Because its products have long lifecycles, Belle Tire must make every moment of customer engagement count. How could it gain deeper insight into the unique needs and preferences of its customers?
Belle Tire worked with Revenue Automation to deploy IBM Watson Campaign Automation—enabling it to build up a rich, 360-degree view of customer purchase behavior and reach out with targeted offers.
Deliverssignificant ROI thanks to better-targeted email campaigns
EnablesBelle Tire to share personalized coupon codes, driving up redemption rate
SharpensBelle Tire’s competitiveness and nurtures long-term customer loyalty
Business challenge story
Building brand loyalty
In the auto services industry, many products have lifespans measured in years, not months. When a customer comes in with their vehicle, Belle Tire knows that they may not return for an extended period—and nurturing their loyalty in the intervening time is a key goal.
Christina DeVey, Director of CRM at Belle Tire, begins: “We see that customer loyalty is about more than offers and promotions—it’s about helping our customers get the most out of their investments. Whether it’s informing them about the importance of regular tire rotations, alignment checks, or providing advice for driving in adverse conditions, we believe that educating our customers is a powerful way to gain their trust and inspire them to come back again and again.”
In the past, Belle Tire was unable to deliver this high level of personalized service on its digital channel. Although it had rich data on customer purchase histories, Belle Tire had no practical way of harnessing it—restricting the company to generic, catch-all email campaigns. When Belle Tire wanted to share a discount, it had to use the same voucher code for every recipient. As well as reducing visibility into the success of its campaigns, this approach limited the amount of control the company had over its pricing strategy.
“Every customer has unique needs, and we offer many different types of products and services—from particular brands of tire to special maintenance products,” explains Christina DeVey. “We knew that if we could deepen our insight into our customers as individuals, we could reach each customer with the right message at the right time. To achieve our goal, we looked for a fresh approach to digital marketing.”
Enabling personalization at scale
Belle Tire selected IBM Watson Campaign Automation—an SaaS-based, AI-powered solution that empowers marketers to deliver engaging customer communications across email, SMS and social channels.
“Of all the solutions we considered, we were most impressed by the capabilities of the IBM platform,” recalls Christina DeVey. “As well as offering us the ability to segment our audience in a granular way, the IBM solutions opened up the possibility of using AI and predictive analytics to drill down into our data and gain a deeper understanding of our customers’ needs.”
To help it hit the ground running with its IBM Watson Campaign Automation deployment, Belle Tire engaged IBM Business Partner Revenue Automation to provide support and technical guidance.
“Working together with Revenue Automation, we successfully integrated the IBM solution with our existing systems—including our point-of-sale [POS] system, website, and our proprietary pricing and discounting program tools,” explains Christina DeVey. “This allowed us to use customer transactional data, both historical and real-time, and website interactions to inform our promotions and personalized pricing strategies.”
Today, Belle Tire can design and execute targeted campaigns in IBM Watson Campaign Automation, with unique offers for each recipient, tailored based on individual behavior. For example, if a customer has recently purchased new tires, Belle Tire can automatically suppress those promotions for a defined period after the transaction, or target personalized messages and offers relevant to their most recent purchase.
“We now use business logic in IBM Watson Campaign Automation to generate tailored promotions based on customer segments or purchase histories,” continues Christina DeVey. “First, our proprietary couponing and pricing tool generates a unique coupon code, which is automatically applied to the appropriate customer record in IBM Watson Campaign Automation. Next, the IBM solution dynamically adds the code to the email creative—eliminating the need to send generic codes that can be used repeatedly.”
She adds: “Throughout our IBM Watson Campaign Automation deployment, Revenue Automation has been a capable partner. From the outset, it was clear that the Revenue Automation team were experts in the capabilities of the IBM platform, and their help transforming our transactional data at the start of the project was very valuable.”
Welcoming customers back time and again
With an automated approach to customer engagement on the digital channel, Belle Tire is shaping more relevant, timely and compelling communications—helping it nurture long-term customer loyalty.
“Although our journey with IBM Watson Campaign Automation is just beginning, we’re already measuring some extremely encouraging results,” says Christina DeVey. “Since we’ve begun reaching out with targeted content to smaller segments of our audience, we’ve succeeded in measuring an average return on investment [ROI] for our CRM campaigns of 6.5:1—generating significant incremental revenues.”
Based on the high performance of its personalized marketing campaigns, Belle Tire is continuing to innovate its approach. The company is currently developing automated follow-up campaigns which will run after a customer has made a purchase in store, with the aim of providing additional information around product care and maintenance. In parallel, Belle Tire is building automated welcome campaigns that will trigger when a customer signs up for email communications via the company’s website.
“We have recently opened a number of new stores across multiple states, and we plan to open additional locations in the future,” comments Christina DeVey. “As we expand our footprint into new regions, we see that digital marketing will be a valuable tool to grow our brand awareness and show prospective customers what we have to offer.”
To increase the personalization of its outreach further still, Belle Tire is using IBM Weather FX™ for Watson Campaign Automation to infuse hyper-local weather triggers into its email campaigns. For example, when severe snow is forecasted, the company can contact customers likely to be affected and advise them on the precautions they may need to take to remain safe on the road.
The company is also deploying IBM Watson Marketing Insights—a cloud-based solution that analyzes behavioral data in near-real time and surfaces AI-powered insights and recommendations for engagement, predicted attrition and customer lifetime value (CLTV). With the addition of Watson Marketing Insights, Belle Tire looks forward to uncovering previously unknown patterns in customer behavior and executing new campaigns to boost the effectiveness of customer communications and drive incremental revenue.
“We are confident that our campaigns will help us to achieve substantial increases in conversion rates, especially during periods of severe weather—and we look forward to proving out these assumptions with analytics,” says Christina DeVey. “In the future, analytics from IBM Watson Marketing Insights should also enable us to identify each customer’s propensity to purchase, as well as those with the highest lifetime value and risk of churn, enabling us to build targeted campaigns to strengthen their satisfaction and loyalty.”
Christina DeVey concludes: “For brands in the auto servicing space, staying at the front of the customer’s mind is essential to build their loyalty. Thanks to IBM Watson Campaign Automation, we can drive relevant, compelling nurture campaigns that help us stay connected to our customers long after their purchase.”
Founded in 1922 with the opening of its first location in Detroit, Michigan, Belle Tire now has over 2,000 staff operating more than 100 locations in Michigan, Indiana, and northern Ohio. An industry leader in innovation and among the USA’s largest independent tire dealers, Belle Tire offers professional retail tire services, and a holistic suite of related auto services including auto glass repair, auto glass replacement, air conditioning, brakes, alignments, batteries, shocks and struts, exhaust system repair, and oil changes.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Watson Campaign Automation, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/marketplace/digital-marketing-and-lead-management
Based in Vancouver, Canada, Revenue Automation specializes in full-service campaign management, data integrations, creative design, and advanced reporting. An IBM Gold Business Partner with deep expertise in the IBM Watson Marketing solution portfolio, Revenue Automation provides clients with ongoing support to track activities, improve key metrics, and provide new insights. To learn more about Revenue Automation, please visit: revenueautomation.com