Brooks Brothers adds MBS CRM for better personalized marketing

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High-end retailer Brooks Brothers has tapped database marketing company MBS to help boost its CRM and retention efforts.

MBS' Klondike platform will provide marketing and database services spanning Brooks Brothers' online, in-store and call-center marketing efforts. Klondike also is providing data modeling, processing and analytics to Brooks Brothers. The retailer will rely heavily on these data tools this year, as it transitions its Web site from a general storefront into a portal to local stores.

“Our customers have a lot of loyalty at these local stores,” said Brian Dean, VP of direct at Brooks Brothers. “Now that we have this visibility into the cross-channel behavior of customers, we want to make it clear that when they come to the Web site we know who they are and understand their relationship with our sales associates.”

The new site, currently in production, will feature a virtual closet, which shows everything a customer has bought in-store and online, as well as suggestions from a trusted sales associate.

Brooks Brothers chose MBS following an extensive RFP process. Dean said experience in both apparel and luxury helped MBS stand out, as did the company's cross-channel campaign management experience.

“A major driver was to be able to have a 360-degree view of all customer activity,” he said. “We have information from stores, where associates are tracking customer preferences and communications, and we combine that with online activity, direct activity with the catalog, any communications from e-mail subscribers, all that type of thing.

“The goal is customer service,” he added. “It's really more than trying to market to these people, and we want to make sure that we're not over-contacting them.”

MBS' Klondike system replaces the database services of another company, which Dean declined to name.  

With the old system the company was “able to coordinate but not integrate, and we were not able to honor customer preferences in a subtle way," said Jan Cantler, director of database and CRM at Brooks Brothers. "It was yes or no to mail, yes or no to phone calls — we couldn't opt you down, we could just opt you out.”

Now, however, the idea is to improve relevance of mailings while honoring customers' preferences for contact frequency. Throughout the year, said Dean, the company will be carefully watching its net promoter scores and various customer satisfaction metrics.

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