Case study:
sk:n

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sk:n has been at the forefront of skin treatments for two decades,  ringing a healthier and more radiant look to more than half a million clients. The quality of its products and services are central to its business model, with highly experienced doctors and staff using the latest clinically proven  products and technologies in its 39 clinics across the UK.

The company is driven by the desire to help its clients make the journey towards perfect looking skin, and sk:n is working with Experian Marketing Services to transform engagement so that it is easier than ever for  customers to take their first step.

In 20 years, sk:n has amassed an army of satisfied customers who have proven remarkably loyal to the brand. The company’s challenge, however, was in generating greater value from its existing customer base and encouraging new clients to join.

Though sk:n was rich in data, this wasn’t being leveraged to its full potential. Insight didn’t extend far beyond the fact that customers were largely women from the 25 to 45 year old age group. Clients were individuals, but email marketing campaigns treated them as if they were all the same. Consequently, click through and transaction returns were far below what should have been expected. Despite the fact that sk:n delivers flawless skin to its customers, its email marketing was decidedly patchy.

As sk:n’s Farryl Stubbs explained, “Customers who know sk:n love it, but we are focused on growth and so need to share the message more widely and effectively. We tried a variety of ways to increase customer value and new clients, including a £1 million press campaign, but whilst this increased awareness it did little to improve acquisition. We needed an effective way to identify, target and engage customers who would go on to become the next generation of loyal advocates.”

In 2010 sk:n realised that email marketing was the way forward, but needed a specialist partner that could draw greater customer insight from their data. The company chose Experian Marketing Services, based on a reputation for the most comprehensive data resources, the latest technology solutions and proven experience and expertise.

Experian began by talking to the sk:n team, exploring their business goals, data sources and marketing needs. Stubbs said, “Experian’s team was refreshing in that they took the time to understand us and our needs before trying to sell us a solution. The speed with which they honed in on the fundamentals immediately repaid our faith in their expertise, and with Mosaic UK, we weren’t disappointed by the data resources and  technologies placed at our disposal.”

Experian cleansed and validated sk:n’s existing data so that it provided a firm foundation for the company’s marketing platform. Experian then augmented it with its own data, allowing the rich and detailed  segmentation of customers needed for effective engagement. Using Experian’s Mosaic UK classification, which employs more than 340 demographic, lifestyle and behavioural variables, sk:n’s customers were segmented into one of 15 groups and 67 subtypes.

Leveraging classifications such as “Shopfloor Affluence”, “Garden Suburbia” and “Asian Attainment”, the company could now understand who their customers were, where they lived and what they need. Experian was able to identify the company’s most valuable customers, delivering real insight into how email campaigns and content can be tailored to better support existing, and win new, clients.

Results were immediate. Experian sent sk:n’s next email campaign, providing them with analysis of sent, opened and click through rate success criteria. Using feedback from this analysis, the company was able to identify that a more targeted, offer led approach would pay dividends, and the second run of emails led to increased engagement and revenue.

Since partnering with Experian, sk:n has run six distinct email campaigns, with the ability to target specific groups, such as ethnic consumers, who might have equally specific skincare needs. They can now expect to see up to 350 strong new customer enquiries per campaign, and convert around 60 per cent of these to transactions. New customer growth is tracked via a promotional code that only new clients have access to, enabling sk:n to measure the success and ROI of its acquisition campaigns.

The ability to understand email impact allows the tailoring of content at a highly detailed level: the company, for example, learned that using the term “50 per cent off” drove twice as many click throughs as “half price”. Experian driven insight also allows them to optimise the frequency of campaigns, learning that two mailings per campaign spaced two weeks apart maximises returns.

“The difference between pre and post- Experian campaigns is as clear as black and white. Being able to target promotions and content at specific groups has led to increased engagement, revitalising existing customers and bringing in new clients.”

Farryl Stubbs, SK:N

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