Say hello to Headless Segmentation – Catherine Frame, Customer Intelligence Lead at Peak
Peak is an AI company that provides the platform, applications and services to help businesses harness the potential of AI to grow revenues, increase profits and increase efficiency.
Peak’s cloud AI platform provides a broad feature set that enables technical and commercial teams to build, deploy and manage AI applications at scale across an entire business.
It also features a library of ready-to-go applications that fit a variety of use cases across sectors including retail, consumer goods and manufacturing. These applications allow users to rapidly apply AI to deliver on commercial objectives, while giving them the tools they need to extend their use of it over time.
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Prior to Peak, I held roles in e-commerce, marketing and CRM for some of the UK’s leading retailers, including Pets at Home, boohoo and Footasylum. I now lead the Customer Intelligence team at Peak, using my experience to help make our offering as valuable as possible for marketing teams working for brands and businesses across multiple sectors.
What is headless segmentation and why is it a game-changer for retailers?
Gone are the days of looking at customers and their behaviours in an isolated view. To win in the modern era, marketing teams operating in every industry must focus on creating a seamless experience for their customers, across all available touchpoints — from email marketing and onsite recommendations to social media ads and the in-store experience.
The only way to effectively do this is to employ an effective headless customer segmentation strategy. By taking the steps required to remove channel bias and data silos, and looking at meaningful cohorts driven by key and integral data points, you can ensure that you’re always serving your customers in the best way possible.
Why is this important? In order to get a true view of your customers, all data touch points need to be considered. For example, if returns data is not factored into your customer profiling, the result could be a very skewed view on which customers are most valuable and who would you like to acquire more of. There’s no point targeting more customers who send the majority of their purchases back!
But what actually is headless segmentation?
From an architectural point of view, the term ‘headless’ refers to outputs being driven by APIs which are decoupled, and stand independently from one another. The main benefit of this approach is that it allows for added agility; as APIs are not interdependent, changes can be made with minimal risk to the overarching infrastructure.
In this context, when we apply ‘headless’ to customer segmentation, we mean that the segmentation isn’t tied to a specific system or channel. The segmentation can therefore be used across multiple platforms and systems, to provide a consistent journey to a customer.
Who is it for, who will get the most benefit?
In short, everyone! For those working at a strategic level, chief customer, transformation and digital officers will feel confident that their customers are being served in the best way possible. At an execution level, CRM, e-commerce and paid performance managers will be safe in the knowledge that they have a true, unified view of their customers, their preferences and their behaviours. And, most importantly, it means that the customer always feels valued and understood by the brand, and always has their needs met.
What are some of the success metrics Headless segmentation will look to impact?
How can you be sure that your segmentation strategy is working? Traditional metrics you would review include engagement metrics such as opens, clicks and conversions. With headless segmentation it is much the same and these all remain important, however, given the sheer scale of 1:1 communication, these metrics can also influence much bigger strategic KPIs such as lifetime value and NPS.
Are there any specific partners that enhance or assist with this system implementation?
The perfect tech stack to set you up for headless segmentation success is made up of three fundamental layers: centralised data, game-changing artificial intelligence (AI) and an effective execution platform. Here are some examples!
- Centralised Data – e.g Snowflake
A powerful data warehouse, Snowflake enables users to organise data in a structure that is most meaningful to their business. It centralises data, creating a repository from which all MarTech solutions can run – both now and in the future.
- AI platform – e.g Peak
On Peak, users can rapidly deploy multiple AI applications from a single platform, eliminating the need to leverage a complex web of individual solutions. The platform can be used by both technical and non-technical teams, giving decision makers access to a single, predictive view of their customers. Filters and segments are fully customizable, so users can leverage the platform and its apps to deliver on the objectives that matter most to their business, for example, identifying when customers are in-market to purchase, and the specific items they’re likely to buy.
- Execution platform – e.g Braze
Braze is a comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers relevant and memorable experiences between consumers and the brands they love. Context underpins every Braze interaction, helping brands foster human connection with consumers through interactive conversations across channels that deliver value quickly and continuously.
How are retailers using your systems to gain competitive advantage and what does best practice look like? Can you share a case study with us?
Gone are the days of price always being the most powerful motive for customers when making a purchase. Personalisation is now the dominating factor, and marketers who recognise and harness this to their advantage are winning! Investing in the relationship building aspect, as opposed to simply just the transaction, is key to driving high lifetime value from your customers — meaning that they keep coming back to shop with you as opposed to your competition.
What do you think are the biggest challenges and opportunities for retail for the rest of this year and beyond?
I think the biggest challenge here is customer acquisition; in the current economic climate the price to acquire new customers is higher than ever before. Customers are, in my opinion, more reluctant to reach out and try new brands for fear that their hard-earned cash won’t deliver the experience that they’ve grown to expect.
For me, the biggest opportunity here is to get the most out of your existing customer base. Stepping away from focusing on the immediate revenue which can be generated, and instead focusing on building strong, long-term relationships will ultimately result in higher revenue and engagement metrics between your brand and your customers.
How do I find out more?
I’m super excited to be hosting a new webinar on Wednesday 7 December (14:00 GMT), focused around this exciting new concept of headless segmentation.
In this webinar I’ll talk to you about how AI, when applied in the right way, is transforming marketing teams — enabling scale, automation and, ultimately, personalisation for your customers like never before. Get involved and sign up via the link below!
To find out how Peak can help your retail operation, click here.
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