data strategy agenda personalised marketing
‘Show me you know me’ is s marketers have realised, the more
you can personalise the offer,
Using graphics, images and type specially
commissioned for the edition, each subscriber
the new customer mantra, content or service, the better the
retention rate and profitability.
was able to click through from an email to the
DIY cover site.
but demonstrating that Consumers have also become used
to the idea that they can have what
According to Wallpaper* editor-in-chief Tony
Chambers: “We always aim to exceed
knowledge is a major they want, the way they want it – whether that’s
an online news feed or a Subway sandwich.
expectations and Handmade certainly did that.”
Once subscribers had created their own unique
marketing challenge. For print-based marketing, this presents
something of a challenge, since the whole model
cover – including a choice from nine different
Rolex ads for the back – individual copies were
David Reed finds out how is based around economies of scale, which is, of
course, only achievable by mass-producing the
then digitally printed (using the reader’s choice
of seven paper stocks) and mailed.
brands are successfully same item. That approach does not sit well with
the new consumer’s view of themselves as a
A particularly neat aspect of the project was
recognising that subscribers would not want
adding the personal touch unique individual.
As Wallpaper* magazine discovered in
their personalised cover spoiled by the mailing
label which needed to be added for delivery
August, some careful planning and use of new purposes. As this is printed on to the cover to be
printing solutions can narrow the gap between readable through a polywrapper, Wallpaper*
customer expectations of a one-to-one experience included a sticker saying “The Handmade Issue”
and delivery of a one-to-many product. which could be placed over the address details
For its ‘Handmade’ issue, the title developed and made part of the finished design.
an online design app that gave subscribers the More than 2,000 subscribers took the
chance to put together their own unique cover. opportunity to create their own cover using the
48 | Data Strategy | January 2011 | marketingweek.co.uk/datastrategy
data strategy agenda personalised marketing
The increased results that can be achieved by
combining personalised digital print are being
overlooked and sometimes not understood
Julia Cole, HP
could really participate and design their own An initial 10,000 personalised items of direct
product label. We felt this would elevate interest mail were sent out in March, with a further 18,000
and generate a new awareness of the brand.” sent up to mid-May. As well as the pre-registrant’s
Remarkably, 3.5 million unique users visited badge, personalised creative and content, each
the website – equivalent to half the country’s pack contained a personalised URL that triggered
population – and 102,078 discrete designs were 28,000 unique web pages with content oriented
submitted. Across four weeks, 400 winning around that visitor’s interests. Personalised
designs were printed and shipped. URLs (PURLs) also allowed IIR to track response
Which raises the question of why more to the campaign.
campaigns are not putting data to work in this “The campaign achieved an impressive 10%
way. Julia Cole, UK and Ireland marketing response rate and the pre-registrant-to-attendee
manager for Indigo Digital Press at HP, believes conversion rate increased to 53% from 46% at
there is one explanation: “The demographic in the 2006 show,” says Waller. “This 7% increase
the industry has changed. The purchase of clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of this
marketing print has moved from being the campaign. However, even before Ipex 2010
role of the print buyer to that of the marketer.
The focus has shifted more to online
communications, and the increased results that
can be achieved by combining high-quality, case study
personalised digital print are being overlooked
and sometimes not understood.” Countrywide Farmers is a chain of 47 stores
Personalisation is powerful because it plays on serving the rural community with everything
the customer’s desire to be recognised by the from farming and equestrian supplies
brand. Achieving this even without holding through to country clothing and Christmas
personal information is a major step forward. But gifts. Although it has not been using
it is not the whole game – timing plays a key part. personalised communications, it has used
As online retailers know, striking while a potential digital print to improve its in-store
customer is showing interest pays dividends. promotional merchandising.
Print has long been the spiritual home of “Our product range has become varied and
personalisation with most direct mail using at complex. We identified variable data printing
least some variable data elements, even if it is as the most efficient way to manage price
just the inclusion of a name in letter text. More and promotional information,” says Rebecca
recently, the creative edge has been around Barningham, group marketing manager.
using new generation digital printing to include The company has segmented the retail
personalised messages in images. A recent estate into four types based on size and
app and now own a totally personalised issue of Boden catalogue varied the cover copy line location, from smaller, local outlets through
the magazine. The publisher then used random “Jonny loves...” followed by the recipient’s name to the largest, rural stores. For each store,
selections from the same design elements for the in a heart, for example. Countrywide needs to provide accurate
remaining 20,000 issues that month. As the people who have been driving the point-of-sale material on a rolling basis. This
“It was even more successful than we personalised print market forwards, you used to involve a lot of wastage from
anticipated,” says publishing director Gord Ray. might expect print services providers to be producing the same materials for all stores.
“Now that we know we can do it successfully, cynical about such techniques. IIR Exhibitions Working with SP Group, which has
we’re looking at how we can do something UK discovered this was not true when it developed a specialised point-of-sale solution
bigger and better next time. And advertisers can ran a personalised, cross-media marketing using HP Indigo digital presses and
see that we’ve got a great track record of campaign aimed at UK pre-registrants for workflow, the retailer can now generate
success now.” the IPEX 2010 international print and media store-specific packs of material that are
As print finds ways to personalise its output, trade show. printed, cut and sorted down to specific walk
packaged goods might be expected to look on The campaign segmented registered visitors routes through each outlet. All the retailer
with envy. Yet Coca-Cola Israel used the same by five market sectors and highlighted relevant has to do is provide a spreadsheet of the
digital printing technology to run a promotional features at the show, while also using an product, price and promotional information.
campaign, called Refresh Your Sprite, giving individualised creative. Materials were sent via More efficient promotions have been one
consumers in Israel the chance to design a print, email and online using the multichannel result, not least by providing more detailed
personalised can and win a case of their design software solution DirectSmile CrossMedia. product information and benefits as well as
if selected. “During my 13 years’ experience of organising on-label branding. “One children’s clothing
“Our idea was to involve consumers in the exhibitions, I have never attempted such a range grew sales by 28% compared with 2009
brand campaign in a wholly new way,” says sophisticated, personalised marketing initiative to just because of the additional information we
Merav Dvori, category marketing manager at drive pre-registrants to a show,” says Nick Craig were able to display,” says Barningham.
Coca-Cola Israel. “For the first time, customers Waller, marketing director, IIR Exhibitions UK.
marketingweek.co.uk/datastrategy | January 2011 | Data Strategy | 49
data strategy agenda personalised marketing
Matt Dooley, director of
We have been aligning our guest marketing,
communications to right-time Group
messages and trigger emails
We use email a lot for communicating with
Matt Dooley, InterContinental Hotels Group
customers. It is the least expensive way, as
a result there is quite an appetite for it in
the organisation. In an organisation as
took place, we could see from the tracked them into a basket, before going off somewhere complex as ours – we have eight different
PURL visits that interest in the campaign was else without buying.” brands, four regions, multiple sub-brands –
extremely high. After receiving the direct mail Using this technique, those non-convertors are there are more requests than we have
piece, pre-registrants were referring back to identified and promoted to. “It is a way of capacity to deliver.
their PURL again and again and some even saying, if I show you the products again, aren’t The email function sits in guest
contacted me to say how pleased they were.” they even more appealing?” she says. (Read marketing, while the web team is under a
Many marketers are trying to make the more about Karen Millen’s e-commerce strategy separate vice-president for relationship
customer experience as individual as possible, in Innovation Update, page 52.) marketing. Those are our two main
even during the early stages of the buying cycle But there are other obstacles even in outbound communications streams. We
when little might be known about the consumer. companies that have highly data-driven have a formal programme of email that
Women’s fashion retailer Karen Millen has been marketing at their heart. Sky wants to give its breaks down on two lines. We still live to
using a technique called personalised 10 million customers the best experience it can, some extent in the batch world, for
retargeting to drive up conversion rates from which includes using personal information to example regular e-statements for our
website visitors and reduce its level of show it knows and understands them. Priority Club and brand newsletters. What
abandoned shopping baskets online. “We have got the data to support 10 million we’ve done in the past 18 months is to
“Everybody has the experience of going customers seeing 10 million different align those communications more with
shopping without buying anything. When your communications,” says Simon Kaffel, data and right-time messages and trigger emails
friends ask if you saw something you liked, you analysis director, marketing strategy, at BSkyB. based on opportunities.
say yes and go back and buy it,” says Emma “Where we are unable to meet that need is around When a customer has reached a key
Bonar, e-commerce manager for the women’s getting sign-off for creative and legal clearance.” stage in their lifecycle, such as earning a
fashion retailer. “It’s like playing pinball with your Several years ago the media company was free night or having jumped a hurdle to get
customers and using that subliminal desire.” preparing to send out its monthly subscriber double points over a given period, we can
Working with myThings, which operates the magazine with a segmented, rather than fully ping an email without waiting for a batch.
retargeting system, the brand is able to treat personalised letter, using conditional content We are working to identify customers that
potential customers with a higher degree of based on a number of data variables. “We had are in those windows so we can trigger an
personalisation than usual. When somebody got the data to do it, and we had the mechanics outbound email. We are also using triggers
visits the Karen Millen website, they are tagged in place around the printing. What we were around customer visits by sending an
and the data associated with their visit unable to cope with was the sign-off and email three days prior to their stay and five
aggregated into a database. approval of each variation of paragraph A with days after.
Specific areas of a site, product lines or even paragraph B and paragraph G – there were over We want to strike a balance in the
items that have been put into a basket are 2,000 different variations.” personalisation, particularly in product
recorded. The system then crunches the data so Even at a segment level, each of those marketing emails. There are elements that
that personalised ads can be served via banners combinations would require individual approval. the customer would expect to be factual
across ad networks highlighting products and As a result, Sky now uses tens of variations, because we get information about their
offers that are likely to be of interest. rather than thousands. Customers may demand it, stay. We work hard to make it seem
“Everybody has an issue with basket marketers may want to do it and production may relevant and what they would expect to
abandonment,” says Bonar. “We’ve never been be able to deliver it, but one-to-one marketing is see at that time. We also use those
able to identify where people went after they still limited by the need to ensure that, as well opportunities to promote specific services
have been looking at items on our site or putting as being decent, fair and honest, it is legal. G around a hotel visit, such as driving
people towards eating in our restaurants
rather than going out. That is all upside
for the business.
Triggers leading to a purchase We want to be sensitive not to come off
as Big Brother. The trend in digital
Personalised recommendations are a powerful websites, which 88% of consumers said they marketing is towards taking all the data
trigger of purchasing, especially if they arrive at had used to research or complete a purchase. that can be collected on when somebody
the right time. Some 63% of consumers said the The study found that consumers are hungry visits you – or the website – and
reason they bought something recommended for content: 91% look for product descriptions incorporating that into messages. But
to them by a retailer was because “it came at and pricing, 74% seek user ratings and there is a fine line between having a
the right time in my decision-making reviews, and 61% want expert reviews. relationship and being creepy.
process”. Having the right price was Commenting on the findings, Patti Freeman When we think about the data we have
mentioned by 60% and being relevant by 57%. Evans, vice-president research director at and the customer database where we collect
The findings come from a survey Forrester, notes that, “not all retailers are set information, we don’t bring in anything that
commissioned to Forrester Consulting by up to do personalisation, but companies who might be sensitive, like viewing certain pay
RichRelevance and Bazaarvoice that looked do recommendations have helped take that TV channels.
into the behaviour of online shoppers. It found burden off their shoulders. They have created Our goal is to find target segments and
that retailers have a strong opportunity to the algorithms to help retailers so they don’t market around things that offer us a
influence buying, not least through their own have to do it themselves.” commercial opportunity.
50 | Data Strategy | January 2011 | marketingweek.co.uk/datastrategy