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We recently spoke to Catherine Allan, an Associate Director of CRM at Babylon health, a Digital healthcare service with a mission to put accessible and affordable health service into the hands of everyone. After starting her career in journalism, Allan moved into Marketing, a seemingly natural transition given her copywriting experience. Given the transformation in technology and the use of Data within Marketing, she has seen the significant impact that it has had within the space. Reflecting on what attracted her into CRM Marketing in the first place, she explains, “It’s that ability to really get to know the audience, what they look like. You have a very defined group of people that you can look at exactly how they are responding – you can get to know their likes, dislikes and respond to them in ways that you can engage them more. You can keep them working with or using your product or organisation”. Initially working for Ten Lifestyle Group, her clients varied from travel businesses to large financial brands. Like many at the time, they had their traditional methods but, as would soon become a trend within the industry, they started to change things up. Allan expands, “We started experimenting with CRM with the members of our concierge to see if we could. How much better would those people respond to tailored communication over those who received a newsletter of generic stuff?”. Enter the use of Data to tailor CRM offerings. Their first application was to their travel clients, “If we knew someone had a skiing holiday versus a holiday in September one year, we would follow up the following year. Isn’t it time to pick a holiday?”. It seems natural now, but it signified that shift from the mass-communication to segmented customer profiles. As Marketing teams became more Data-driven, however, customers had to get used to that change of communication. Allan remembers the shift well, “When I first started in CRM, it wasn’t personalised at all but I started to see that people got more used to you knowing their Data and using it. It became less freaky to show that you knew something about them. At the beginning, we were having to be careful about how much we evidenced that we knew, you couldn’t really say I know you’ve had a Ski Holiday. But over the course of the years people have started to expect that, almost like it would be weird if marketeers didn’t know that. The culture towards that use of Data and personalisation has changed”. However, she explains, there is a limit, “With what people are expecting from your CRM, there is a scaling to how you present stuff. You don’t want to be creepy, you don’t want to overstep it by knowing too much”. Now, moving into the health-tech space at Babylon, her work revolves around the products that they have on the market. Everything from applications that allow you to log your mood and sync your wearable tech, through to a health check function where you’re given a digital twin of your body. The use of Data within these products is, of course, on another level. The products produce Data-driven recommendations that are very specific to each users. She explains, “obviously in the Marketing team we don’t have access to people’s health records or any health information which they input into the app. So it’s about finding the right cadence to actually engage people with the product, as well as personalising using the Data we can see, such as demographics. Men and women have different health concerns and they differ for younger and older age groups.” Moving into the health space has opened up a different way of engaging with customers. Allan and her team were able to use their Data and produce newsletters that actually engaged their audience on a wider basis. She expands, “We found great success in sending regular newsletters just about health in general, people love to know how they compare to other people and they also want to know to be empowered to manage their own health”. Naturally, a company like Babylon feel the pressures of a global pandemic in what their customers expect from them to say and do. This is exactly what Allan’s team are now focused on. “When the pandemic came to the UK, as a healthcare company the first thought for the Marketing team was how can we support our members? What can we offer which is unique to Babylon which will add value. The answer we came to was offering information, guides and videos verified by doctors to counteract all those false stories out there about COVID-19”. Despite the technology to innovate, with things like interactive emails and unique content, there was still a need to strip things back. As Allan explains, “people are anxious, they are worried, they just want the right information, you’ve already got their attention”. Her team was responsible for launching this new product to members and developing lifestyle communications, whilst also keeping the members engaged and updated. Naturally, the communication during the pandemic shifted, “We upped our newsletter frequency from twice a month to twice a week for the first three weeks of lockdown, then down to once a week, a cadence which we are still maintaining with no drop off in interest” What were the results of these changes? “Our open rates went up, our click through rates went up and our unsubscribes reduced, although they were very low to start with) We reduced sends to once a week when we felt that there was less to say, which I think was better than continuing to send more and becoming boring. Our results over the last 6 weeks have been off the charts averaging a 34% open rate across the whole base of subscribers vs the 24% we were averaging before.” It’s clear that regardless of industry, from lifestyle to healthcare, the world of CRM has progressed. The information that we gather on customers is evolving, as is the way that we can speak to those customers too. One thing is clear however, from Allan’s experience, especially in the current circumstances, nothing takes away from a clear message. If you’re looking for your next CRM role or to build out your team, Harnham may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.
04. June 2020
It’s that time of year again. Decorations are going up, the temperature is dropping daily, and the year’s biggest shopping weekend is upon us. Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have started stateside, but they’re now a global phenomenon. This year, in the UK alone, shoppers are expended to spend £8.57 billion over the four-day weekend. But, for retailers, this mega-event means more than a cash injection. In the world of Data, insights gained from shopping and spending habits during this period can dictate their product and pricing strategies for the next twelve months. So what is it, exactly, that we can stand to learn from the Black Friday weekend? THE GHOST OF BLACK FRIDAY PAST There are a few interesting takeaways from 2018’s Black Friday weekend that will likely impact what we see this year. Firstly, and perhaps unsurprisingly given that it’s a few years since the event has become omnipresent, spending only increased about half as much as initially predicted. There are a number of reasons for this, but cynicism plays a central role. More and more, consumers are viewing Black Friday deals with an element of suspicion and questioning whether the discounts are as good as they’re promoted to be. This, combined with other major annual retail events, such as Amazon’s Prime Day, means that this weekend no longer has the clout it once did. However, 2018 also saw marketers doing more to stand out against the competition. Many businesses have moved away from traditional in-your-face sales messaging and some are even limiting their Black Friday deals to subscribers and members. By taking this approach, their sales stand out from the mass market and can help maintain a level of exclusivity that could be jeopardised by excessive discounts. In addition to branding, marketers making the most of retargeting saw an even greater uplift in sale. Particularly when it came to the use of apps, those in the UK using retargeting saw a 50% larger revenue uplift than those who didn’t. So, having reviewed last year’s Data; what should businesses be doing this year in order to stand out? GETTING BLACK FRIDAY-READY WITH DATA Businesses preparing for Black Friday need to take into account a number of considerations involving both Marketing and Pricing. For the latter, Data and Predictive Analytics play a huge role in determining what items should go on sale, and what their price should be. Far from just being based on gut instinct or word-of-mouth, algorithms derived from Advanced Analytics inform Machine Learning models that determine what should be on sale, and for how much. These take into account not only how many of each discounted product need to be sold to produce the right ROI, but also what prices and sales should be for the rest of the year in order to make the sale financially viable. In terms of Marketing, Deep Learning techniques can be used to accurately predict Customer Behaviour and purchases. These predictions can then reveal which customers are likely to spend the most over the weekend, and which are likely to make minimal purchases. Marketers can then, in the lead up to Black Friday, target relevant messaging to each audience whether it be “get all you Christmas shopping in our sale” or “treat yourself to a one-off item”. By carefully analysing the Data they have available and reviewing the successes and failures of their Black Friday events, businesses can generate greater customer loyalty and improve their sales year-round. If you’re looking to build out your Marketing Analytics team or take the next step in your career, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.
28. November 2019