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Senior Vice President, Marketing and eCommerce
Angela Hsu, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and eCommerce, manages a team responsible for marketing, site strategy, PR and brand, creative services, innovation, marketplace and merchandising analytics. She describes how data and the implementation of AI-powered platforms have enabled Lamps Plus to better engage with their customers, ultimately cutting costs and improving customer experience.
As an online and offline retailer, she says Lamps Plus is acutely focused on leveraging data that will better meet consumer needs across channels. “Creating an omni-channel experience means understanding our users’ behaviors on our website, in our stores and through our marketing efforts,” she says. “Having a unified view of these activities enables us to personalize what we show our customers to better fit their wants and needs.”
Insights into the offline-online relationship are keys to fully understanding each unique customer journey.
“We are taking a more holistic view of the customer by leveraging multi-touch attribution and integrating online and offline data,” she explains. “Having a full understanding of all of the touchpoints (online, offline, channel and device) is one key to better serving our customers.”
She adds that any data insights must be leveraged within the context of providing a superior experience, so ensuring compliance to customers’ privacy rights and specific preferences is paramount.
“We need to ensure that we limit our data collection to areas that our users deem appropriate,” she says. “The goal is to leverage the right data that makes them feel comfortable while still providing a personalized, superior experience.”
In order to get the most out of the data at their disposal, Lamps Plus is continually adding new technologies that can better target consumers with relevant messaging.
“We have integrated third-party data sources to supplement what we know about our consumers to ensure we are reaching them in the right way, at the right time and through the right channel,” she says.
She says that the insights gained in the digital realm have enabled a deep understanding of their customers.
“The data we gather from our customers’ website journeys allows us to customize our marketing specifically to them and their preferences, whether they continue their journey online or move toward in-store interactions,” she says. “Gone are the days of using only age and gender demographics. Improved technology and people’s willingness to share relevant information have allowed us to get a much better understanding of our customer.”
The company already leverages AI and machine learning across company initiatives to improve efficiency and effectiveness. They are also integrating other new technologies based on a constant evaluation of the organization’s needs. She says with any technology, the goal should be to ensure that the technology makes it easier to act upon new insights.
“Data is an essential tool for the modern marketing and commerce leader,” she says. “We are seeking new ways to ensure that our data can quickly and efficiently be turned into actionable insights.”
On the program side of the equation, she says that data has enabled better segmentation of customers, which helps them provide more relevant communications. Operationally, data enables efficient marketing spend.
“With marketing costs continually rising, we regularly refine our budget based on the performance of our marketing efforts,” she says. “Our customer focus has allowed us to maintain growth in an increasingly competitive market due to our heightened attention on personalization.”
With the increasing emphasis on data insights, she says the organization is working toward a streamlined data value chain.
“We capture hundreds of data points throughout our customers’ journeys,” she says. “As technology evolves and improves, we regularly find more ways and places to collect data and improve our understanding of customers.”
That understanding cannot be siloed; rather, she says it is imperative to have a multifunctional view of data.
“Having different teams tap into the same data to determine their own unique insights helps each team to look at the data differently,” she says. “By sharing this information crossfunctionally, we can approach our own data sets differently. Additionally, we can better assess how our individual projects uniquely impact different teams.”
The combined data of the marketing, supply chain and commerce teams is substantial. By working together, they ensure that those insights are most appropriately leveraged given the unique needs of each function while always keeping the shared goals of the organization top of mind.
“There is no shortage of insights that our teams discover regularly,” she says. “Each function may have its own understanding of customers based on how they are trying to serve them, but it is through shared knowledge and working toward shared goals that we overcome obstacles around cross-functional collaboration.”