Known for its bright, youthful prints, Lilly Pulitzer is an iconic brand that produces clothing, jewelry, accessories, stationery and bedding. Founded in 1959, the brand now maintains 75 signature stores (also known as Via Shops) in addition to being sold in scores of retail stores.
A 60+ year old brand, Lilly Pulitzer had gained a reputation for dressing some of the best. However, Lilly execs realized they would need to make some changes to their brand and marketing in order to compete in the modern digital age. Understanding that consumers were interacting with brands via a variety of channels, the company knew it had to master multichannel or risk losing relevance and market share.
Lilly execs realized that the company must make changes in order to ensure its pre-Internet brand could survive and thrive in the new digital age. But the number of new frontiers — from the brand and consumers to products, distribution, technology, communications and the new need for omnichannel marketing strategies — presented challenges. Additionally, capturing the attention of important millennial shoppers — who held the power to encourage other demographics to embrace the brand — meant that the company needed to deliver experiences customized to the individual rather than taking a traditional audience segmentation approach.
Lilly partnered with AgilOne, an Acquia company, in order to break down data silos across marketing and operational systems. By combining data from its CRM system, website and in-store interactions into a single unified platform, Lilly was better able to analyze and understand its consumer journey and preferences.
Using AgilOne’s consumer segmentation tools, the company executed its two-pronged strategy of facilitating a customer-centric approach based on solid data. Lilly was able to more effectively manage direct mail and email marketing campaigns, benefitting from integrated modern consumer reporting and analysis tools in addition to predictive analytics like behavioral and propensity modeling. And by marrying platform insights with store observations and larger marketplace research, the Lilly team was able to achieve a 360-degree view of their customers.
The enhanced capabilities AgilOne’s segmentation tools provided have dramatically improved Lilly Pulitzer’s ability to deliver customized experiences. By relying on analytics and data instead of trying to reach a single idealized millennial shopper persona, the company has identified critical touchpoints in the customer journey and developed corresponding marketing programs and has benefitted from the results. For example, by taking advantage of name personalization deeply embedded in new customer direct mail pieces, both retention and ROI increased — and because customers were so delighted with these highly customized mailers, they shared photos of them on social media, further boosting brand awareness.
By creating highly relevant, data-targeted content, the company’s direct mail and email response rates regularly top industry averages. Additionally, the company’s continued focus on mobile has paid off, with mobile traffic representing more than half the company’s e-commerce traffic.