Gathering to Learn: A Roundtable with Cabbages and Roses

Digital Marketing is an ever-changing landscape, so it’s great when minds get together to try and navigate a decent path through it all. Simon Bird, dotMailer’s CTO, listened in on one of our regular industry gatherings, aiming to do just that, last week.

This month we invited some of Britain’s leading brands to attend one of our roundtable events – a space where strategic level marketing leaders can share and discuss their experiences with digital and email marketing, talk about their shared and unique challenges over the coming months.

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Cabbages and Roses’ Holly Leigh Harvey

An opportunity to listen

At the heart of this event, we invited Holly Leigh Harvey, Marketing Director for online niche homeware retailer Cabbages and Roses, to talk about her company’s approach to using l marketing automation and the outstanding results they’ve achieved. The roundtables are a great opportunity for us to hear first-hand what the issues facing our immediate client-base are, and how we can shape our platform to help service those needs. Joining us around the table were brands such as Toni & Guy, Sous Chef, Interior Addict and World Duty Free to name a but a few.

Award-winning Strategies

Holly began the session talking about Cabbages and Roses’ history, leading up to the fully integrated web-and-email ecommerce program that the dotMailer Magento team built for them. One of these marketing automation programs in particular – their loyalty program – has earned the brand a nomination for ‘Digital Marketing Campaign of the Year’ in BT and Retail Week’s Technology Awards 2014. Read about the full case study here.

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Email for Retail

Holly went on to talk about how her email marketing programme had helped to both build and nurture a loyal customer base. In particular, the data that Cabbages and Roses can now query and segment using the dotMailer for Magento integration enables the brand to easily identify and target customers based on purchase behaviour through a single-customer view. When asked by delegates on best practice towards initially capturing user emails, Holly simply answers, “Ask them! If someone already likes your brand – and if they’re visiting your site, they probably already do – a simple nudge like a pop-up form, really does work.”

Digital vs. Bricks-and-Mortar?

Many of the delegates identified a disparity between the ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retail and digital sides of their businesses. For many brands across the UK, traditional retail still feels that it’s in competition with digital for footfall and customers. How should stores split commission? Should traditional retail stores become activity hubs, in the same way that Thomson Travel has done with its BlueWater store? Earlier this year, eConsultancy highlighted a convergence between online and in-store, pointing to a study on ‘the connected consumer’ within retail fashion  – an entity that made up of less than 25% of shoppers but represented 69% of all spending power. These connected consumers look for a seamless user experience from a brand. Digital, including email and social, must then extend the reach of its interactions and transactions with customers, but should not change its message or values – offline and online should be fluid. Many UK brands are still experimenting as to what this kind of customer experience would look like, but none doubt the benefits it would bring, such as a single customer view, consistent data and cross-channel promotion, and better order visibility.

Content with your content?

Many of our delegates talked about how they were upping budgets for content creation, and looking to email as the medium of choice for beginning conversations and continuing relationships across other channels. Again, the issue of being able to serve relevant content to users and contextualise their products according to purchase segments was a central theme of discussion. The response was to address the type and volume of data collected – and where it was being collected. Many brands seem to affect a ‘collect-all’ policy, without know which part of the company is actually dealing with it or even determining the value of the data, through something like CRM-scoring. It’s worth checking out our Data-Driven Whitepaper, which is a step-by-step guide towards ensuring that the data you’re capturing is valuable from the start, and more importantly – clean.

Shared Concerns – A Shared Opportunity?

All of our delegates were on various stages of the marketing automation journey and were pleasantly surprised to understand that they all shared many of the same concerns. They all wanted to know the best way to capture user data, enriching current lists , the best way of identifying brand advocates, and of course, the best metrics to measure ROI with.

The Future?

At dotMailer, we see much of the future of eCommerce success in becoming recommendation engines – content should have an intrinsic value to customers, as opposed to simply existing as extended advertisements. We talk to this point in one of our blogs from earlier this year. Email marketing is continuing to mature, despite being such an established channel. We can see that many British brand marketers suffer the same rote problems, which could be addressed from the efficiencies that good marketing automation delivers, allowing them to quickly move on, addressing higher issues within marketing strategy, such as content creation and advanced segmentation. If you’d like to join our automation conversations, why not start by signing up to one of our webinars, and following us on Twitter.

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