Thursday, March 08, 2012

#EEC12: REI (A Work-Related Post)

#2 in a series

REI's Journey to a Data-Driven Experience
John Reynolds, Manager, Marketing Analytics, REI
Jennifer Alexander, VP/General Manager, Epsilon

  • Stop siloing based on medium (direct vs email vs socila)
  • Shifting from "episodic" (ad hoc) to "always on" (trigger)
  • Episodic/Ad Hoc = Marketer Focus
  • Always On/Trigger = Donor Focus
  • Retargeting display based on abandoned cart
  • Everyone needs to start collecting data in a more customer-centric model
  • Work hard to standarize data, goals and which analytics should be used/captured/acted upon
  • Data: Plan and Forecast Sales, Calculate Lifetime Value, Understand Behavior and Trends (becoming very important)
  • Leads into Merchandizing and Pagination and Catalog / Planning future product development
  • REI - 23-25 direct mail pieces a year (27 million circulation annually). No longer mailing full-size catalog (42 o4 64 pagers) as of 2011.
  • More use of flyers (24 page) and much greater use of postcards to drive people online
  • Lots of analysis of how people interact with online catalog (driven by email)
  • Both corporate AND local voice (120 local retail outlets) - local includes classes and other non-sales (that drive sales)
  • Lifecycle (triggered) - New Member, Product Review, Major Category Purchase
  • New Member - 13 messages in first year. (Do they suppress others?)
  • Major Purchase (Bike, Boat) - ex: bike - how to fix a flat, where to go cycling, free tune-ups, stuff like that.
  • Draws on direct mail marketing to measure incremental sales and forecast new program strategies
  • People who are engaged with email and social drove far more incremental revenue versus someone engaged only in a single channel
  • Member retention is 7% higher if they have an email address.
  • Retention efforts: Postcard - two groups (new members who didn't provide; longer term member with no email address). Did a split (send/don't send) on both and postcard group showed significantly higher retention (and great response and incremental revenue)
  • 35 platforms, 70 practitioners - trained in REI brands, supports 120 local REI initiatives.
  • Mobile: WAP, 2 apps (snow report, catalog), QR codes (direct & in-store), catalog and partnerships (, pandora)
  • QR codes mostly used for store locator (they're not sure of long-term value)
  • iPad - response like PC, less like mobile
  • Mobile, however, is more for research and price comparison. Struggle with people researching instore and then buying from Amazon
  • Data Warehouse - once in the warehouse, can also be able to use for direct mail.
  • Customer Insights (four teams - 23 staff + several statisticians)
  • Postcards very successful - 15% coupon for providing email address
  • Don't treat medium as individual channels/silos. Integrate as much as possible and take a holistic approach.  Try to get customers to engage on as many channels as possible because the more engaged they are, the longer they'll stay around, the more they'll evangelize your brand to their spheres of influence.
  • Data is king. Get mathy. It may be time to hire data scientists or statisticians.
  • Lifecycle means letting the computer do the heavy lifting (targeting) instead of re-inventing the wheel regularly (ad hoc)
  • Does your data start with the individual? Because they are the customer, the one making the purchase.  Make sure they are the center of your universe and expand out from there.
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