STORES - October 2010 - (Page 66)

NUTS AND BOLTS / SOFTWARE & ANALYTICS Marketing Makeover Pier 1 imports marketing muscle with new Infor CRM tool BY BARBARA THAU hen it comes to retail marketing, slow and steady does not necessarily win the race. These days, it’s not enough for a merchant to boast reams of data if that data can’t be quickly accessed and manipulated to seize marketing opportunities. W That lack of nimbleness prompted Pier 1 Imports’ marketing team to join forces with Infor CRM Epiphany, its longtime customer relationship management provider, to take its CRM solution to the next level. The home décor merchant has been using CRM since 1998 as a tool to analyze and gauge its outbound marketing efforts, including newspaper advertisements, direct mailers, e-mail marketing and online banner advertisements. “Merchandising departments use the data to understand what people are buying together — a market basket type [analysis],” says Brian Murphy, customer database manager for Pier 1. Indeed, Infor CRM Epiphany is designed to help companies run marketing campaigns that match up with shopper preferences, integrate marketing across a variety of channels, provide customer insight to boost sales productivity and manage marketing and sales resources more efficiently. “But while 80 percent of the things that we needed to do [with the CRM tool] worked perfectly for us,” the product had its limitations, Murphy says. For one, Pier 1’s marketers had to rely 66 STORES / OCTOBER 2010 on its information technology department to access data. Say the retailer wanted to pull data on its shoppers’ age or incomes. “My IT developers would have to build the backend processes to bring in data — it could take a month or so,” Murphy says. If the IT department was juggling other projects, marketers had to wait. “We were working on their schedules, [which] depended on where we were on their priority list,” Murphy says. As a result, the marketers were impeded from creating campaigns quickly and wanted to cut the IT department out of the equation. “Pier 1’s objective was to have access to data all over the organization and put it in the hands of the marketers,” says Jackie Palmer, senior product manager for Infor CRM. Better merchandise, better marketing The push to upgrade to a more sophisticated marketing system comes as the retailer savors one of the most noted retail turnarounds of the last few years. Alex Smith, the former T.J. Maxx executive who succeeded Marvin Girouard as CEO in 2007, has led that rebound, returning the chain to profitability. “The main revival has come from better merchandise — making sure that we give customers what they want, trying to speak to the good value and trimming underperforming stores,” Murphy says. Now that the chain, with more than Pier 1 will be able to determine how shoppers want to be reached — via e-mail blasts, mobile messages or direct mail. 1,000 stores, has reversed its fortunes, it has zeroed in on marketing as a key facet of its growth strategy. That means “more targeted marketing, a better understanding of who the consumer is, and how we can take market share from competitors,” Murphy says. “How can we sway our customers to pick our merchandise over some others?” To that end, Infor, drawing from the feedback of a 13-customer panel that included Pier 1, launched CRM Epiphany Outbound Marketing in March. The upgraded version features more than 39 feature enhancements, including External Data Access, which enables Pier 1 marketers to harness information from across the entire retail organization directly. “Now, I can get a file and act on it later that day,” Murphy says. In turn, the upgrade paves the way for “real-time campaigning and increased capability in creWWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES - October 2010

STORES - October 2010
Editor’s Page
President’s Page
Retail People
Customer Experience
Game Changer
Power Players
NRFtech Recap
Concept 2 Watch
Customized Shopping
Consumer Behavior
Software & Analytics
Crowd Control
Payment Fraud
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Industry Calendar
End Cap

STORES - October 2010