Smartwool grew its audience with the right MarTech

Growing marketing teams must be mindful of common behaviors that could hinder expansion and productivity. These growth-limiting tendencies can take many forms, such as a “set it and forget it” approach, tunnel vision on singular goals, or the absence of evolution because the team has found a way that “works fine.” This last misstep is an easy habit to fall into. If something is “good enough,” improving upon that discipline might fall to the bottom of a team’s priority list; however, this mentality is typically the root cause for why marketing teams plateau.

It’s common for technology to fall into this latter category. If the tech the team is used to is working fine, it’s hard to convince leaders that a switch is necessary. Changing technologies is rarely a problem, though, and almost always becomes a solution.

At the same time, customer expectations are constantly on the rise. As more technologies with greater capabilities becomes available, specifically in MarTech, teams have greater access to meeting those expectations. These adjustments can improve customers’ experiences with a brand. Simultaneously, teams with more sophisticated tech stacks have more room to grow to achieve their evolving goals.

Additionally, evolving tech stacks help reduce the burdens a marketing team experiences through manual work. Better tech means more automation, which reduces the effort on the team’s part, saving hours per day. This leaves more time to focus on the initiatives that truly matter and can move the business forward.

Smartwool, an outdoor apparel brand focused on bringing comfort, confidence, and community to its audience, realized it was going through the exact problems described above. The team was outgrowing its marketing technology portfolio and navigating the negative implications of the mismatch between needs and functionality. By building a solid program out of a data-driven marketing strategy and investing in the latest technology from Acoustic and Acoustic partner and CDP provider Ascent360, the Smartwool team was able to reach new heights and new audiences.

Smartwool began the process of reevaluating its marketing technology stack by going back to the drawing board and assessing its goals. What were the most important business goals, and how did they expect to meet them? A plan was set to mature the tech stack in order to align with the team’s expectations.

The Smartwool team identified four concrete phases with clear KPIs, goals, and scopes. Day One of their new maturation journey saw three elements requiring evolution:

  • The company’s CRM was viewed in a silo as email-only. It wasn’t dynamic or valued. It was essentially a set it and forget it strategy.
  • Ownership of the CRM didn’t fall within the marketing team, so Smartwool brought the position to marketing and viewed it as an essential role responsible for data-driven marketing and personalization.
  • As a brand and as a marketing unit, Smartwool didn’t understand who its customers were.

With these problems in mind, Smartwool devised its framework:

  1. Level One: The team was limited to single-point-in-time, single-channel marketing capabilities, and ad-hoc campaign reporting. Segmentation was basic, if included at all.
  2. Level Two: The team prioritized further personalization and automation. This included demographic segmentation, trigger campaigns, and engagement scoring.
  3. Level Three: The team reached a more scalable, strategic environment. Multichannel campaigns began, behavioral data enabled advanced nurturing and personalization, and the brand integrated mobile through SMS and an app.
  4. Level Four: This stage is the ultimate goal. It symbolizes the ability to form lifelong relationships through one-to-one communication across the customer lifecycle, lifelong nurturing, predictive content, omnichannel campaigns, and advanced campaign analytics.

Each stage of marketing maturity showcases more and more sophistication. Brands of all industries must create similar concrete and actionable plans in order to reach their marketing goals.

Once Smartwool built its framework, the marketing team realized that the tech stack at their disposal was not sufficient to reach level four of desired marketing maturity. That’s why Smartwool partnered with Acoustic—implementing Acoustic Campaign—and Ascent360 to revitalize its MarTech stack.

To learn more about how Smartwool invested in MarTech to reach its marketing goals, watch our on-demand webinar Marketing technology reimagined: How Smartwool outgrew their marketing tools.