Traditional industries are struggling to seize opportunities in the digital world. This case demonstrates how Haier thrived in the digital world by adapting to customer preferences. The company leveraged 1-to-1 communication and marketing automation solutions to engage customers and boost sales.
Started as a small manufacturer in the early 80s, Haier fought its way to become one of the world’s dominant players in the household appliances industry. By the end of 2014, Haier generated $20 billion in its global sales and has expand into more than 100 countries worldwide.
As an leading figure, Haier’s development was not without concerns. First, the Haier member community club gained very little awareness. The club served as a customer loyalty program for news delivery, product promotion and member benefit management, but the website generated little traffic. Second, the program has gathered abundant data throughout time, but the data was unorganized and the quality varied significantly.
To make full use of the existing date and create new opportunities, Haier partnered with Webpower to rejuvenate its online communication. The goals were:
- Enhance customer interaction;
- Clean and restructure Haier’s database;
- Strengthen customer loyalty and engagement;
Haier Loyalty member program Website
Step 1: Making a buzz through email campaigns
The catch the eyes’ of customers, Haier started to send out well-designed newsletters on Haier member day and other major festivals. The newsletter informed users about special deals and upcoming events. Meanwhile, it also included product recommendations that were personalized based on the users’ purchase history.
Furthermore, Haier utilized ‘gamification’ tactics to stimulate interaction. Gamification strategies involve using game techniques to improve customer engagement/loyalty. In one of the email campaigns, Haier encouraged members to collect stamps enclosed in some of the mailings. After that members could upload the stamps on the club website, exchange stamps for member points, and use these points as discounts for their future purchases.
Campaign email for Women’s Day
Member Day email
Step 2: Use e-ID to clean database
Member data was massively stored in the database, but it was not effectively organized for automation. To structure the Haier’s database, Webpower adopted progressive profiling. Members’ information was collected in a progressive manner —from the basics (name, birthday etc.) to private (address, income etc.). Haier also gave out member points for those who submitted their personal details — the more private the information, the more points members obtained. Based on this information, an e-ID was established for each member. E-IDs are digital profiles that describe customers by tags. Besides personal information, the e-ID also included members’ behavioral information, such as their email behavior. In this way, Haier was able to send out personalized emails and communicate with members in a one-on-one manner.
e-ID establishment process
Member attributes information
Email automation process
Step 3: Remarketing
Based on members’ email behavior (e.g. what product they viewed lately), product advertisements are automatically shown when members are surfing on the internet. Customers often click on a product but do not make a purchase immediately . And they tend to forget about the product afterwards. Haier collaborated with major search engines for remarketing campaigns. In this way, Haier’s product ad would pop up as a reminder to trigger purchase when customers are still hesitating.
Remarketing ad display
The partnership between Haier and Webpower has achieved promising outcomes. Active members increased by 128% more than our goal. Members took active part in the events, and it was also spread by word-of-mouth. In Haier’s case, data cleaning and reorganizing was the foundation where marketing automation was based on. It enabled the company to obtain accurate knowledge of each customer and customize emails to their preferences. The various campaigns designed by Webpower served as channels and encouragements that engaged members and created a high level of loyalty. Finally, remarketing turned staggering customers into buyers, and boosted the company’s presence and awareness.