Case Study

Stylist Increases Customer Retention by Creating an Operational Customer 360

stylist graphic

When you have many different views of the customer, which do you trust?

Having multiple cloud marketing providers led Stylist into a position of not knowing which view of their data accurately reflected the state of the customer. Unifying their messaging activities with MessageGears provided them with a single, unified view of their readers — raising net retention and lowering overall marketing overhead.

Key Outcomes

92% Rolling 6-Month Engagement

92% of customers engage with the brand over the course of 6 months

Definitive Customer Lifetime Value

Having a singular source of truth allowed Stylist to calculate and improve a definitive LTV

Fast Onboarding

The entire onboarding process took less than 5 weeks from contract signature

15% Increase in Read and Click Rates

Email read and click rates up 15% from before the switch to MessageGears

The Problem: Which Data Do You Trust?

Marketing Organizations that are forced to ship copies of customer data to their messaging providers often have to make a choice: which set of engagement data accurately reflects how customers are interacting with their brand? With different vendors copying data at different times and feeds being inconsistent or potentially incomplete, no two sets of numbers match — which leads to different parts of the organization trusting their “preferred” statistics.

This is the situation that Stylist, a UK-based fashion and lifestyle magazine (who last year penned their 500th issue), found themselves in at the beginning of 2019. Tash Gandotra, Head of CRM for Stylist, recently sat down with us to explain the difficulty they were having:

“Before we were using MessageGears, we didn’t quite trust our data. There were lots of different touchpoints and places where everything was kept. One team had one set of numbers, and another team had their favorites — it was a bit chaotic.”

But why is having consistent data important? Tash goes on to explain:

“Accurate data is key to keeping people happy . . . Sending out blast emails without knowing they bought something yesterday is just bothering them. Even with a lag of one day or even twelve hours, you can turn what you think is a really great communication with your audience to something that just feels sloppy to them.”

The Solution: Unify and Own Your Customer Data

Marketing activities and lack of trust in data certainly led to things seeming scattered, which is why they knew they had to invest in, and own, their marketing data. Stylist upgraded their internal data warehouse using Amazon RDS — giving them total control over data in and out. Now, all they needed was a solution that fit their vision.

“MessageGears really fit in well to the way we had designed our marketing data, and allowed us to really own and use the data available to us . . . Owning our own data in our own database is the most important thing we’ve taken away from this transition,” says Tash — and given how quickly they were able to get up and running, it seems like Stylist and MessageGears were a perfect fit. MessageGears installed directly on top of Stylist’s database and gave them the ability to use the 360-degree view of the customer they created. 

“The entire onboarding for Stylist must have taken less than five weeks from the time we agreed on the contract,”  said Taylor Jones, SVP Customer Success at MessageGears. “Since they had assembled all of their data into a single place, the template design and audience creation went crazy fast, and they were up and running in less than a month.”

Tash likened the solution to filling the marketing ‘bucket:’ “There is no point in putting lots of money into the bucket if you have holes in the bottom . . . MessageGears helped us plug the holes in our data and gave us a way to see and use our data.”

The Results: A Single 360 View of the Customer Makes Marketing Better

With all of their data available and accessible to the MessageGears solution, they nearly instantly started to realize results from the switch.

“Right away, being able to better measure net retention and customer satisfaction was an amazing benefit — beyond just knowing the numbers, being able to answer people’s questions. And for key stakeholders, being able to answer their questions about customers confidently, quickly, and accurately was great.”

Beyond just being able to see customer engagement, they had a better understanding of how and when to reach out to their readers. Within a year of installing MessageGears, 6-month net engagement across their entire audience base was above 90% with email read and click rates up 15% from before the switch.

And as if the increase in audience engagement wasn’t enough, Tash and her team found it easy to justify the additional investment in data as well. 

“Running really effective retention campaigns is a great way we have been able to show our senior leadership teams the benefit of investing in our data” Tash said. “MessageGears has brought us clarity, trust, and accuracy.”