How Williams-Sonoma Adopted a Marketing Sciences Approach Across Its Brands
During a session at last week’s NEMOA Conference in Cambridge, Mass., Peter Grebus, who heads Williams-Sonoma’s customer information management group, explained a two-pronged approach the home furnishings multichannel marketer has used to increase the adoption of marketing sciences for intuition across the organization.
Specifically, he noted that in the short run, Williams-Sonoma has focused on a “four walls” process. The multititle multichannel marketer, whose direct business comprises 42.2 percent of its sales, has emphasized the integration of browse and purchase data to enable contextual selling across channels. This includes the following:
* dynamic content and recommendations;
* data that’s currently constrained by the volume of creative assets; and
* data that’s critical to fully loaded marketing requirements.
In this process, Williams-Sonoma has seen a reduction in catalog drop cycle time at $600,000 per day. It’s also made several right-size investments, including prospecting by monitoring shifts in value over time and by valuing the company’s data.
What’s more, by using the power of analysis and good consulting to convert merchant partners, the company could apply existing science where available with outcome-based modeling. It could also maintain a control group discipline, which Grebus said is “expensive to learn,” but also “expensive not to learn.”
Using this system, Williams-Sonoma, which markets via the Pottery Barn, West Elm, and namesake catalog and retail brands, was able to leverage its successes in one brand to sell to its others.