A little over a year ago, we were at the starting blocks of our data-driven marketing journey. In the early implementation stages of Marketing Cloud, we were already seeing its potential, but I don’t think any of us could have imagined just how far this marketing technology would (and continues to) take us.
Norths Collective is a growing group of dynamic clubs and health and fitness centres that serve communities in northern Sydney and Tweed Shire. As a membership-based organisation, we’ve always had access to endless streams of valuable customer analytics and data but it wasn’t until last year that we began putting it to good use.
Almost instantaneously, Marketing Cloud allowed us to identify key audiences and target specific segments with automated personalised messaging. We discovered that mothers were the primary decision makers when it came to a family’s entertainment spending, and we connected with that persona based on age, gender and historical behaviours.
The results of this initial personalisation suggested we were on the right track: with email open rates almost tripling from an 18% average to 56%.
Fast forward to now and yes, we were on the right track. Recently, we put out a targeted email membership drive campaign in lieu of a new venue opening in Beecroft, Sydney. Not only did we attract almost 2,500 new members to a club that doesn’t yet exist, but the campaign boasted an 85% email open rate. That’s a spike of 55% in less than 12 months!
It's safe to say that 2021 was all about realising the tangible benefits of moving onto Marketing Cloud. Skyrocketing engagement levels have led to considerable growth, and we owe it all to marketing personalisation and hyper-targeted messaging. Because we now have the means to see all of our customer data across multiple touch points, no two members ever receive the same email.
Such levels of marketing personalisation can be reached through Salesforce and Marketing Cloud’s signature tools. Einstein allowed us to not only target the right member with the right messaging, but to do so at the right time — thus optimising the messaging experience.
With Advertising Studio, we utilised data feeding from Service Cloud into Marketing Cloud to manage our hyper-segmented audiences — automating the process of including and excluding customers on digital marketing across platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. Instead of relying on each platform’s specific ad tools, we used Advertising Studio to personalise the digital advertising experience across all platforms.
This means that when it comes to digital marketing, we are no longer suffering from advertising wastage, while optimising our advertising spend.
We have always aspired to be a true leader in digital transformation, using new, emerging and sustainable technologies as a means to tell our story, build our brand and enrich relationships with our communities. And our next step in our digital marketing journey with Interaction Studio, is helping us achieve that.
Currently we work with three types of customer data (a base that is primarily made up of members, but also encompasses non-members). The first is demographic data, which tells us a customer’s age, gender, postcode and the like. We then have transactional customer data, which feeds into our CRM and tells us about those purchasing show tickets, food and drink, as well as those with gym memberships. The one piece of the puzzle that Interaction Studio will put into place, is habitual data.
Yes, Marketing Cloud allows us access to a specific kind of habitual data, such as when and how long a member is on site, but Interaction Studio will expose us to habits outside Norths Collective’s walls. What are our customers’ digital habits? Who’s on our website? How long do they spend on it? Which specific pages are they visiting? What interests them the most? Interaction Studio will provide those answers, in detail.
Our 2022 plan with Interaction Studio, one that will bring us even closer to the customer than we already are, will take place in three phases.
The first phase involves hyper-personalising customer journeys through our website. Once implemented, we’ll be able to gain a 360-degree view of an individual’s browsing habits and deliver a tailored site experience based on those interactions. Say, for instance, a member tends to visit our show pages more than anything else. When they return to the landing page, the content will be presented to them through a show-forward lens. They may see messaging about the latest show that has been announced, or one that’s gone on sale — basically, the kind of 1-to-1 personalisation that drives engagement.
Phase two will be the rollout of a new Salesforce-native app on Heroku. Instead of doing what many similar organisations do and creating an app that’s a mere copy of our website, we’ve spent the past year planning and refining so that we’d be offering something truly distinct to our customers — so that they can utilise their memberships in new and beneficial ways, and we can innovate the way we engage with them.
Phase three is bringing in all of our other data into Interaction Studio so as to ‘close the loop’, as I like to say. By feeding all transactional and social data into the platform itself, we can track a customer journey across all touchpoints, know when they have bought-in to a specific facet of our business, then close that loop and begin a new one based on their previous journey.
Marketing Cloud has allowed us to close the loop when it comes to demographic and some habitual data, but phase three of our Interaction Studio plan will provide a complete view on their purchasing decision journey and an understanding of their number one affinity. Which will facilitate even more intimately tailored customer experiences.
As we move towards the implementation of this three-phase plan, while setting our sights on another vital aspect of digital marketing — customer loyalty, it’s clear that everything we’re doing in the Salesforce ecosystem comes down to building trust.
Why should a customer trust a meal at Norths rather than a local restaurant or hotel? Because through the personalised experience you have with us, both in-person and online, you know we care for and serve the community and those living within it. Our mission has always been to provide a reliable, one-stop source of fun and entertainment for families and individuals of all ages; a place where community members feel seen and spoken to.
The digital marketing tools we have implemented and are in the process of implementing allow us to further fulfil that mission — seeing and speaking to community members in ways that just over a year ago, seemed almost impossible.