Marketing departments have experienced major shifts and transformations since the rise of digital channels. New roles, like chief digital officers, content creators and data scientists, are now all necessary team members to stay competitive in the quickly changing landscape.
One brand is making data an integral member of not only its marketing department, but all departments across the company.
Under Armour, the Baltimore-based lifestyle and fitness brand catering to all athletes — from T-ball players to professionals — wants to empower every athlete to be his or her best. It’s even reflected in the brand’s mission statement: To make all athletes better.
Its marketing department is focusing on a single customer view initiative using data collected from its digitally connected fitness community of 195 million users worldwide.
And how does Under Armour have all of that data on that many people worldwide? Within the past two years, the brand acquired nutrition and fitness tracking app MyFitnessPal, social fitness network Endomondo and exercise tracker MapMyRun. All of the users’ data has been tracked since, giving the marketing department an inside look into the lives of its consumers.
“The goal is to personalize every digital interaction everywhere in the world,” said Kurt Kendall, global head of consumer engagement for Under Armour.
This is why Under Armour now considers itself a “math house,” meaning it makes every business decision based on what the data says.
Linking big data and decision-making, of course, isn’t a new idea. However, very few companies are investing in it as heavily as Under Armour. The acquisitions of MapMyRun, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal cost Under Armour a cool $1 billion — a lot for a company with an annual revenue of $4 billion.
Under Armour has made its investment in data an integral part of the company, and especially its marketing department. What can other marketers learn from taking Under Armour’s “math house” approach?
1. Personalized Marketing
Under Armour uses the data it collects to drive consumers to buy certain products. For example, when app users visit Under Armour’s homepage, it will be personalized based on their fitness activity. The homepage will show products for the activities you do, like running shoes or yoga pants.
Under Armour’s next goal is personalizing the in-store experience. One day, marketing to shoppers in-store may be as simple as a consumer walking into a store and sharing exact information with a store associate based on data collected in the app — e.g., how that person runs, how far he or she runs, how his or her foot hits the ground, etc. The store associate will then be able to provide the best experience for that consumer with the data collected.
2. Location-Based Marketing
With the data Under Armour collects through the MyFitnessPal app, the retailer has information about when and where certain activities happen. For example, Under Armour can track where people are running in Los Angeles at any given time. This helps Under Armour’s wholesale partners gear marketing to people while they’re doing a certain activity.
“We can drive insights from data, not just collect it,” explains Kendall.
3. Content Marketing
Under Armour has 195 million MyFitnessPal app users, but the brand needs to make the app content relevant to show its value to these consumers. To do this, the app curates to the individual’s motivational drivers. If someone is training for a 10K run, for example, the app will help him or her train. Without relevant content, users would unsubscribe.
A “math house” mentality requires a cultural change within the company. Everyone on the team needs to be on the same page, using data to determine how every decision is made. Marketing departments, in particular, can benefit from this effort — and they don’t have to spend $1 billion. Collecting data and using it to drive insights, making it a part of the team, can result in a single customer view strategy, leading to successful one-to-one marketing campaigns.
To learn more about how to build a balanced team with the right talent, check out Build the Ultimate Marketing Team.