TL; DR: Consumers interact with marketing content in so many places that it’s become integral for marketing professionals to make sense of non-linear customer journeys. One platform popular with retailers is the Oracle Marketing Cloud, which helps marketers unify data from multiple sources and make sense of it. Through a single dashboard, retailers like ModCloth use Oracle’s tools, such as its Responsys cross-channel orchestration solution, to set up customer segments and employ automated branching scenarios. This strategy saves money by using efficient, targeted marketing while driving sales through highly relevant messaging.
From email and e-commerce to in-store and mobile, modern retail customers have numerous opportunities to interact with their favorite brands. As a result, marketers must find ways to reach out to consumers on a personalized level. After all, no path to purchase is identical.
Headquartered in San Francisco, online fashion retailer ModCloth turned to Oracle Marketing Cloud for help with making sense of customer interactions to improve marketing efficiency.
“One challenge was truly syncing up browse and purchase behavior into a unified customer profile, and then being really smart about how we coordinate message delivery across multiple touchpoints for the customer,” said Mike Janover, VP of Marketing at ModCloth.
Oracle Marketing Cloud and its cross-channel orchestration product, Oracle Responsys, have empowered ModCloth to collect disparate customer data from each interaction and bring it into a single dashboard designed to make marketers better at their jobs. With so much information at the ready, marketing professionals can create highly detailed segments and set up if-then branching automation that speaks to customers in a timely, relevant manner to drive sales.
“I want brands to know who I am,” said Austin Miller, Director of Product Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud. “With channel fragmentation, we have many businesses dealing with systems not talking to each other so it’s hard for retailers to understand the context of interactions.”
Built to be scalable and flexible thanks to an ecosystem of more than 550 partners and 900 integrations, the Oracle Marketing Cloud has a number of products under its umbrella, many of which are being used by ModCloth’s marketing team. The retailer is using Responsys as its ESP (email service provider), Push for its mobile application push alerts, Rapid Retargeter for cart abandonment and real-time messaging, and Maxymiser as its personalization engine.
“Our tools are built for marketers,” Austin said. “The more we can empower them to do their jobs, the better off they’ll be.”
The Modern, Non-Linear Path to Purchase Requires Unified Views of Customer Data From Each Touchpoint
Marketing is evolving in response to rapid change in customer behavior. With modern shoppers facing a constant barrage of content, retailers have to employ creative, intelligent strategies to fight for consumer attention, especially when other retailers are selling the same products at similar prices.
“The more realistic customer journey is, ‘I have glancing interest. I’m trying to make a decision, and I just got a text message so nevermind,’” Austin said.
ModCloth is getting a leg up on the competition with Oracle’s Rapid Retargeter tool, which helps the retailer make automated outreach decisions that factor in customer information and preferences. Consumers want their favorite brands to know them, but they don’t want to receive the same promotion three times.
“On the delivery side, because we’re able to branch events, if I’ve got a message that I want to communicate out to you via email and push, and I’ve seen that you’ve engaged with one of them, I can suppress the other so I’m not duplicating messages to you,” Mike said.
Thanks to Oracle Marketing Cloud, ModCloth has increased customer engagement, and the retailer has the numbers to prove it.
“By using Rapid Retargeter and its ability to sync both email and app communication and do it in a more timely manner, we’ve improved our cart abandonment open rate by 79%,” Mike said. He also told us the tool has increased the click through rate on cart abandonment by 179% and the revenue per message by 160%.
Cart abandonment is one example, but Mike told us Rapid Retargeter is also being used for other outreach like the brand’s welcome series, restock alerts, wish list items that go on sale, category browse triggers, and transactional emails like order and shipping confirmation.
Leveraging Data to Identify New Prospects and Retain Customers
Marketing used to be about casting a wide net and hoping you caught some new customers. Now, it’s more about growing your brand by discovering customer segments based on similarities and speaking to an audience more likely to convert.
“It’s less about the size of the net and more like spearfishing,” Austin said. “It’s about identifying customers, learning more about them, and strengthening your relationship with them. How can I take my best customers and get more customers that look like them?”
The tools within Oracle Marketing Cloud are built to bring in information from third-party sources to derive deeper insights that can influence business decisions. For instance, a retailer might sell sports-themed clothing, but find that its regular customers are buying jerseys from a competitor. This type of insight can lead this retailer to try to understand why the same consumer is buying other items, but going elsewhere for sports clothing. Maybe it’s pricing or variety, but the first step to changing a trend is recognizing it and starting a conversation.
“One thing that’s important is speaking to customers where they are and not where you’d like them to be,” Austin said. “By this, I mean, ‘Where are they in their life cycle? What motivates them to buy? What are their demographics?’ It’s more than reacting to events.”
For now, ModCloth is focusing on its own customer data, but Mike told us the goal is to eventually bring additional insights into the process.
“Right now, we’re in the first or second inning of this game, so much of what we’re doing now is leveraging our first-party data — so browser or shopping behavior or purchase behavior,” Mike said.
A Scalable Platform with a Thriving Partner Ecosystem Sets Retail Businesses Up for Growth
Marketing teams for retailers of all sizes and types have approached Oracle, and each one has different needs as well as varied financial and personnel resources. That’s why Oracle Marketing Cloud is set up to be flexible, offering retailers the option to only pay for individual products or to use the entire suite.
“Our biggest focus is creating openness, so we prioritize interoperability,” Austin said.
To enable this, Oracle has a diverse internal ecosystem with more than 550 partners and 900 integrations with third-party application providers, including data and media partners.
By working in the Oracle Marketing Cloud and embracing the power of data in modern marketing, ModCloth has set itself up to do even more in the future.
“There are other layers of the Oracle Marketing Cloud that allow you to layer in additional third-party data, which would make us a lot smarter in our prospecting efforts,” Mike said. “We just started to test this working with Datalogix, which is part of Oracle’s Data Cloud this past month.”
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