Get Customers Excited About Your Brand: How Data Segmentation Can Help

By Ajay GuptaFebruary 14, 2018

Insights behind Great Clips’ 2017 award-winning digital campaign.

Big data has been around for some time. But, what’s changed is that companies can now make better sense of it. Today’s advanced computing technology allows data agencies the capability to sift through a file of 200 million people with a billion transactions in record-fast times.

True 1:1 targeting is getting closer to realization because we are now able to get enough individuals’ firmographic and transactional information in real-time to use that data effectively. Without this information gap, we can now design the entire creative based on past buying behavior. The 2017 DMA ECHO award-winning Great Clips campaign illustrated this quite flawlessly.

Great Clips, a nationally franchised hair salon company with more than 4,400 locations and 40,000 stylists in the U.S. and Canada, prides themselves as not only on being the largest hair salon organization in the country, but also on using new technologies to manage customer relationships.

Clients, for example, can check in online to reduce wait time at the salon, and stylists at any salon have access to a client’s hairstyle records, allowing clients maximum freedom and flexibility to access any salon or stylist, anywhere in the country, for the services they need.

Also, Great Clips uses new technologies to acquire and serve new clients, to retain them and serve them profitably. In January 2017, the company created a complex set of multi-channel campaigns integrating direct mail, digital and social media, and a mobile app, which salons could execute to increase client visits based on a highly personalized customer journey analysis.

Great Clips faced several key issues in its acquisition and retention marketing that needed to be addressed:

  • Develop a program that was both effective and easy to execute, to ensure maximum participation from franchisees.
  • Identify techniques that motivate salon visits without deep discounts that could erode profits.
  • Understand the customer buying process, so that the offer was received at the right time.
  • Deliver messages timed to customers’ haircut needs and preferences.
  • Craft messages relevant to customers’ demographic and behavioral profiles.

The Great Clips Customer Journey 121 Program
For the Great Clips Customer Journey 121 program, Stirista served as the online media buyer –  handling paid social and web advertising, as well as email delivery and strategy. In addition, we also served as an onboarder –  matching customer phone and postal records with online identities (email, ADID and cookies) and segmented the records in various buckets for online ad placements and offers.

Typically, loyalty programs are based around discounting for frequent customers. In the case of Great Clips, the entire strategy was based on hyper-segmenting the customer pool to precisely not send coupons to everyone.

Customer transaction and type of haircut information were captured for each visit, which allowed Great Clips to segment and market to customers based upon visit frequency, personal haircut “cycle” and salon proximity.

Prospects and customers were then modeled using geographic and demographic information to score and select “best” prospects to match with creative that resonated with each prospect’s or customer’s life stage (male/female, married, family with children, single and senior).  Ethnicity, while not a target, was assisted in select geographies by available imagery.

Thus, the three campaign segments consisted of:  

  • Transition/customer return: Those who would come to Great Clips anyway did not require a coupon incentive. Instead, the creative they received included a Great Clips branded or a humorous branded video, or a postcard reminder.
  • Customer acquisition:  Those who were determined to be less passionate about haircuts or had low-brand loyalty were targeted on a likely date for their next haircut with a tempting coupon offer.
  • Win back: Those who hadn’t come back to the salon in a while are given even better tempting coupon offer.  

The entire program required that the right creative be matched to the right data bucket on the week the customer may need a haircut. 

The Results: 21st Century Data-Driven Marketing, 1:1, Personified
Stirista contributed to Great Clips’ achieving an increased 315% ROI without over-couponing and provided Great Clips and its 85% of franchisee salon owners who participated additional dividends:

  • Smarter Discounting:  We learned from smarter local discounting that all salons make an outstanding ROI and experience incremental customer visit growth from targeted 1:1 marketing programs that are delivered to the right person at the right time with the right offer.
  • Customer Scoring and Touch Sequence: Prospects were scored and customers selected based on a variety of attributes. Those with higher scores (more likely to visit) were communicated to more often with traditional print and digital vehicles than those with  lower scores.
  • Proven Programs Redesigned for the Future:  To make the proven programs meet the needs of today’s technology, digital components were  added – web banners, Facebook Ads, Google Ad Words and Great Clips App messaging.  All customer interaction points were  choreographed across all channels based on where each customer was on his or her journey.
  • Test, Learn, Report, Refine and Repeat:  Test and control groups were continuously analyzed with the focus to improve upon existing programs and identify new opportunities.

Great Clips is now rolling out the Journey 121 program nationally and developing new spin-offs, such as a special grand opening campaign package for individual franchisees launching new salons.

Journey 121 was a stellar example of how data, analytics and created blended together to create a tight knit program of coordinated multi-channel communications that, in the end, supported Great Clips’ corporate objectives, which, along with buy-in from participating business partners across the country, resulted in profitable growth for them all.

Check out Ajay Gupta, Doug Donaldson and Heather Briggs as they share the Great Clips case study findings at LeadsCon Las Vegas. Register Today!

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