Some folks have a knack for gift giving. They just know the perfect gift for every special occasion, leaving you marveling at their great intuition and taste. However, while intuition may be good enough for some, Cleveland-based personalized gift retailer Things Remembered has taken gift giving closer to a science.
What started as a key kiosk in a shopping mall parking lot has grown into a nationwide enterprise with approximately $300 million in sales, more than 650 retail locations and some 7 million active customers on file (another 8 million customers make up its customer archive). Specializing in personalized gifts for all occasions—everything from wedding and baby gifts to plaques, awards and holiday-related items—this marketer has enjoyed solid growth for the past three years. Its Web channel alone has grown more than 40 percent year-over-year during the same time frame.
At the heart of this growth is a constant exchange of knowledge between the company’s three channels—retail, catalog and Web—supported by its powerful multichannel database. Knowing which customers are buying when and why has enabled Things Remembered to create effective, integrated marketing efforts highly in tune with customers’ gift giving needs.
“We’re kind of different, because we’re in the gift business and we’re occasion driven,” says Terry Mulhern, vice president of marketing for Things Remembered. “We’re not trying to find the right offer for the right occasion; what we’re trying to do is find the right customer for the [right] occasion.” Knowing which customers are most likely to buy for a particular celebration or holiday, then marketing the appropriate offers to those customers is the essence of Things Remembered’s strategic approach. It’s not surprising then, that the backbone of the marketer’s operation is its customer database, which serves as a repository of all relevant customer and campaign-related data. All three channels feed into this central database. “We capture more than 80 percent of our customer names and addresses at retail,” says Mulhern.