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Creating 1-to-1 Customer Experiences with Strategy, Content, & Creative [Revolution Video Presentations]

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

This article features content from Revolution 2018. Join us for in London March 2020 for our next event. Interested in learning more? Click here

Smart marketers all over the world know that in order to get back to doing more strategy, content, and creative, they have to operationalize and automate menial projects that typically take up time and resources.

On Day 2 of our recent Emarsys Revolution event in London, speakers from e-commerce brands including Sally Beauty, OutletCity, Salling Group, KitchenAid, and Brandsal shared insights about how they’ve started to do just that.

We collected those presentations and organized them here, all in one spot, to give you and your team the ultimate viewing party!

Customer-Centricity is More Than a Mindset… it’s a Way of Life

Account #1: How Digital Transformation has Enabled a 100-Year-Old Retail Business to Become More Customer-Centric: Salling Group’s Story 

Who: Jens Pytlich, Digital Marketing Manager, represents Salling Group – Denmark’s largest retailer, with market share of about 35%.

What: Salling Group wanted to maintain its leading position in Denmark, but accelerate growth in Poland and Sweden, plus boost overall e-commerce sales through improved digital experiences for customers. The only thing they needed was an execution platform.

Key CX Objective: Deliver the right product, at the right price, at the right time, on the right channel, for every single customer.

Key Takeaways:

  • Human-driven personalization does not scale. No matter what tool(s) you use, people are required to run the show. “We made the mistake of investing in the tool and not in the people,” Pytlich said.
  • Working with the right partner enabled a new world to evolve for Salling Group. They started to send fully-automated emails – unique to each customer and which included customer-centric content and predictive elements like product recommendations. Emails are now sent at the best time for each individual. As a result, Jens’ team has seen huge uplifts of 20, 25, and even 30% in open rates. They used Emarsys’ Web Channel to tailor on-site content to each customer and segment – everywhere you see a product you now see product recommendations.
  • Incentive Recommendations help limit price reductions and “whole-category offers” – and help limit their own reliance on price reductions. The technology helps offer a small discount to those who need that extra nudge to convert.

Account #2: Customer-Centricity for Retail Survival: BrandAlley’s Story

Who: Rob Feldmann, CEO of BrandAlley, an online flash sale retailer in the U.K., explains how his company used a customer-centric mindset and leveraged customer behavior analytics to meet business goals.

What: BrandAlley aligned Marketing, Product, and the rest of the business around the customer, resulting in a 107% YoY increase in orders, a 158% YoY increase in new customers, and an 86% increase in YoY total customers.

Key CX Objective: As a pure-play e-tailer, BrandAlley relies solely on driving sales via their website as they don’t have the in-person elements some other brands get in a store. The goal was to create a seamless and efficient experience from start to finish. From the website navigation and content display throughout the journey, all touchpoints had to reflect the central thesis of their brand values: make people happy.

Key Takeaways:

  • One of the first misconceptions is that your customers’ journey starts on your website. Your customers’ journey starts when they first hear about your brand via word-of-mouth, search, ads, or direct marketing initiatives. Each interaction, good or bad, that a customer has with a brand has an impact on the way they view that brand.
  • A VIP or loyalty program can pay big dividends. BrandAlley’s VIPs get exclusive access to sales 24 hours prior to everyone else. The only way to get to these sales is to get the emails. They see incredible engagement with these emails. Make VIPs feel special and they’ll love their experience even more… and tell their friends about it.
  • Personalization is a journey. BrandAlley starts by requesting only an email address; once you come to the website, they’ll find your age group, and start learning about the things you’re looking at. Then they put emails together based on what they think you’ll like to buy. Pick up data at every touch point you can.

Focus on Being Human, and Create a CX Worth Remembering

Account #3: The Human Element – Conversational Marketing: Sally Beauty Europe’s Story 

Who: Scott Jonsmyth-Clarke, CRM & Digital Communications Manager at Sally Europe shares how the cosmetics company put the human element back into marketing by focusing on conversations instead of conversions.

What: Link conversations across email, SMS, web, direct mail, and social media.

Key CX Objective: Understand the customer and drive personalization, automation, engagement, and retention at scale across business units.

Key Takeaways:

  • In today’s digital world, many companies rely heavily on technology to drive conversions. But what ever happened to the art of conversation in marketing? The team at Sally Europe believes in utilizing data to determine what the customer wants and how they will benefit. They use ‘friendship marketing’, the conversational ecosystem, and happiness
  • Moving to a ‘conversational marketing’ approach has yielded significant results including: 43% YoY growth of email-attributed web sales, a 28% increase in email CTR, and 20% of total monthly sales attributed to digital communication channels.
  • Innovation never sleeps. For the future, Sally Europe will look to use AI to improve personalization, focus on friendship marketing, reduce promotional content in lieu of inspirational material, and transition their personalized CX into their store environment.

Account #4: Improving Customer Experience to Drive Business Goals: KitchenAid’s Story

Who: Erin Dixon, CRM Manager, and David Moreno, Social Media Manager, share how KitchenAid went from a product-focused way of working to a consumer-focused way of working.

What: In a commoditized market (there’s now about 18 big players where there used to be only a couple), KitchenAid realized experience was a chief difference-maker for its consumer market.

Key CX Objective: Improve the online experience. Customers or potential buyers of KitchenAid’s products do a lot of research online and purchase offline. A stern focus on bringing multiple channels together was vital.

Key Takeaways:

  • Talk to customers! KitchenAid researched consumer queries to determine what people ask for when they want to buy a stand mixer. The brand also asked people who were browsing their website what they wanted and what they expected.
  • Development of a personalization module was critical. Customers can now personalize their stand mixer by color, bowl, and more variables. Bounce rate reduced from 35% down to 28% and content was becoming more engaging and more relevant.
  • The brand worked with Emarsys to create a roadmap to start delivering a premium brand experience that customers were expecting with Welcome Programs, Post-Purchase Programs, and Abandon Browse and Winback Campaigns which increased sales from $150M to $1.3M YoY.

A New E-Commerce Playing Field: Online vs. Offline (or to Dabble in Both)

Account #5: Brick-and-Mortar Goes Digital: Outletcity’s Story

Who: Stefan Hoffman, Managing Director, and Claudia Oswald, Head of Online Marketing/CRM at Outletcity

What: A marriage of brick-and-mortar and digital efforts has inspired the future of the outlet shopping experience. After realizing that more than 50% of brick-and-mortar purchases stem from online research, Outletcity devised a plan for an intelligent, in-person shopping experience that can be used to delight upscale retail consumers.

Key CX Objective: To bring digital and non-digital together to create the ultimate outlet center shopping experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Omnichannel is more than a buzzword. Through omnichannel marketing initiatives, Outletcity has driven 100,000 store visits over the last year.
  • The brand is also leveraging complete customer lifecycle marketing campaigns that include welcome communications, personalized ad-hoc campaigns, wishlist alerts, cart reminder notices, post-purchase emails, and reactivation mailings.
  • Mobile integration is KEY for e-commerce brands with physical presences. Outletcity uses location-based push campaigns with offers for nearby stores, along with recommendations on where to go next, and post-visit communications.

Account #6: The Culture of E-Commerce Success: Brandsal’s Story 

Who: Jonas Jahnsson, Marketing Specialist, and Elina Sheikh, Digital Marketer at Brandsal

What: At Brandsal Group, the team believes in cooperation, happiness, freedom of speech, and that these elements make up a culture of success.

Key CX Objective: Connect a holistic, happy business culture with personalization testing in e-commerce.

Key takeaways:

  • Companies don’t have ideas, only people do! Culture is critical.
  • Test everything. Brandsal’s marketing team conducted A/B testing on two versions of an email: one small difference correlated with a nearly +200 uplift in transactions! A different newsletter aesthetic saw a 19% increase in signups.
  • Localize content, be aware of who your customers are – the same content won’t usually work in different markets.

Humanizing your brand and staying focused on strategy, content, and creative will propel you beyond those who let the tech get in the way or who prioritize other needs above relationship building. We’ll be publishing our next collection of videos from Revolution next week – so stay tuned!

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About the Author


Lindsay Tjepkema is Marketing Director, Americas at Emarsys and host of the Marketer + Machine podcast. . She and her team deliver resources that empower marketers to seek out solutions and strategies that will allow them to focus on what they love – strategy, content, and creative – not technology. Although her true love is tech marketing, Lindsay’s experience is built on time spent leading in-house teams, in agency settings, and independently running her own marketing consultancy.

Connect with Lindsay: LinkedIn@blueprintmkt

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