Cache Cashes In On Customer Data

cacheData is a bit like a little black dress – it goes with everything.

That’s especially true for women’s apparel brand Cache, which maintains an active ecommerce site and more than 230 brick-and-mortar stores in malls across the US. The data collection potential is huge.

“In-store transactional data, online behavior, CRM data, offline purchases down to the product level, specific store location, the date an item was purchased – we use whatever we can get our hands on that’s not PII [personally identifiable information],” said Lindsay Gordon, an account manager at Rise Interactive, Cache’s digital agency of record since 2011.

Although officially positioned as a lifestyle and luxury brand, Cache, which opened its first store in 1975, found itself in recent years associated with the bargain basement rather than the top shelf. In constantly sending out deals and offers, Cache had trained its customers to expect discounts everywhere and on everything.

In mid-2013, the brand cleaned house. Cache went public and brought on a new management team to change its image. But the executives had their work cut out for them.

The question became: What could Cache do to attract higher-value consumers willing to pay full price for quality merchandise? And the answer was: Put the brand’s existing data to work.

“For us, the main thing is return on ad spend – I’d say that’s our No. 1 campaign goal,” said Jennie Dwin, digital marketing manager at Cache. “Revenue is first, but gaining new customers is a very close second.”

Cache turns to digital channels for its prospecting, going online to find new people who have similar psychographics and demographics to its existing customer base. “Like for anyone else out there, money doesn’t grow on trees,” Dwin said. “We’re trying to be smart about how we spend our money and also make some money in the process.”

In order to do that, Cache and Rise turned to data-management platform (DMP) Lotame in April to drive more qualified leads and increase conversions on the brand’s website by creating segments of laser-focused lookalike audiences for targeted display campaigns.

First, Rise onboarded all of Cache’s online and offline data into Lotame’s DMP to develop the seed segments around which the lookalikes were built, using the vendor’s Optimizer tool to target only those consumers most likely to buy.

“From there, we created a universal profile for every visitor and customer based on online and offline behavior and third-party data,” said Steve Tazic, associate director of digital media at Rise Interactive. “Our goal for Cache is to build their business and acquire new customers who aren’t in the coupon/discount mindset built by the previous regime. We utilize all of the data at our disposal and analyze the core people on Cache’s site, separating out those who are consistently using discount codes, the people who have been trained to wait for the discounts, from the people who will buy full price.”

But it’s more than just lookalike audiences, said Rise’s Gordon – these people have proven themselves through their actual behaviors.

“It’s more like actalikes than lookalikes,” said Michel Benjamin, director of marketing at Lotame. “They don’t just look like the people you want, they actually perform whatever behavior or KPI you’re trying to achieve.”

Using Lotame, Rise was able to reduce Cache’s cost per acquisition by 64%. Potential consumers targeted via paid search and display across desktop and mobile were 129% more likely to click and 372% more likely to convert.

“We’re able to get better returns using a DMP rather than creating our own segments, putting an ad in front of them and then just hoping it works,” said Cache’s Dwin. “Smart prospecting also makes retention easier in the end.”

Most of Cache’s business throughout the year comes from women ages 20 through roughly 40. But the brand also does a booming business with teenage girls during prom season, which is another reason why Cache’s targeting needs to be spot on – or it risks turning off its more mature core customers.

“A promotion targeted at a girl looking for a prom dress is very different from the advertising we do over the rest of the year,” Dwin said. “We need to make sure we have smart, targeted creative so we don’t alienate our top spenders.”

And that’s where the DMP comes in.

“Just because two people are interested in a little black dress doesn’t mean they should see the same creative,” said Tazic. “A little black dress for someone in Florida aged 18 is probably going to be pretty different from a little black dress for someone who’s 45 and lives in New York. The banners we serve need to reflect that.”

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