Ed From Young's Becomes a Miner

Target Customers to Give Them What They Want

on 2010-07-27 Tony Pitale wrote

This time around we have a guest post from Ed Wassmer at Young’s. Enjoy!

Last Friday, we sold five times more single malt Scotch Whisky than “usual” on a Friday in October, despite the unusually warm weather and a torrential rain storm. Even better, we cemented our relationship with thirty of our best single malt customers by providing them with an education/tasting event tailored just for them. By extracting customer sales data from Vision, we were able to target a small, select group of customers and invite them to an event created just for their passion - single malts. Our customers loved it and we proved to ourselves, once again, the value of using loyalty cards and Vision.

Our goal was to invite a “Master of Whisky” from Diageo to come to Young’s to give a presentation and tasting. Unlike our grand wine tastings that we host twice a year, we didn’t want to broadcast this event to our entire customer base for two reasons. One, we didn’t want the event to be too large, where logistics for our space would be unwieldy. Second, we wanted our guests to be our true single malt whisky aficionado’s. The solution, by data mining our customer sales history in Vision, was easy.

First, we extracted through the Sales Analysis tool all customers who had bought single malt scotch in 2007. Then the list was narrowed down to extract only those customers who are regular, high end single malt buyers. We then mail merged their name and address information into a personalized invitation. The total number of invitations was limited to one hundred and sixty because we used a best case expectation that we would get RSVP’s from a quarter of those invited. Those one hundred and sixty invitees represented our best single malt whisky customers.

The personalized invitations were sent out slightly over two weeks before the event. The letter described the event, including products that we knew our customers would want to taste. It also stressed the importance of calling us to RSVP. Within a week and a half, we had thirty-five reservations.

On the day of the event, it took Spike McClure, our “Master of Whisky”, over three hours to drive the nineteen miles from his office to our store, because the rain and flooding were that bad. Even though the weather was abominable, thirty of the thirty-five customers braved the storm and we had a terrific tasting. Every attendee was enthusiastic, Spike did a marvelous job and we sold a lot of single malt scotch. Our total outlay – about $65 dollars in postage!

When we survey the product categories we have in the store, it seems that our potential for small, targeted marketing of special events is almost limitless. The key, however, is in using the Vision loyalty card functionality to target the right customer for their “right” event. Whereas mass mailings are seen as an imposition by most consumers, targeted, personalized marketing of events and promotions that meet customers’ needs are welcomed by them and profitable for the store.

If you have any questions about Vision and the loyalty card functionality and potential uses, please feel free to give me a call anytime. I’d love to share ideas with you.

Ed Wassmer, Young’s Fine Wines & Spirits, (516) 627-1234