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How to Maximize Tech Investments in an Inflation Economy

This past year, we saw inflation take a big toll on brands and consumers. While inflation is often thought of as an economic problem, it can also have a big impact on brands’ bottom lines, forcing budgets across the board to be slashed or flatlined.

In addition, inflation can cause the value of a brand to decrease, as consumers no longer have as much cash to throw around for products and services, and deals become more attractive. It can also make it difficult for businesses to maintain their profit margins as costs rise. Inflation is expected to continue to impact businesses and brands through this new year which is a less than ideal market condition.

With that, organizations need to take steps to protect their brands. One key technique that is being utilized is to maximize a frictionless customer experience and enable more personalized messaging. Brands can do this with the tools they have at their fingertips today by better utilizing the technology investments they’ve already made and the first-party data they already have on hand. In doing so, this will allow them to gain more ROI and provide better service to customers and prospects without dishing out more money on new tools or infrastructure.

Take An Inventory of What Functionality is Available

Optimizing your technology usage means making sure you and your teams are using the tools and technologies you have in the most effective and efficient way possible.

This can involve things like:

  • Providing training and resources to help team members learn how to use the technology effectively
  • Working with marketing and IT to build processes and guidelines for using the technology
  • Identifying and addressing any issues or bottlenecks in the technology's usage
    • Prioritizing upgrading or rolling out features that address gaps or provide new functionality
  • Leveraging new integrations with existing systems to help automate processes or make teams more efficient
  • Regularly reviewing and updating your use of the technology to ensure it is meeting your needs and goals

Optimizing technology usage can help you get more value out of the tools you have, even if you don't have much budget to work with. It can also help improve team productivity and efficiency, which can ultimately lead to better business results without overextending your team or needing to hire more help.

What Data Isn’t Being Used Today?

To plan the right personalization strategy for 2023, you need data to fuel it.

Leveraging data in all aspects of business decisions is not a new concept. But now more than ever, understanding and adjusting to trends in the data and using it to give your audiences more customized experiences will be paramount to drive success through the harsh economic waters of inflation and a potential recession. Using the right data to power the experiences you want to give your customers is a first step. For example, if you want to incorporate a free birthday promotion to customers, but don’t have that data on hand, think about how you could gather that information while offering value to your audience. With a lens toward action, identifying the most important data for real-time decisions and pivot points will drive the optimal outcomes for 2023, regardless of the external economic pressures.

To get started:

  • Inventory and understand what data is collected and where it is stored
  • Learn what data is accessible by your business teams and how they are using it today
  • Identify any new data attributes that are needed to provide a better customer experience
  • Use analytics and performance metrics to iterate on what messaging and creative works best for different audiences to maximize ROI
  • Iterate, test, and continue to measure

Want to learn more? Check out Merkle’s 2023 Inflation Report here to gain insights to stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions for your company's future.