Could perception be helping to drive down the economy?
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At the time of writing, the UK has officially entered into recession. More brand name companies have gone into administration and the year has got off to an inauspicious start. With 24-hour media and the Internet, both scarcities during the last recession, consumers cannot avoid calamitous headlines or the ubiquitous blow-by-blow reports on the state of the UK economy. For the first time, consumers and business owners are more alive to the economy than ever before and this presents opportunities for companies.
Our analysis shows that perception is playing its part in fuelling the current situation with heightened sensitivity leading people to pull back on spending, through fear of redundancy or just a sense of foreboding. Our analysis also highlights precisely why , now more than ever, it is important that businesses focus on their existing customers to retain and maximise each individual relationship.
Today’s consumer is not going to be wooed by subtle overtures – they want value for money and service par excellence, without compromise. This applies as much to the to the retail bank, utility company or credit card company as it does to the high-street retailer. We are in the era of the empowered consumer.
The big theme in 2009 is going to be insight-led customer management, whether this relates to marketing, customer risk or collections and recovery programmes. The same can be said of managing business relationships. At the heart of this new strategic thrust will be organisations’ desire to anticipate and react to changes in consumer and business behaviours to ensure they adapt and diversify over the course of 2009. Quite simply, data and analytical insight knowledge will take centre stage in helping businesses to weather the storm and shape their future strategies.