In the cases that follow, the upfront work was far from easy. The results, however, were more than worth the effort.
Case Study: Retail giant moves toward customer-centricity
Situation: Retailer RadioShack, a company that had long collected customer information at the point of sale, decided to change its strategy to become more customer-centric, incorporating targeted offers into its marketing mix.
Problem: The company’s existing database was a mainframe system designed as an operational data store. Its purpose was to get the right merchandise to the right retail locations. It was not designed for customer contact. The data that was available was difficult to access.
Goal: The biggest opportunities the company saw, says Tom DeNapoli, vice president of marketing communications for the Fort Worth, Texas-based company, were to “change our media to target our customers more effectively; integrate our e-mail and direct mail data in one place so we have a better picture of who our customers are and their channel preferences for working with RadioShack; and understand what the different segments purchase and what they need so we can create and market new technology/products and services more effectively.”
The Process: Working with SwatTeam Partners, a marketing consultancy based in Horseheads, N.Y., RadioShack decided to outsource the building of the database. After a thorough RFI and RFP process, RadioShack chose San Antonio, Texas-based direct marketing and targeted media company Harte-Hanks to build the database.
“We then went through a detailed process called discovery where we interviewed about 70 [internal data users] who gave us feedback about their needs,” explains DeNapoli.
Following discovery, RadioShack sent sample data to Harte-Hanks “to better understand the data, ranges, quality, etc.,” says DeNapoli. After building the database based on the users’ needs, RadioShack created sample reports and internal training programs, as well as an “executive leadership team to review the work at each step” and “an internal database committee [comprised] of IT and marketing folks who worked together to identify what data was needed, where it was, how it would be used and the business rules around it,” says DeNapoli.