- Gain deeper understanding of buyers and influencers for a competitive edge
- Simplify complex decision-making across a global web presence and 28 languages
- Elevate the status and importance of data within the organization
- Create consistent campaign messages for use across multiple channels and different markets
Engineering organizational change.
RS Components, a trading brand of Electrocomponents Plc., is the world’s largest electronics distributor, reaching customers in 32 countries in 28 languages. The company sells approximately half-a-million electrical and electronic components, tools, testing equipment, and related items annually through online, catalog, and trade counter channels.
Engineers are the primary users of RS Components’ products, but it’s the procurement managers who typically make the purchases. “An engineer will come to our site, research products, download technical documentations, and then finish his online journey because he doesn’t have buying power,” explains Andrew Morris, Head of Digital Insight Delivery for RS Components. “Two days later, a procurement manager from the same company will visit the website—having not looked at anything and already knowing what he needs—add a product number to a basket, and buy it.”
Reconciling the behavior of influencers and purchasers is key to feeding analytics data into digital marketing and digital advertising and helping ensure that RS Components is spending its marketing dollars wisely. Within a single organization, there may also be several different people accessing RS Components’ content from multiple devices. As a result, Morris and his team must cast a wider net to achieve a single view of its audience.
“We have to look at the wider customer base rather than individuals, which is very different compared to a B2C environment,” says Morris. “When you also factor in the need to engage with them in different languages, and the changing landscape of our market, which is attracting competition from established B2C online retailers, marketing becomes very complex.”
Further complicating matters is the fact that business users lacked an understanding of digital data analytics, and how this could be harnessed for decision making. “We needed a change in culture to elevate the status of digital analytics so it would be seen as a business utility in the same way that our organization considers financial data,” says Morris “70% of our revenue streams are described by data, so it makes sense that people need to use it.”
"Thanks to the powerful suite of Adobe solutions, there has been a measurable impact on our business."— Andrew Morris, Head of Digital Insight Delivery, RS Components
To change internal perceptions about the value of digital data and expand the use of analytics to drive better decisions, save time, and improve overall effectiveness, RS Components implemented Adobe Analytics Premium for digital transformation across the organization.
As part of Adobe Analytics Cloud, Adobe Analytics is helping the organization’s content, product, and marketing teams use digital data to greater effect than they would traditional sources of data. The Analysis Workspace capability within Adobe Analytics allows business users to make better decisions quickly, for improved results.
RS Components uses Analysis Workspace to drive a self-serve model, which includes reusable templates. Users are trained on how to drag and drop varied types of information for analysis, from a customer’s last touch to the first touch and everything in between. As a result, business stakeholders can conduct cross-channel marketing attribution across online and offline channels to gain a 360-degree customer view. Reports can be shared easily so that people understand how their products or marketing campaigns are performing.
“The flexibility in Analysis Workspace around attribution gives our marketers and digital advertising teams the measure of certainty they need,” says Morris.
Users who require more advanced analysis are able to tap the digital analytics team for assistance. Team members used to spend two weeks each month creating reports for each market. Now, they spend one day on reports, freeing them up to dive deeper into the data for more meaningful insights.
RS Components has also significantly increased adoption of Adobe Analytics over the company’s previous analytics tool. Now, 400 people use Adobe Analytics, compared to just 10 before, hitting 100% of the company’s user target.
“As an analyst, I couldn’t imagine doing my job without Analysis Workspace now,” says Morris. “It’s saved us so much time. What would take hours to pull together is now five minutes. We bring so much more value to the business.”
"As an analyst, I couldn’t imagine doing my job without Analysis Workspace now. What would take hours to pull together is now five minutes."— Andrew Morris, Head of Digital Insight Delivery, RS Components
With a solid foundation for digital analytics in place, RS Components can better understand the needs of its various customer segments to personalize their experiences. The company uses Adobe Target Premium within Adobe Marketing Cloud for multivariate testing to deliver insights that help drive change and allocate resources accordingly.
“We are active in 32 markets, which means we have the opinions of 32 marketers to take into account,” says Morris. “Adobe Target takes the emotion and opinion out of the decision-making process, relying on data to steer us towards the right action.”
Data from Adobe Analytics helps RS Components narrow down marketing initiatives that customers and prospects are engaging with. The company then tests the options using Adobe Target to determine where its agile team’s efforts and resources will be spent—such as which initiative shows the most potential for yielding the highest gain.
For example, RS Components recently tested the color, copy, and placement of a button called ‘Product Accessories’ located next to the Order Basket on its website. After testing various options using Adobe Target, the company moved the button to the right-hand side of the page and changed the text to ‘Recommended Accessories’. This resulted in a 75% increase in the number of clicks, and a 2% increase in Average Order Value (AOV).
Likewise, one team was able to test its hypothesis that changing the position and copy of the Product Page Feedback form would encourage more customer feedback for more detailed customer insights. Their intuition was correct: RS Components experienced a 450% uplift in form submissions from customers.
“Data-driven marketing helps us personalize the customer experience while setting appropriate measures of success for our audience segments, which simplifies the decision-making process,” says Morris. “This is especially useful when we market products in different countries, because the data speaks for itself.”
Reaching the engineers of tomorrow
The rich data gleaned from Adobe Analytics is also feeding into RS Components’ email campaigns, which are executed using the Adobe Campaign solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud. This enables marketing and advertising teams to deliver consistent, personalized messages to customers and prospects.
“In addition to understanding purchasing history, we can determine if buyers of certain types of components are also likely to want products from a different business unit, and over which channels,” says Morris. “Multichannel marketing campaigns across email, social, and direct mail now communicate a consistent brand message, which has increased engagement and return on investment.”
Data is also helping RS Components understand the impact of social media on the customer journey. The Adobe Social solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud makes it easier for the company to reach and engage with a younger audience—the engineers of the future who will influence purchasing.
For example, when British inventor Richard Browning created an anti-gravity, jet-powered suit using parts from RS Components and filmed himself taking flight, the RS Components campaign team was quick to act. In addition to promoting the video content in an email campaign, the team pushed the content across social networks, driving significant engagement among millennials.
“Most of our marketing channels target more experienced engineers, but our social reach is comprised mostly of millennials—engineers who will move into positions of influence in the future,” says Morris. “It’s important for us to reach and influence this group in an increasingly competitive market.”
"Adobe Target takes the emotion and opinion out of the decisionmaking process, relying on data to steer us towards the right action."— Andrew Morris, Head of Digital Insight Delivery, RS Components
Digital data is now helping to increase revenues, attract new customers, and position RS Components for the next stage in the company’s history.
“Adobe has helped to illustrate the importance of digital analytics data in decision making,” says Morris. “Thanks to the powerful suite of Adobe solutions, there has been a measurable impact on our business.”
As a result, RS Components hosted its first-ever Digifest, a two-day internal festival that helped employees understand what digital transformation is, and its impact on the company’s future. Adobe will continue to play a role in this evolution—RS Components is considering adding to its Adobe footprint with the AdobeAudience Manager solution in Adobe Analytics Cloud and the Adobe Experience Manager Sites solution in Adobe Marketing Cloud.
“I now meet with our CEO to discuss digital analytics data and its strategic importance in our decision making,” says Morris. “This is a significant cultural change for our business and for digital analytics as a whole.”
Solution at a Glance
- Adobe Campaign
- Adobe Target Premium
- A/B Testing
- Multivariate Testing
- Adobe Social
- Adobe Analytics Premium
- Analysis Workspace