Under Armour: Lifecycle campaign for deeper customer engagement
In 2015, the passion for sports participation remained growing among Chinese consumers and continued to spur overall market growth. In order to respond to this fitness initiative, local governments actively launched sports activities such as city marathons and color runs to encourage more residents to participate in such events. Meanwhile, a number of reality shows themed around athletic or outdoor sports, such as Survivor Games and Running Man , which won considerable attention among Chinese citizens and inspired them to take some form of exercise.
These examples explain the several milestones the Chinese sports market achieved in the last few years. Consequently, demand has been increasing. This demand is mainly the result of some upcoming sports in China, of which physical training & running are the biggest trends. For example, the gym market in China grew from $4 billion revenue in 2010 to $5.5 billion revenue in 2015. (Source: Euromonitor) The trend of physical training & running led to a trend of fashionable sportswear. This is how UnderArmour, an innovative provider of fashionable sportswear, gets in the picture.
Established in 1996 in the United States, UnderArmour provides athletes with the most innovative performance apparel, footwear and accessories. UnderArmour is known for its synthetic under-shirts, which provide comfort and warmth in all weather conditions. UnderArmour generated $3.76 billion in revenue in 2015 worldwide. The company started its expansion in China in 2010, by launching its Chinese website. One year later, the company opened their first brand store. UnderArmour has achieved great brand awareness through a campaign featured by Steven Curry, a famous NBA basketball player. Basketball is immensely popular in China and Steven Curry is the MVP (Most Valuable Player).
UnderArmour is growing in China, but competition is fierce. Nike, Adidas, and Li Ning (local brand) are still dominating the market, while other local brands have covered the low-end market. To keep moving forward, UnderArmour understands that they have to go for the extra mile. The company needed more competitive advantages and decided to point their arrows at customer interaction and brand visibility, something they have done extraordinary in the US market. In China however, most companies, especially foreign companies, seem to be struggling with customer interaction; according to Deloitte China report 2014.
It takes local knowledge to achieve interaction and brand awareness in China. With 10 years of expertise in digital marketing in China, Webpower became a partner of UnderArmour to launch a new online marketing campaign. The focus will be on email marketing, in which a campaign was launched to increase revenue by using a personalized approach. This personal approach will be executed by segmentation, continuous data gathering & by sending relevant offers and content.
Webpower helped UnderArmour with lifecycle campaigns to engage customers in a gradual and consistent manner. UnderArmour wants to achieve two goals; first, they want to turn interested visitors into purchasers. Second, they want to turn online purchasers into loyal customers. With lifecycle campaigns, personalized information is sent that is aligned with the interest of the reader. Through this campaign, UnderArmour is able to retrieve more information about its customers by analyzing email behavior and knowing where people click in an email.
Based on this information, relevant messages and offers are sent to a specific target group. The solution is based on 2 lifecycle campaigns. The first lifecycle campaign is following people who registered as a member at the UA website. The second lifecycle campaign is following people who made a purchase on the website.
This lifecycle campaign starts when a person registers to become a member on the website. The goal is to guide customers towards purchasing. This process starts with creating awareness of a subscriber and guiding him/her towards a purchase. This starts by sending an email containing the new product introduction. If the person is engaged, UnderArmour can consistently ask more detailed information of this person. This process, called progressive profiling, gives our platform the data to build a strong e-ID. The e-ID is a user profile regarding personal details, for example age, gender and occupation. It is a great way to segment users and customers into groups.
The e-ID is created by tracking all customer email behavior. An example of e-ID creation is the UnderArmour training tips email. In this email, sport preferences can be determined by analyzing what information people click on. By knowing this information, UnderArmour is able to send personalized content to the subscriber as well as relevant product promotions.
Sending out relevant content does not only increase click-rates, but also makes subscribers feel recognized and appreciated. Besides training tips, analyzing clicks on product catalogues is a more direct way to obtain consumer insights. In this case, UnderArmour sent customers a product introduction after 3 days of subscription. Preferences can be determined by analyzing where people click the most, the least, how often and at what time. When customer preferences are determined, they should be put to an advantage. This is done using a call to action, a message to persuade and guide the subscribers to make a purchase decision. The approach is to send the best-sellers of UnderArmour to guide the purchase journey of a customer. By recommending preferences from other UnderArmour customers, customers are being educated about the brand and UnderArmour can learn which bestsellers are most popular.
The UnderArmour APP is also promoted in the emails. This APP provides in-depth information about sports and personalized product recommendations. The APP is promoted in the email, because it helps UnderArmour analyze customer preferences by clicking behavior as well as guiding sales. The UA APP is the first 24/7 connected health fitness app, combining all areas of health: nutrition, exercise, sleep & activities.
After a purchase is made, it is important to ensure that customers are left with a good feeling. A transactional email will be sent to the customers. Normally, this email just contains a confirmation of the purchase. But we can take advantage of this transactional email and make it more memorable for the customer.
After the confirmation, engagement with the company should continue. This interaction starts with educating the customers. An email with training advice is sent to bond with customers, by helping them dive deeper into their favorite sports. This enhances customer loyalty with UnderArmour.
After this nurturing phase, a survey will be conducted to receive feedback on the user experience. Customer details are also collected. This completes the information the company needs from the customer. With more details of a customer, his/her e-ID is polished for future communication.
If a subscriber turns into a purchaser, his/her lifecycle changes. Now this person will receive e-mails from the online purchase lifecycle instead of the subscriber lifecycle. Additionally, the Webpower platform makes sure that this person will not receive content he already received during the subscriber lifecycle.
The campaigns resulted into greater brand awareness of UnderArmour. Customers trust the company and are looking forward to the company’s emails. To prove this, our emails have boosted conversion by 5 times. Average opens and CTO increased by 58% and 35% respectively. These improvements did notnly lead to higher sales, but provided deeper insight about customer preferences. UnderArmour is able to segment customers into groups based on multiple criteria, for example sport preferences, gender and buying behavior.
With the help of Webpower, UnderArmour is able to precisely identify customer’s personal preferences and tailor information to their likings. The company’s brand awareness has been growing, as well as customer interaction and loyalty. With the help of Webpower, UnderArmour has established stronger brand visibility and customer interaction in China. With the sportswear market expecting to grow towards 247 billion RMB in 2020, Webpower assisted UnderArmour to thrive in this highly competitive market.