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How a large UK retailer increased the impact of paper-based marketing by 200% with cross-channel customer data

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200%

increase in impact of paper-based marketing

$ROI

significant cost reductions and ROI optimization

↑%

Large uplift in demand creation and revenue

About the customer

This client is a top 10 UK online clothing and footwear retailer with five distinct brands. They’re headquartered in Manchester, UK where they design, source, and create the product offer.

Use Cases

  • Mailing optimization
  • Omnichannel & offline aggregation
  • ROI/return on marketing

Challenges

Historically a catalogue and mail order retailer, the use of paper in direct marketing has been central to the group’s considerable success for many years; but with 77% of new customers now coming to their brands online, and 71% of all digital traffic now on mobile devices, the need to optimize return on investment from direct marketing became essential.

The group embarked on an ambitious project to reduce their investment in paper without negatively affecting demand. The challenge was how to deliver results from the project in a way that increased the efficiency of their marketing spend.

In order to evolve and enhance the digital experience for customers, the organization focused on the next element of their journey:

  • Grow overall order values
  • Support better strategic and tactical decision-making
  • Evolve and enhance the digital experience for customers
  • Increase the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives
  • Improve efficiencies in marketing spend.

77%

new customers from online 

71%

traffic from mobile

2000+

employees across the UK

uk-retailer-paper-based-marketing

Solution

The extremely granular cross-channel digital customer data from Celebrus is used to power the Customer Insight team’s use of SAS and Teradata (Customer Interaction Manager and Aster).

Other data sources are also blended with this data to develop highly sophisticated models that drive the team’s understanding of their most effective paper-based marketing activities and contact strategies.

The Customer Insight team within the group’s marketing department uses Celebrus to understand the impact of paper-based marketing as a whole, as well as the different types of paper-based marketing.

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With over half of all customers buying online, the depth of information provided by Celebrus digital interaction data is compelling, not only in improving our understanding of evolving customer behavior - such as the move towards mobile devices - but also to support both tactical and strategic decision making.

Results

Goal: Focus investment on paper marketing efforts that deliver the best results

How was this done?

They created a ‘Response Cube’, a tool to understand the incremental impact of paper mailings and combined that with Celebrus data to understand the web sessions and visitor rates that resulted from those mailings.

They were then able to categorize which mailings were ‘negative’ (i.e. had a negative impact on demand vs the control group) and which were ‘positive’.

Results

By refocusing their investment on ‘positive’ mailings, the retailer achieved a 200% increase in the impact of paper-based marketing activities at two of the Group’s brands.

After eliminating negative mailings, the team developed highly sophisticated contact strategies to reduce print and postage costs while optimizing ROI. To better understand who to mail, a mailing response score was built using data inputs from transactional, demographic, web behavior, and e-mail engagement metrics

Goal: Optimize contact strategies to maximize return on remaining paper-based marketing

How was this done?

Celebrus online behavioral data enables the team to categorize customers into online customers (high online order penetration, low older product preference, and multiple web sessions per month) or offline customers (displaying the opposite behaviors). This data is used in about one quarter of the key variables that created the mailing response score.

Results

The mailing response score facilitated insight into which individuals should receive mailings, resulting in a considerable reduction in costs at one of the Group’s primary brands, and an improved return per contact at another key brand.

Goal: Optimize the frequency of mailings

How was this done?

The team developed a ‘Contact Density Model’ to optimize the frequency of mailings through a sophisticated program of testing and analytics.

This gives the retailer a highly granular understanding of the demand driven by each mailing, as well as the gross margin, enabling them to optimize the number and frequency of mailings sent to online compared to offline customers.

Results

This has resulted in a clear understanding of the diminishing returns from additional mailings to online customers versus offline customers, giving the insight needed to forecast the ideal number of contacts per customer more accurately.

Even better, the reduction in paper-based campaigns creates a positive environmental impact.

The advanced customer behavioral and experiential data delivered by Celebrus is also core to ongoing initiatives in the areas of:

  • Personalization
  • Next-best-action
  • Right message/right time
  • Predictive analytics

This focus on predictive analytics draws on the openness of Celebrus to integrate with multiple industry-standard enterprise and open-source data applications; in addition to SAS and Aster, these initiatives are also embracing R and Python to ensure that the retail group maintains momentum in its use of data for customer insight.

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Our business focus is not just efficiency, but also growth. What makes our achievements in maximizing the efficiency of our paper-based marketing realy outstanding is the fact that, by reinvesting the cost savings from paper mailings into digital channels, we have seen a major leap in our marketing ROI.

As well as a Mailing Response Score, predictive models are applied to customer targeting for both online and offline customers. There are over 25 predictive models now in production, differentiating customers based on metrics including purchase probability, value, time to order, and more.

The significant savings in paper marketing, combined with the reinvestment of those savings into digital channels, is being used to generate increased demand and revenue contribution.

TECH INTEGRATIONS

  • SAS
  • Teradata Customer Interaction Manager
  • Teradata Asher
  • Python
  • R