was expected from January. This decrease in consumer spending will have a knock-on effect on marketers as retailers are likely to lower their marketing budgets if sales are down, and with the effects of the increased VAT yet to be seen, consumer spending could shrink further, casting more gloom for marketers in the future.

In the midst of mounting pressure to entice customers into buying more, and with the possibility of marketing budgets decreasing, marketers need to understand that customer knowledge is now more vital than ever.

Different customers will be affected by George Osborne’s budget in different ways and consequently marketers should be using their vast pools of customer data to pinpoint the budget’s effects, attending to customers accordingly.

While it may be tempting to send out mass, untargeted emails in the hope that they will appeal to some consumers, marketers have to be smart about the ways in which they use marketing tools. Historical customer data can open up a world of invaluable information on consumer buying patterns, viewpoints and trends. With a customer base that is tightening its belt and potentially impacting marketing spend, marketers need to use the resources available to them, from simple common sense to highpowered analytics, to make thorough, well thought out decisions instead of running blind into tactical decisions that will only deter consumer spending even more.

Roger Llewellyn
CEO, Kognitio

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