Homebase found patterns in shopping behaviours in both transactional and non-transactional data, identifying customer needs close to ‘Share of Project’ spending opportunities. They identified 10 project trigger identifiers and then analysed the length and shape of the sales curves to quantify the purchasing opportunity. For each, they created a personalised communication plan. Responding quickly enough to be relevant was critical. Homebase was able to get direct mail delivered within six days and email in two. Dynamic templates made the communication truly personalised, delivering the right message at the right time to increase customer value.
Homebase uses data patterns to deliver personalised customer support for DIY'ers.
USED DATA PATTERNS
TO DELIVER PERSONALISED
Home improvement projects outside of key seasonal drivers, are irregular and
unpredictable. Part of Homebase’s marketing strategy had been to promote
everything and discount on a frequent basis.
The direct marketing strategy had been built around monthly high volume event
mailings with blanket discounts. Where targeted communications were used,
it was taking eight weeks to go from data point collection to comms delivery.
Homebase had fallen into a cycle of promotion and discounting, with a focus on
improving the 9% response rate – ignoring the 91% of non-responders and
overlooking the fact that they obtained less than 50% share of wallet for
The Trigger programme turned the old approach on its head and put the customer
at the heart of its thinking. In partnership with their agency MRM Meteorite, the
new thinking delivered a step change in Homebase’s marketing strategy and
communications. Understanding a customer’s need (or intent) for any given home
or garden improvement task meant Homebase could initiate, maximise and
acknowledge the projects that customers went through and grow customer
By finding patterns in shopping behaviours in both transactional and non-
transactional data it identified customer needs as close to spending opportunities
as possible. The ability to make unpredictable behaviour predictable, led to the
plan to spot specific behaviours that indicated a future need, then act quickly to
prompt further spend, growing what was called ‘Share of Project’.
After over 750 hours analysing different product, purchase and non-purchase
behaviours, web browsing and other indicators, 10 project behaviours were
identified. The analysis showed the length and shape of the sales curves and
quantified the opportunity. For each, they created a communication plan
personalised around a product the customer had purchased, and the opportunity.
This built on the recognised data knowledge that, a customer buying a kitchen
would also eventually need tiles, flooring, lighting and paint. But it went further to
identify new insights, for example, people who bought birdseed were found to be
eight times more likely to be considering a new kitchen. These insights were then
used to initiate purchases.
Responding quickly enough to be relevant was critical. By evolving data
management and fulfilment processes (with no new systems or budget)
Homebase was able to get direct mail delivered within six days and email
in two. Dynamic templates made the communication truly personalised.
The communication used the purchased product as the feature image, highlighted
local store details and included offers that were competitive in that area. This very
personalised CRM programme provided highly dynamic communications and
unique communications for each customer ensuring the brand delivered the right
message at the right time ultimately increasing customer value.
Through the ten integrated DM, email and store programmes Homebase created
engagements and activities that recognised a customer’s lifecycle, lifestage,
behaviour and value. First time shoppers, seasonal purchasers and frequent
visitors became part of the lifecycle programmes that welcomed and maintained
regular contact around season or interest. And relevant offers were targeted to
those at significant lifestages such as moving home or retiring. Highly responsive
DM, email and ‘at till’ communications were triggered by spend and non-spend
behaviours in order to maximise the brand’s share of a specific project. And
magazines, emails and inspiring shareable content were created to increase
customer value further. Homebase developed a hierarchy to determine customer
inclusion in a programme and used dynamic content to deliver a message to suit
their interest or project.
The strategy has been transformational. The evolved CRM programme has
delivered incremental sales four times greater than it did three years ago – ROI up
350% to 4.3:1. The new CRM strategy smashed the profit target by +48%.
All ten programmes exceeded targets – sales 17%, profit 20% and ROI 22%.
The focus on timely and relevant communication has created a demonstrably
more engaged and valuable customer in terms of both total spend and activity –
for example DM response increased from an average of 9% to a maximum of 46%,
up 500%, ATV increased by 13.5% and repeat visits up 6%.
Sources: DMA Best Multi-channel CRM programme Gold Award 2014, DMA Data Strategy Silver Award 2013,
Marketing Week Engage Award Winner CRM/Loyalty and Direct Marketing 2014
Homebase and MRM Meteorite