Merkle has announced the release of its new database marketing suite aimed at multi-channel retail specialists. Called Retail Marketing Suite (RMS), it includes both off-the-shelf and customizable customer relationship marketing solutions aimed at integrating data for better campaign and data management.
“It is no secret that the multi-channel aspect of retailing is increasing significantly and will continue to do so, but for a lot of specialty retailers, marketing and its resulting data is still dependent on traditional channels,” said David Geisinger, VP of Merkle’s Database Marketing Group. “FSI’s, direct mail, even email, is lacking some kind of multi-channel integration. We believe RMS will help that business.”
Merkle reports that RMS supports a full range of marketing-consulting and analytical services, including customer data integration, campaign management, reporting, loyalty management, clienteling, email, social and mobile marketing applications. At its core is a client portal that provides consolidated, accessible information on the retail customer lifecycle through a broad range of marketing toolsets. This offers Merkle’s clients greater insight into the customer experience, according to Geisinger, as well as the ability to create and execute marketing campaigns at every touch point: at the register, through traditional direct/catalog, online or on a mobile device.
Data comes in different forms and levels of detail from in-store, online, email, and mobile channels for the retailers Merkle is targeting with RMS. Not meant to disregard online retail, RMS will be most relevant for specialty retailers that have on and offline presence, according to Geisinger. RMS is designed to help these retailers integrate multi-channel data, analyze that new set of information, and then translate it into information that can help retailers execute campaigns from media to loyalty programs.
“The biggest challenge is data integration,” Geisinger said. “Online, retailers get a lot of data and it tends to be messy and cumbersome. It’s hard to even understand what’s important in it. RMS will take this largely anonymous data, enable retailers to see what’s important in it, and then execute against it.”
The plethora of available data should survive three tests to be considered relevant, according to the Merkle solution. It should be descriptive, predictive, and inform a company’s business rules. At least one of those should exist; preferably all three should fit the criteria.
Merkle also is investing new resources in its specialty retail practice. In order to better serve its clients and bring a renewed senior-level focus to the division, Merkle has filled key leadership roles within the division, including the appointment of Bo Chipman to lead Specialty Retail, Ron Park as Chief Strategy Officer, and Geisinger as Technology Leader. The team will oversee existing client relationships as well as several solutions to meet clients’ evolving needs, including Retail Marketing Suite (RMS).