Our recent work with Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) and PCMS has shone a light on the increasing focus retailers are putting on getting to know consumers better.

Gone are the days of mass marketing vouchers and across the board, money off deals. Today's leading retailers have recognised that to compete successfully they need to know their customers much better than they have to date.

This means they need to know what you buy, when, why and how. With the benefit of this knowledge, they can tailor promotions and activity that meet your requirements, at a price that ensures you’ll decide to purchase.

One of the key challenges has been joining up the data that retailers have across their different retail estates. For example, if you’re shopping in store then the retailer should know what you buy online and vice versa, and this is something that PCMS has recognised. Increasingly, their software solutions are being implemented by the world’s major retailers to allow them to gain a single view of customers’ behaviour across their retail platforms. With clients such as Walgreens, Arcadia and Waitrose, PCMS must be doing something right.

ITG’s approach to this challenge has been to focus on building brand consistency through all channels and to ensure effective marketing campaign execution. By implementing their software platform across all channels, they are then able to collate performance data on the effectiveness of any campaign and refine their approach off the back of that data.

It won’t be long before these two approaches converge.