Since 2008, Treatwell has been on a mission to become the world’s leading marketplace for booking hair and beauty. Robert Simons, Group Head of CRM, spoke to Figaro Digital about the latest developments at the company, and how Treatwell continues to grow through continuous testing and innovation, in order to offer its customers the best possible experience.
Listening Is Learning
“Growing from one market (in the UK) to eleven markets across Europe didn’t happen easily, or without us having to make a number of trade-offs in our CRM Programme, which is why we’ve had to remain agile and innovative along the way. An example of this recent innovation includes enhancements to our automated workflows, where we were able to feed email behaviours back into the system to use as an extra layer of customer data,” explains Simons. “What it’s done is give us a far richer view of our customers and their intent, for very little effort. Additionally, we’re always following the test, learn and iterate feedback loop, which ensures we stay ahead of the game.” This in-depth consideration of Treatwell’s CRM strategy has seen the brand growth-hack its way to success, in a way that optimises its current capabilities. Simons argues that maintaining a focus on pre-existing tools is a sure fire way to boost efficiency and ROI, and can also produce the positive uplift marketers need to prove the case for further resources.
In order to make their data work as hard as possible and ensure the best possible understanding of the customer, Treatwell subjects its data to a multitude of testing. “We test everything and anything; A/B, significance, trends, behavioural analysis… it really depends on what the objective is, but we’re testing every day. It’s an integral part of CRM.” An open attitude towards testing has enabled Treatwell to trial a variety of different customer messages using different touchpoints, finding the most efficient motivations to continue to drive conversion. “One recent example of our tests has been finding out how different monetary incentives drive behaviour, and to what degree. As a result, we’ve been able to find the ‘sweet spot’, in terms of our investment relative to the payback.” With a robust testing plan in place, Treatwell can ensure that their communications are targeted to be as efficient as possible, and also show the level of detail which can be achieved through the optimisation of existing data.
Making The Most
This ‘waste not, want not’ attitude towards data characterises Treatwell as a brand which hasn’t lost touch with its start-up roots, despite its impressive growth in the beauty booking market. Simons is keen to advocate that some practices remain important no matter where a brand sits in the global market. “Regardless of the size of a business or how big the team is, every marketer has some limit to their budget and/or resource. With the right strategy and the right approach, you can achieve some pretty big results with just a few tools and some spreadsheets in place.” There is no substitute for an in-depth understanding of your users; their desires, motivations and pain points. There’s no reason why even the smallest or newest companies cannot compete at this level, even when larger brands have high-end tools to work with. “At the end of the day, even the biggest and best automation tools in the world, if your customers don’t open or engage with your communications, that kind of investment doesn’t count for much.”
How Far Is Too Far?
Indeed, there are some who may argue that the now standard-practice automation tools are partly responsible for the content overload that is driving the consumer’s inbox to saturation point. As marketers attempt to move away from the ‘spray and pray’ approach, automation tools will need to become more responsive, and echo the human decision-making process to decide the most relevant content for each consumer. “Automation has certainly helped with the heavy lifting, that’s for sure, but it’s no substitute for the human element,” continues Simons. “I think sometimes we forget that, and we aim for the automated ‘nirvana’ of CRM without considering the right process necessary to get there.” By basing their automation tools and processes on a solid foundation of data together with real customer insights, marketers can ensure they set themselves up for a long term win, with valuable and relevant user communication, and secure further growth.
So what’s the long-term goal for Treatwell? No longer a start-up, the brand plans to expand its CRM Programme to realise its Single Customer View (SCV) to send even more relevant, specifically personalised communications. “We’ve come a long way already, but the exciting thing is that we’re only just getting started. We all know the world is accelerating towards an on-demand, technology-driven economy at a rate we can barely keep up with, and hair and beauty has a big role to play here. Our customers want a seamless, perfect and beautiful experience each and every time they come to Treatwell – and we’re well placed to enable this,” says Simons.
The world of digital marketing is full of Davids and Goliaths, but by dedicating time, intuition and understanding to customer data, there’s no reason why brands great and small can’t compete within the same consumer’s inbox. While it’s true that email and CRM automation systems are excellent solutions to shrink time frames and save man-hours, the adaptability of the start-up mentality bears lessons that can be translated across all teams, departments and sectors.