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Marketing Concepts in Action: Serena & Lily on Customer Segmentation

We interview Carla Rummo, chief marketing officer at Serena & Lily, on how the home furnishing brand uses customer segmentation to engage customers.

Serena & Lily helps its customers create happy homes featuring great design and style. The lifestyle brand has been a customer of Acquia CDP for four years, relying on the CDP for insights that lead to smarter marketing strategies online and off. I recently sat down with Carla Rummo, chief marketing officer at Serena & Lily, to discuss how the brand uses customer data to more effectively segment and engage their audience with more relevant messages, targeted offers and better overall experiences. 

Omer: How has Acquia's CDP affected how you communicate with your audiences?

Carla: We have used Acquia CDP segmentation to determine the types of creative our customers see across both email and digital ads. What we have done is basically create four customer behavior segments that we have developed using Acquia CDP intelligence. Then we send these to Facebook as Custom Audiences. We have been able to customize ad creative to those audiences to get more engagement and more lift. We have also done that with our trigger email campaigns, and we are in the process of revamping the creative. We’ve also used Acquia CDP analysis to explore new customer acquisition based on product. We made sure our creative and welcome series emails reflect our top acquisition products so those customers are hopefully more likely to convert. 

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Carla Rummo
Carla Rummo, chief marketing officer at Serena & Lily

Another thing we do is send emails that are about certain categories to customers who have browsed that category. Say we’re ending a sale event on bed sheets, and we sent everybody a batch-and-blast email in the morning reminding them the sale is almost over. After that initial blast, we want to send an email in the last hour of the sale only to customers who browsed sheets but didn’t buy them. So this saves us an email send, which saves us in unsubscribe rates by making sure we send that second touch only to customers who we think are going to be interested in the reminder rather than inundating folks with multiple emails about something that they might not be interested in.

Omer: Serena & Lily works with both professional interior designers and consumers. How have you been able to adapt your marketing to these different audiences? 

Carla: In direct mail, we are using Acquia CDP segmentation for designers versus consumers. We developed a relatively complex mail segmentation with Acquia CDP and we are using that segmentation to send catalogs that are versioned for designers to designers and catalogs that are versioned for consumers to consumers. We send larger, more expensive catalogs to designers that also talk about the benefits of the Designer Circle Program. We wouldn't want to send that to consumers as it’s just not relevant to them.

We’ve also versioned the catalog to different geographies and different customer segments in local areas when we are opening a new design shop. For designers, we’ve done a broader radius. Say, for example, we just opened a design shop in Palm Beach, Florida. For local consumers, we would send a catalog that announces the new shop. But for designers, we might announce the new shop to the whole southeast, knowing that designers have a broader reach for the geographies they travel to for shopping for home decor. 

Omer: Can you speak about your challenges with identity resolution and how Acquia CDP helped? 

Carla: Our order management system and ERP system doesn’t deduplicate customers, so there was a lot of duplication in our data, which led to a lot of misleading KPIs around how many customers we had or the value of those customers. Acquia CDP has resolved that for us, and we now have a better understanding of what our customers are worth, how many of our customers are new, and how many are existing and repeat customers. That has allowed us to refine our customer acquisition cost target to make sure we’re acquiring customers profitably. We’ve been seeing increasing customer value, which has allowed us to spend more to acquire customers and grow profitability all at the same time. Without Acquia CDP, we wouldn't be able to share those metrics. 

Omer: What other benefits have you seen from using Acquia CDP?

Carla: Acquia CDP has helped us understand our segments and inform strategy. Understanding the value of a designer customer versus consumer, and understanding geographically where our high-value customers are and how they behave can help us figure out where to put new design shops. Our board is really interested in the marketing strategy as it relates to the value of our customers and health of our customer base, and Acquia CDP has been able to provide the insights they need. Acquia CDP also helps us measure the strength of the brand, which is always a very hard thing to determine. When you measure the health of your customer base, it’s a way to get at that amorphous concept of brand strength. But looking at lifetime value, engagement rates, and how those are trending over time gives us a clear, data-based indicator of the trajectory of the brand.

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