Retailer Uses Database to Serve Executive Clientele (711 words)
"What that means in real terms is that we can look at the historical preferences of our customers, and, for instance, see if a customer who used to buy American suits now likes a more contemporary European look in his clothing," Mitchell explains. That information can be used two ways: at the point-of-sale and for direct marketing efforts. All of this data is accessible from one of more than 40 computer terminals on the 25,000-square-foot selling floor, allowing sales reps to direct customers to appropriate clothing suggestions.
Mitchells' also uses the database a second way—for one-to-one marketing. For instance, Mitchell says, "The database would show our sales rep that Bob Smith hasn't bought business shoes in three years. Then we can send him a special note about some Italian shoes we have just coming in," he says.
To facilitate this type of communication, Mitchell says, "We collect positions and companies, birthdays, anniversaries, kids' names and ages, e-mail addresses—as much information as the customer is willing to part with." One personalized mailing using information from the database resulted in $314,000 worth of sales.
Decisions about whom to mail special offers or follow up thank you notes are left to the sales reps. All reps are assigned certain customers to be responsible for. "We try to connect a person with a person," says Mitchell, noting that the 186 CEOs in the database appreciate the personalized approach.
The company handles creative and marketing for direct mail and other promotions inhouse. Says Mitchell, "We try to have some kind of event each weekend, like an Escada trunk sale or a dinner for high-end customers. At the push of a button, we can get a list of customers who've spent over a certain amount for the year to invite to such events."