Just the Headlines 

Short on time? Here are the key facts.

  • A Chicago retailer wanted to use their customer data to improve targeting, increase ROI, and to predict Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) but their data was decentralized & unreliable.
  • The Aptitive’s retail and marketing analytics team built them a centralized data platform to quickly access a reliable single view of the customer.
  • With the data foundation in place, an automated machine learning platform was used to run machine learning models and produce a predicted CLV based on a customer’s previous purchase behavior and other demographic information.
  • The result was a modern data solution that allowed the marketing team to identify predictors, better tailor marketing activities, and make data driven marketing decisions.

Overview

Which customers are the most valuable? Which is the best marketing channel to target high value customers? These are the questions that many marketing professionals have but few have the ability to quickly and accurately answer.

When a local Chicago retailer, rich in customer data, wanted to improve their customer targeting, boost ROI, and more accurately predict Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), they needed a modern data solution to make it happen.

With this goal in mind, they turned to the retail and marketing analytics team at Aptitive for a solution.

Retail Sidebar

The Challenge

Like many organizations, this retailer struggled with decentralized & unreliable data. With customer data held in a wide variety of online platforms, e-commerce systems, and an in-store POS, access to their data was slow and often unreliable. A centralized data platform was needed before any data driven insights could be found.

Once the foundational data platform was put into place, their next step was an advanced analytics and machine learning solution that enabled them to instantly analyze data and use new insights to help them predict the marketing efforts that would bring in the most valuable customers for the lowest cost, thus boosting their ROI.

The Solution

Part 1: The Centralized Data Platform

The first step to trustworthy data was to create a centralized data platform. To do this, the Aptitive team first ingested data from an in-store POS, e-commerce system, Google Analytics, and Facebook Insights using a FiveTran data pipeline into a Snowflake cloud-based data warehouse. Once ingested, the data was then cleaned up to make it usable for analytics and machine learning.

While each step may sound simple, the Aptitive team’s knowledge and approach to building long-term data solutions means that the overall platform will withstand growth, alert users when something is wrong, and accommodate changing needs.

Part 2: A Retail Focused Machine Learning Solution

With the data foundation in place, an automated machine learning platform, DataRobot, was used to run machine learning models and produce a predicted CLV based on a customer’s previous purchase behavior and other demographic information. Additionally interactive Tableau dashboards were created to answer questions such as:

  • Which customers have the highest CLV?
  • What is the best channel to target high value customers?
  • What does our overall marketing performance look like by channel?
  • What activities are most likely to result in a conversion?
  • What is the average cost per conversion?

The Outcome

By implementing a consolidated data warehouse and machine learning, Aptitive was able to identify predictors so that the client could better tailor marketing activities. Not only was their holistic view of marketing vastly improved, but they were able to drill down to a single customer to anticipate their future spending habits and increase conversion through better targeting.