In 2013, Lilly Pulitzer was an early adapter of technology, creating a partnership with AgilOne, the customer data platform now part of Acquia, to enhance customer data and personalization.
Looking back to the beginning of the integration of AgilOne’s technology with Lilly Pulitzer’s platform, Ryan Willette, global vice president of customer success at AgilOne, told WWD the goal was to build true customer analysis. Understanding the wide range of Lilly Pulitzer’s customer base across generations.
“Lilly Pulitzer’s goal of wanting to understand the customer meant more than just needing a single view because they [recognized that] their customers are so unique in that you have teenagers who are part of the brand, but you also have their moms and grandmothers,” Willette said. “There are different personas of who their customers are, what they care about, what products they buy, how often they buy them and how they engage. [Lilly Pulitzer] knew they needed to understand all of it to engage customers the right way.”
The first part of the process was gathering data, which one analyzed was able to inform the company with both what products consumers wanted as well as how to engage the community in a personalized way.
“We have a great deal of respect for our customers and vice versa,” said Sarah Engel, vice president of marketing and creative communications at Lilly Pulitzer. “And from my point of view, the amount of data that she is very happy to give us from a store perspective, from an online perspective, from a mobile perspective is a promise that we make to her and we have to live up to that promise.”
In order to live up to that promise, Engel said the messages have to align with what the consumer is telling a brand she wants to hear. From a broad perspective, this happens when a company has the right level of consumer understanding and respect of the treatment of the information.
“We’re always looking to take it one step further to ask how we can create the best possible experience and create the best possible product that answers her expectations,” Engel said. “The data tells us a lot about it. I genuinely believe a lot of it is still art and science and [this partnership] is certainly our science piece.”
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