During our recent Power to the Marketer Festival, hosted in partnership with Vogue Business, we learned the tips and strategies for success used by leading brands and marketers all around the globe. Amidst the varied perspectives and unique insights offered, one common theme continued to surface and was top-of-mind for most marketers: how do we deliver satisfying experiences that keep customers engaged and delighted? 

This question was tackled head on during the session: Happy Socks’s Journey from Disparate Data to Unified Customer View (available on demand). We heard from Happy Socks marketers Carl-Johan Claesson, Senior CRM Consultant, and Sabrina Lindner, CRM Campaign and Project Manager, as they discussed how the popular retailer and manufacturer focused on data consolidation to attain a unified view of their customers and deliver the highly relevant 1:1 experiences their customers desire. 

Here are three ways that Happy Socks leverages connected data to provide better customer experiences that lead to improved business results for the brand. 

Defining a Vision for Customer Engagement

Today’s brands know that, to be successful, their data is just as important as their products. On the road to success, having a great product is an excellent place to start. But without a clear understanding of your customers — and more accurately, the data that represents them — you’ll struggle to match them to the most relevant products or services. 

For Happy Socks, achieving their vision of customer engagement required them to overcome several data-related challenges. They sought a level of engagement that allowed them to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. This meant always-on personalized automations, rather than manual one-off campaigns. It also meant building out a data strategy based on customer insights. 

Here’s how Carl-Johan Claesson, Senior CRM Consultant for Happy Socks, described it:

“So it’s not just all about the socks. We obviously have to think about the data here as well. And reaching our vision for customer engagement then hinged on overcoming several key challenges. And the number one was that we lacked a clear data strategy based on customer insights. There were none, and for a long time there were none. And that’s something that we obviously wanted to ratify and make sure that we had a solid foundation for data. We also had a lean team, and we needed to shift from manual one-off campaigns that we were pretty much banking on, to automize, or automate, rather, the whole process for all of our customers. And then we also needed to just make sure that we were giving our customers what they wanted. And with everything with CRM — it’s like the right message to the right person at the right time — and we needed all of this to kind of be in a synergy in order to reach that level of engagement that we wanted to achieve.”

Carl-Johan Claesson
Senior CRM Consultant, Happy Socks

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Building the Foundation for Scalable 1:1 Marketing

Personalized communications can be phenomenally impactful because they make customers feel understood, valued, and appreciated as individuals, rather than faceless numbers in your database. Naturally, the “trick” to making such communications work is that they truly are personalized — in other words, the content of the messages, as well as the timing and channel of delivery, are specific and relevant for the individual based on their unique data and behavior. 

That sounds easy enough if you can count your total number of customers with two hands. But what happens when your customer database gets to 1,000? 100,000? 1,000,000? Personalization is what keeps your customers coming back to your brand, and you can’t risk losing that personal touch as your business scales. This makes it critical to build a solid data foundation that will allow your brand to deliver 1:1 experiences at any scale. 

In this clip, Carl-Johan Claesson explains how Happy Socks centered their strategy around scalable, 1:1 marketing.

“And our strategy then centered on building a data foundation that would allow us to scale and personalize. So first and foremost, we needed to establish a marketing database with all the data that we needed in order to make decisions and to power our automation. So that was number one. And we knew that, with Emarsys, that we could attain that. It was just a matter of going the distance to achieve that goal — making sure that our data was clean, and making sure that our feeds were correct, and then making sense of that data, basically. Together with all these data points, we can, or rather, the foundation that Emarsys gives us to utilize the data and to view the data and to use the data, we could actually become more connected to our customers in that way. And then we needed to obviously scale the customer engagement through automated lifecycles, instead of just relying on the one-off campaigns that we’ve been doing for so long.”

Carl-Johan Claesson
Senior CRM Consultant, Happy Socks

To Meet Customers on Their Terms, Get Your “Ducks in a Row”

Marketing automation makes it easier to ensure your customers never miss a communication from your brand. Great, but for those communications to actually feel meaningful to the customer and less… well, automated… you’ll need to add personalization to the mix. You’ll also want to ensure you can automate your 1:1 content to be delivered on the right channel at the right time. 

Personalized, cross-channel marketing automations will enable your brand to meet customers on their terms with the content they want. But, again, if your data is not unified in a way to give you a single view of the customer and drive real-time omnichannel personalization, you’ll struggle to live up to the expectations of your customers. Fortunately, with the right technology in place, you can achieve your most ambitious personalized customer engagement goals. But it might take a little organization and strategy of your data first. Or, as Claesson refers to it, getting your “ducks in a row.”

Watch this clip to learn how Happy Socks got their ducks in a row to unlock data-driven customer insights and true 1:1 engagement.

“Yeah, meet the customers on their terms through localization and personalization. […] We wanted to personalize as much as possible. And in order to do so — as we were on a journey to, basically, establish a marketing database foundation, to be able to make these data-led decisions, and also making it possible for us to establish different automations and working in that way — what we needed to do, at first, was just to identify key customer data sources and ensure their functionality. So, [these were] different things that we needed to ensure, obviously, within the Emarsys platform, and it had everything to do with our purchase history and our product data. But then, also, connecting it to our website for web engagement, and then making sense of the email engagement from all the campaigns that we sent out. Now, in the beginning, we did not have all of these points in — we didn’t have our ducks in a row, so to speak — but we knew what we needed to do in order to achieve this. And [we] started there, and [we] took the first baby steps on this journey together to achieve this marketing database foundation.

Carl-Johan Claesson
Senior CRM Consultant, Happy Socks

Final Thoughts

Today’s marketers understand how quickly markets change, technology advances, and customer demands fluctuate. Adapting and learning is a necessity — marketers who get too comfortable sticking with one approach and never changing will fail to deliver the marketing-driven revenue results their business demands. One of the best ways to do this, of course, is to learn from your peers. 

The Happy Socks’s session at the Power to the Marketer Festival was a perfect learning opportunity for marketers looking for ways to boost their 1:1 marketing strategy, or aren’t even sure where to begin. Although Carl-Johan Claesson shared a wealth of marketing insights during the session, perhaps the biggest takeaway was the importance of connecting your data and building a proper data foundation to facilitate personalized customer engagement. Get your data right and you can deliver the highly relevant 1:1 omnichannel experiences your customers demand, at any scale. 

And by the way, if you have connected data mastered but still are looking for other ways to improve your marketing performance and strategy, our Power to the Marketer Festival had 100+ sessions covering a wide variety of topics, including personalization and automation, lifecycle and loyalty, analytics and AI, channels and content, and more! Visit our festival home page to access all the content — free, and on-demand.

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