Case Study: Road Runner Sports Keeping Pace
A Personalized Touch
Speaking the same language as runners is one thing, but addressing them directly with personalized catalogs, putting their favorite shoe on the cover, targeting by gender or defining them by the type of runner they are is part of RRS’s reputation.
Catalogs and e-mail are the main places where RRS personalizes. Personalization is done for many segments of its customer file. A typical catalog will be segmented 28 ways: by gender, geography, shoe brand, average mileage, birth date, RAC membership, Athletes Helping Athletes supporters and recent purchases.
Beside purchase history, RRS gathers detailed information from conversations with phone reps, through behavior, via letters and e-mail. Phone reps are trained to record running habits, as well as mention of an injury, a preference for fabric, or a race being entered.
“Our reps connect with the customer,” says Gotfredson. “Most telemarketers want you to get on the phone, make the purchase and get off. We tell our people to connect with accomplishments, talk about running products and services in catalogs, not just rush through the call. The cost to do this is huge. Typical talk time is six to seven minutes, but payback to the customer is that he gets something that works for [him]. And we get loyal customers.”
Shoe brand, size, style and frequency of purchase are used to create branded covers, discount offers for certain shoe brands, offers on products for marathoners, and e-mail reminders to buy new shoes.
“This year’s targeting is based on product purchase history,” says Shanahan. “The spring book says here is your brand and we’ve got everything new.”
The company addresses customers by name with inkjet messages on the back cover and by type of runner in Gotfredson’s message on the inside cover. It sends women catalogs with women on the cover, and men get men on their covers. While running bras are featured in all the catalogs, women receive a catalog with a running bra insert, men don’t. (shown above)