The Limited signs with Merkle for database marketing

The Limited has signed a multiyear agreement with database marketing agency Merkle to provide a comprehensive marketing database infrastructure, database marketing strategy, advanced analytics and data-driven customer insight.

While The Limited has done some integrated marketing in the past, its efforts have been held back by its legacy database and the fact that all the necessary data wasn’t in one place, said Scott Sutton, director of account management at Merkle and the client leader on The Limited account. There are currently 7 million customers in The Limited’s existing database.

Merkle will be building a new marketing database for The Limited called a Knowledge Center that will serve as the foundation for the retailer’s future marketing efforts. The database will be used for testing, modeling and analyzing consumer data and will ultimately provide a view into customers’ preferences and buying behavior over time.

The Limited launched its first e-commerce Web site in the fall, and Merkle will be incorporating information from there with point-of-sale and transactional data.

“One of the differences is the analytic approach Merkle is using to mine and leverage The Limited’s data,” Sutton said. One of Merkle’s first projects will be to develop more comprehensive predictive models than The Limited has had available previously, such as repeat purchases. Another will be to develop a strategy to increase The Limited’s base of multichannel customers.

The retailer is hoping the moves will help improve the ROI of its marketing efforts.
“We’re really trying to help The Limited optimize the value of its customer portfolio and make sure we’re driving their ROI through doing that,” Sutton said.

One of the first things that customers will see as result of this partnership will be more timely and relevant communications in an attempt to reduce the time between purchases. This will be primarily through direct mail and e-mail for now, but Merkle will explore other channels such as integrated voice messages and text messages.

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