Customers are quick to screen out online advertising. But switched on brands are changing the game, with clever tools that target the right customers with offers they find hard to resist.
Using Advertising Studio and the rest of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Australian health and lifestyle club provider Next Gen Clubs pushes all the right buttons online.
Unlike traditional gyms and health clubs, where mass promotions are pitched to almost anyone willing to break a sweat, Next Gen advertises its premium multi-service clubs to specific audiences.
Built on the country club concept blending fitness, relaxation, aquatic, and racquet pursuits within a single facility, Next Gen competes for customers spoilt for choice but they had a belief that unstructured lead generation was letting prospects slip through the cracks.
Andrew Savage, Next Gen’s director of marketing and products, believed marketing automation to coordinate sales channels was the best way forward. All paths led to Salesforce Marketing Cloud Journey Builder.
Next Gen’s marketing machine was immediately transformed, with smart workflow and automated triggers bringing new customers on board and keeping them informed and connected.
The move effectively embedded Next Gen’s customer management in tightly sequenced steps, which typically include interactions via email, SMS, and advertising. Next Gen’s customer journeys include trial membership, remarketing (for those not quite ready to take the plunge), new member on-boarding (to ensure they’re engaged and participate in the club’s induction programme), retention (when attendance drops below a certain threshold), and member recovery.
With customer journeys running like a well-oiled machine, Savage pondered the bigger picture. Online, he figured, opened the door to more precise targeting and further automation that would effectively close the loop between Next Gen’s lead generation, conversion, and customer retention.
“That’s what got Advertising Studio over the line,” he said. “We already had our overarching customer journeys, so the big opportunity was to integrate sales and digital acquisition.”
Next Gen’s big play was to target ‘lookalike’ customers – doppelgangers – on Facebook. Advertising Studio directs the show, syncing Next Gen’s customer data – first-party CRM data – with Facebook ad targeting, allowing Next Gen to buy and optimise ads on Facebook.
The secret sauce is functionality that presents customised advertising to Facebookers who look and behave like Next Gen club members.
Next Gen targets a range of ‘lookalike’ customer groups, pulling the levers on advertising and offers – including Salesforce landing pages, smart capture forms, and advertising creative – unique to each group. So the campaign for active retirees looks quite different to Next Gen’s Facebook campaigns targeting students, and stay-at-home-mums.
With over 90% of Facebook’s daily active members using a mobile device to visit Facebook, Next Gen had to make things easy for mobile customers. To do the job, Savage used Facebook lead ads to extend Next Gen advertising and lead capture functions to direct engagement within the Facebook mobile app.
Marketing Cloud Journey Builder connects the dots, capturing prospects from each ‘lookalike’ group to set in motion reminders and downstream comms.
Campaign activity is delivering fantastic numbers.
With Advertising Studio directing segmentation and targeting, each one of Next Gen’s six clubs reaches up to 50,000 lookalike customers on Facebook who live and work within the catchment of a Next Gen club. By digital standards not huge numbers, but Savage wasn’t interested in volume. Rather, the goal was to optimize advertising spend by targeting people most likely to join up – ‘lookalike’ customers.
The approach is working wonders, boosting enquiries by 32%.
Andrew Savage, Next Gen’s director of marketing and product, says Marketing Cloud’s one-to-one customer model ensures the company drives across the broad increases in high-quality lead generation and conversion.
“It’s the combination of customer segmentation, lead generation, and customer journeys – that’s the real difference,” he said. “And then being able to use different tools from properties like Facebook – it’s just a more intelligent way to reach people and drive leads.”
“Marketing Cloud is a very strong contributor,” said Savage. “One-to-one cross channel communication is a new kind of approach for Next Gen – and it’s delivering great results.”