How Signet built its personalisation engine

A new marketing automation platform has opened up valuable insights driving growth for the B2B packaging business

Signet found itself facing the dual challenge of lifting customer sentiment and digital infrastructure capability in order to pursue growth.  

The Brisbane-headquartered supplier and manufacturer of packaging and supplies has serviced more than 60,000 Australian businesses for 50 years. But after a change of leadership team a handful of years ago, business analysis identified growth was flat. The solution was to improve differentiation in the market with a low-interest product.  

“Everyone was kind of acting the same and communicating in the same way,” Signet head of digital and direct marketing, Suzie Young, explained to CMO.  

The group knew it needed to lift engagement and encourage B2B customers to interact with the brand on a more personal level. In addition, a lack of integration between critical platforms was hindering efficiency.    

Long-standing brand needs to freshen up  

Signet remains an Australian-owned family business with national production and warehouse facilities located across the country. But as a legacy brand, it needed a refresh. The business undertook a process of identifying its customers and creating journey mapping to understand how it could be a bit different and engage customers on a more emotive, personal level.  

“We ended up on differentiating through brand personality,” Young said.  

As a consumable product that largely relies on repeat purchases with existing customers, email had become the key engagement channel. “It's almost like the account management of our database,” she said.  

Signet identified the need for a new tech stack to be more engaging, with more interaction between the different parts of the journey. A key element was around ecommerce. Signet had started doing ecommerce about 15 years ago, which was innovative, particularly for B2B, but had been on a custom ecommerce platform for that time, Young explained.  

“With an older platform, nothing's out of the box, everything's very costly. The simplest things become very hard,” she said. “So we went through an RFP process of selecting an ecommerce platform and the whole tech stack including marketing, automation, personalisation, ratings, reviews and site search.”  

Wanting out-of-the box integration with an existing Adobe Magento platform, Signet opted for DotDigital to provide the crucial link between this and a Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. This also had to link with Yotpo for ratings and reviews plus Nosto for personalisation.  

Looking at journeys of particular customer segments, Signet can now personalise the content and experience each customer get on its website and extend this right through to emails. The set-up allows Signet to give a customer a product recommendation on the website and that same recommendation through email, Young said. 

With niche customer groups, like those dedicated to eco-friendly packaging, having an integrated tech stack allows Signet to speak to them with the right message and limit expose to products that definitely won’t appeal.  

“They're truly a unique group of customers and personalisation is our strongest tool to both acquire them, then nurture and keep them,” Signet digital marketing manager, Prue Krook, explained to CMO.  

Data-based decision making  

The new tech stack has given the brand data at every decision point and a lot more than it’s ever had before.  

“We're able to gain many more insights about what journeys our customers are taking and then tweak from there,” said Young.  

It’s relatively early in the journey and Signet is taking a test-and-learn approach, running in cycles and constantly looking to adopt and apply new learnings through the team led by Krook. Already there are many useful, interesting insights being provided.  

“Some things were just sitting deeper in data that we hadn't looked to dig into previously. We now can,” Krook said.  

Challenging assumptions about customer interests in related products and finding new ways to cross-sell are several of the new insights gleaned.  

“Previously, we had an assumption that if someone was buying product ‘A’ it made sense that they were also buying product ‘B’. But because we've got this additional technology, and we're diving a little deeper, we found out it wasn't the case to the extent we previously thought,” Krook added.  

Moving from two key personas, Signet has been able to develop several more, ranging from family businesses to larger organisations. That also means communicating on a more personal level.  

To avoid being overwhelmed by all of the new data sources and data points, the team has to be data focused while also being focused on the business priorities to avoid data for data’s sake, Krook continued.  

“We look at that data first and see if we can get the most out of that, then what additional data points can help build on the decisions and the campaigns that we run,” she said.  

An almost 20 per cent revenue growth in the first year shows the brand it’s on the right track deepening its understanding of its customers and driving this into its new personalisation push.  

“We’re blown away by the percentage of new product purchases through the personalised recommendations on the website,” Krook said.  

In addition, being able to expand into display and social advertising, along with improved organic search off the back of the improved website, has resulted in almost 50 per cent growth in customer acquisition.  

“Because of the nature of our business, we sell to many industries and have many customer types, so we need to think carefully about the campaigns we’re running and when and why, and learn from that,” Krook added.  

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