The handset manufacturer is to work with data marketing company Acxiom on overhauling its customer relationship management (CRM)  strategy.

The aim is to create an unprecedented level of dialogue with its customers and match the level of loyalty of rival brands such as Apple.

Acxiom will handle the management and interpretation of data as well as CRM campaigns globally.

Tactics being considered to enhance consumer loyalty include bespoke welcome messages when buyers switch on their handset for the first time,  plus online video content offering advice on how to get the best from smartphones.

According to Ben Padley, vice-president for digital and global marketing and CRM at Sony Ericsson, the brand is to shift its focus from customer acquisition to customer retention. Padley said that the brand’s ambitions to grow market share are dependent on rectifying the fact that it has ‘no direct relationship’ with customers.

‘We want a major step-change for two-way dialogue with consumers,’ he added. ‘This new approach will be of massive importance in retention.  There is growth in mobile as a platform, and we are working with the likes of Google which is using data, and Sony, which will provide a major differential. But we have no direct relationship with customers,  which is an issue.’

Sony Ericsson will relaunch its handset offering in April on the back of the roll-out of its Xperia arc smartphone. The company has already secured distribution deals with Vodafone, O2 and Three.

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