Unica powered unified view revolutionizes retail marketing

Sunday 01st, January 2012 ,

Unica powered unified view revolutionizes retail marketingRetailers often suffer from the ramifications of not having a comprehensive understanding of customer behaviour across touch points. This post talks about a particular situation where Unica provided the solution to retailer’s dilemma.

Lands’ End is a global merchant of clothing for men, women and children, soft luggage and products for the home. Given the marketplace changes and advances in technology, Lands’ End recognized the need to develop an infrastructure that would allow its marketers to create a single, comprehensive view of each customer. As part of its effort to better understand and target its customers, Lands’ End undertook an extensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) initiative.

In developing its customer-based marketing strategy, Lands’ End had several key goals. It wanted to gain cost efficiency by automating individual processes and eliminating constraints imposed by the current architecture and system. This basically referred to decouple tight interdependence between technical architecture and business process. Secondly, it aimed at empowering marketing staff to manage operational aspects of marketing campaigns (design and execution) while freeing up other resources to focus on strategic marketing (such as data mining and modeling). And lastly it wanted to improve customer segmentation and targeting capabilities.

To meet its challenges Lands’ End launched an exhaustive process to identify, select and ultimately partner with a marketing automation vendor. Of the three technologies presented, Unica’s Affinium Campaign was chosen as the optimal solution to automate Lands’ End’s catalog operations and boost its hybrid marketing capabilities. Unica’s AIM – Affinium Implementation Methodology not only laid the foundation for a proven best practice implementation methodology but also afforded Lands’ End the flexibility to utilize flat file extracts from its mainframe customer database.

To address these challenges and achieve its goals, Lands’ End and Unica Corporation planned an approach that relied on best practice methodology, tangible goals and prudent project scope. The solution was divided in two programs. Initially, it was about Product Acceptance. The company’s first task was to implement a pilot program. The pilot was completed in 14 weeks during the busiest time of year when Lands’ End was gearing up for the quarter in which it does about 40% of its annual business. Extracts from the legacy corporate database and flat files were used in product acceptance. Lands’ End had a persistent, unique customer key that allowed staff to join disparate data feeds. Additionally, through Unica’s UDI (Universal Dynamic Interconnect™), Affinium Campaign had the flexibility to map to any data structure available – relational or flat file – simultaneously so it could integrate last minute suppression lists or segments not stored in the data mart. The second program was Production Environment Architecture. Lands’ End migrated from its corporate database residing on a mainframe OS390 system to an open architecture on an IBM UDB-EE AIX system. The final environment was a physical two-tier implementation involving Windows clients, Affinium Campaign Server and DB2 data mart on one RS6000/AIX. In addition, Promotion History DB2 Tables on the OS390 were accessed using Affinium Campaign’s UDI capability.

The results as an outcome of the Unica’s Affinium were definitely in favor of Land’s End. Unica helped Land’s End achieve an empowered marketing staff to manage design, development and execution of marketing campaigns. It helped in collecting leveraged abundant data from multiple locations. With Unica’s Affinium, Land’s End moved to flexible, open systems environment. Furthermore, Unica enhanced customer understanding across channels and also resulted in significant cost savings achieved by reducing unprofitable mailings. As Affinium Campaign becomes the staple marketing tool, Lands’ End can define and track a multitude of customer contact strategies. As Affinium Campaign can support any number of versions of a mailing, Lands’ End can execute custom, individualized mailings, reducing overall production costs and enhancing revenue through its more customer-focused efforts.

Unica Corporation, its Affinium Suite and its staff partnered with Lands’ End to provide best practice methodology, a proven track record of success, robust functionality built to empower marketing staff, rich functionality to automate the marketing campaign process, and superior customer segmentation capability. Additionally, like many retail organizations, the company’s data resided in multiple locations rather than a single database: but, unlike other systems, Affinium Campaign allowed the retailer to map to disparate data sources simultaneously. The ability to analyze and leverage customer data, understand and predict customer behavior and implement fine-tuned, automated marketing campaigns across business channels was critical to Lands’ End decision to partner with the erstwhile Unica Corporation.



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