The challenge of information consistency in the Digital Age

The advent of new media has considerably expanded the ability of businesses to communicate with clients and consumers; they can now utilise social media platforms, produce mobile Apps, distribute eNewletters and broadcast to mass audiences via internal databases – and this is just scratching the surface.  

 

This proliferation has, however, created some challenges within the business world. In particular, information inconsistency has become an issue, with some businesses struggling to produce accurate, relevant and engaging content across all of their communication platforms.

 

Ventana Research, a leading benchmark research and advisory services firm, recently released a report entitled ‘Consistency in Customer Information Is Elusive’, which found that “inconsistent information across [business] channels frustrates customers and degrades both the quality of the customer experience and the outcomes of interactions”.

 

So how does a real estate agency ensure information consistency across all of its communications mediums?

 

According to Ventana Research, one of the main needs of businesses operating across multiple channels is to have a single source of customer data. Similarly, Ventana Research identifies that organisations have, on average, three groups producing customer reports and analysis, which often results in customer information becoming out-of-date and inaccurate.

 

In light of such, it is suggested that real estate principals encourage their agents to enter all client and prospective client data into an office database. This includes leads, listings and sales data as well as any relevant personal information that the agent may have gathered about client(s). This practice should ensure that all client communications strategies and materials are based upon a uniform source of research and information.

 

Another approach to consider is integrated marketing communications - commonly referred to as IMC.  In basic terms IMC refers to the integration, unification and streamlining of messages across a business’ online and offline communications channels, including marketing, advertising, social media, public relations, direct selling and internal communications.

 

Implementation of IMC strategies requires high levels of internal collaboration on strategy development.  For example, a marketing employee would work closely with a social media employee to define goals and develop messages, collateral and campaigns.

 

An IMC strategy might also require internal distribution of newsletters, messaging documents, positioning statements and branding manuals to ensure that all employees have access to uniform strategic templates and information sources.  

Whatever strategies you choose to employ, the main thing to recognise is that information consistency is vital to business success – in any age.

Posted by George Tarbey on 24/07/2012 at 11:28 AM | Categories:

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