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A Letter to Nick Thomas: An Update on Holland & Barrett’s Basic CRM Tactics

Dear Mr. Nick Thomas, Chief Digital Officer at Holland & Barrett,

I’m writing to you because on November 11th, 2020, we at PostFunnel – a publication dedicated to everything relationship marketing – analyzed your company’s site experience according to our “7 commandments for basic CRM” – the ones brands should follow in today’s zeitgeist. In marketing, and the world as a whole. All, in order to improve their chances of building meaningful customer relationships.

You can read more about the method at the bottom of this page.

Since we ran the CRM analysis on your brand a while back, we wanted to revisit it today to see what has changed – what has improved, stagnated, or gotten worse. After all, we all know these things are dynamic.

See the original analysis of Holland & Barrett.

Your brand scored a good 81, enough for 8th place of the first 26 brands we analyzed by that time. Today. Now, 55 brands into our project – your brand is tied for 12th. Still a very good spot, but what does seems to be the one case for improvement here is Realtime Personalization.

Let’s dig deeper.

What’s still good?

Last time, we’ve established that H&B is a brand that knows how to be transparent (9/10 in the original analysis). The perfect 10 you got for “incentives and perks” is still a very much deserved one. Additionally, your social media treatment – mixing beautiful content with helpful and educational content, frequently posting on all major sites, adding some interactive posts, and giving each channel some platform-exclusive content still very much deserves a perfect 10.

What’s Improved?

Last time, you got 7 for UX, but with less annoying/chasing popups, and a better checkout page that includes a lot of helpful widgets and information, you get a 9 here now.

What isn’t better?

When it comes to Relevancy, last time your brand’s efforts got a perfect 10 for being all over all things covid-19 related, especially when it comes to free and safe delivery methods, and other initiatives and messaging that made visiting your site feel like you guys live in the same world as your customers are. Visiting your site today didn’t feel quite the same, in this regard. There are still enough things going on in the world that by tending to their impact, you’d be better positioned to build a more meaningful connection with your customers. The perfect 10 is now an 8.

You also lose 2 points – going from 8 to 6 – on the “Be Helpful” commandment, since it seems like things regarding sustainability and charity lost their presence around the site.

What still must improve?

“Realtime Personalization” is the biggest pain point for almost all brands we looked at. In our original analysis you got a low 3 out of 10, and with no on-site personalization and no personalized ads following us when we left the site and hopped into social media, means this number could even go lower – with the “why not try” widget feels like just another banner and not the personalized addition it could be. Still, we give you the same 3 points thanks to some basic “frequently bought together” models on product pages.

Bottom Line

Losing 2 points on Relevancy and 2 more on “Helpful”, gaining 2 for a smoother experience – mean your new score is 55/70 – or, 78%. This new score means a drop from around 12th to around 18th.

Still, the top 3rd of our table. And, still, a more personalized experience would mean a leap into the leading group.

To learn more about how N Brown Group can take full advantage of all the latest, cutting-edge realtime marketing personalization and customer segmentation practices, feel free to reach out to me at any time.


Amit Bivas, VP Marketing at Optimove

Email: [email protected]

About the 7 Commandments for Basic CRM Tactics in A Post-Coronavirus World:

We have a saying here at PostFunnel: All marketing is relationship marketing. Why? Because every touchpoint with a potential customer impacts the kind of relationship they will have with a brand, if and when they become customers. Even branding has. It’s like what people hear about their upcoming blind-date can determine the actual meeting’s success.

In recent years, it meant that the ways brands support global, social, environmental, and even political causes have become increasingly critical to their relationships with customers.

Then, 2020 happened. With its global pandemic’s tragedy, economic downturn, and historical social and political turmoils – people turned their eyes to brands, almost as much as they have to governments. Expecting and judging brands by how they conduct themselves throughout such events was never more crucial to a company’s CRM success.

One after the other, the internet got flooded with articles advising marketing and CRM leaders on how to make sure their brand is suited for this new reality. So, we combed dozens of them – and came up with a list of 7 staples that appeared in most of those articles.

The seven most essential commandments a brand must follow these days to make sure they put themselves in the best position possible to develop long, meaningful relationships with their customers.

The 7 Commandments:

1) Transparency. Show the human side of your brand

2) Give incentives and perks (that make sense)

3) Be relevant (with your language, offering)

4) Be helpful (improve your communities’ lives)

5) Personalize in realtime (cause, duh)

6) Master UX (slow, clunky websites are no longer an option)

7) Leverage social media (don’t just treat it as a sales channel)

Yup, that’s all. Without being at least decent at all of these, your CRM efforts will struggle to achieve their full potential.

And, let’s be honest, it’s not too much to ask of a brand, right?

Yet, you’d be surprised how many well-known brands fall short too often when analyzed through these lenses.

Still, it makes some sense – these changes are happening fast, and not all brands can react and adapt quickly enough and on all fronts.

And we’re here to follow these reactions and adjustments as they happen.

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