Consolidating your data so that you can identify customers and talk to them in a personalised way grows their brand love. Robert Lopez, Brand and Digital Innovation Manager at Norths Collective, reveals how his company did this to find and target a key part of their customer base – mothers.

To excel at marketing today you need to bring together all your different systems, get a single view of your customers based on the data and then target your messaging. That’s as true for a tech giant as it is for a hospitality venue. 

Norths Collective is more than that, of course. We are a collection of dynamic clubs and health and fitness centres serving communities in northern Sydney and the Tweed Shire and southern Gold Coast area. 

We’re lucky to have access to a wealth of customer data. Because we’re a membership-based organisation, every time a member or visitor interacts with us – through our POS system, our ticketing system and so on – we get valuable identified data.

However, for a long time that data wasn’t used to its full potential. Our different systems and suppliers weren’t well integrated. This is a common challenge. The Salesforce State of Marketing report, based on the insights and experience of thousands of marketers all around the world, found that the average number of data management tools used by companies grew from three in 2018 to six in 2020. 

It also found the most popular tool was a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This has been the crucial piece for us too. All of our data now filters through the Salesforce Marketing Cloud where it can be analysed and used to communicate with different target groups in a personalised way. We have some exciting examples of this and are already seeing great results.

Marketing that matches the times

Our data shows that while more senior people, such as retirees, used to be our typical members,  now young parents and young professionals are our market. So that is a key target group we use Marketing Cloud to talk to.  

The data showed us that mothers (and not fathers) were the decision makers on where the entertainment dollar was being spent in a household, so we wanted to make sure we were connecting with them in our local communities.

The first step was identifying members who fit that persona. We’ve long done outreach to mothers through community partners, such as North Shore Mums, but Marketing Cloud has allowed us to take it to another level. We are now able to look at our historical data and sort people into persona groups based on data points such as age and gender, or who purchased a kid’s meal or attended a kids’ show in the past 12 months. 

The next step was sending them the right messages, like making sure they knew that kids eat free on Wednesdays. After that we got a little more advanced. 

We haven’t published a printed newsletter since January, switching entirely to digital. Our ‘What’s On ’ newsletters went from trying to simultaneously talk to the entirety of our diverse range of customers to being quite granular. If the Wiggles are coming, for example, our parents will hear about it and our retirees won’t.

When COVID hit, this personalised communication became even more valuable. We sent targeted messages to family segments letting them know what was going on. When we were back open, our messaging conveyed that we’re still a great family-friendly venue, and that we’re also a COVID-safe venue. 

We structure our calendar to make sure we’re never breaching safe venue capacity and are communicating to people based on when we know they’ll come in (through ticket sales, for example). They all know we have social distancing, check temperatures, support contact tracing and so on, and they don’t hear information that’s just not relevant to them.

We know for a fact that our personalised approach with Salesforce marketing is working. Open rates alone have nearly doubled since it’s been introduced – going from an average of 18% to 30%.

A bright future

We’re only getting started on our marketing journey. As we continue this journey, we are going to make use of more data sources. This is a trend across marketing – the Salesforce State of Marketing report found that the median number of data sources used by marketers will increase from 10 this year to 12 next year. 

With more data sources, we’ll be able to further segment our now-generic ‘family’ group so we know which parents just don’t come in at night and target them with messages about day activities. We’ll target the parents who do come in at night with messages about evening events, such as a kids’ Halloween night.

We’ll also be able to share information back with our members about the impact their visits to Norths has had on the local community.

Through the ClubGRANTS program, we donate to worthwhile community organisations. For example, this year we’ve supported the Gidget Foundation, which helps expecting and new parents with mental health and emotional wellbeing – an especially important issue during COVID. 

Thanks to the data integration of Marketing Cloud, we will be able to tell our members how their support has gone on to help those great community projects. It will remind them that they aren’t just a member of a group of venues, but a member of an organisation that truly does strive to “Connect Our Community”. 

If we hadn’t adopted a CRM platform that lets us integrate our systems, consolidate our data and personalise our marketing, such a campaign just wouldn’t be possible.

Discover more about cutting-edge personalisation and marketing with Robert Lopez in this exclusive on-demand webinar – watch it here.

To find out more about the trends driving change in global marketing, read the 6th State of Marketing Report.