Personalization = table stakes now that consumers expect to be known and catered to. But in return, they’ll reward you. Fashion retailer Wildfang has found that refining their personalization strategies means revenue continues to double each year. Learn the secret when you catch up on this VB Live event.

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“It’s all very well and good to talk about attitudinal cohorts and motivation and all these nice brand marketing words,” says Emma McIlroy, CEO of fashion retailer and lifestyle brand Wildfang, “but at the end of the day we need conversion and we need purchase, and that’s what all of us are probably interested in.”

But increasingly that means forming long-lasting relationships with customers, letting those customers know you see them coming back, time after time, and rewarding them for it. That’s how McIlroy has helped guide Wildfang through tremendous growth, with revenue doubling every year since launch, a customer base of 40K and growing, more than 120K social followers and a 3:1 ROAS (return on ad spend) and X4 conversion rate since 2013.

Craig Schinn, senior director of solutions consulting at Lytics, agrees. “Marketing has evolved,” Schinn adds. “Moving from a products-focused world to a demographics-focused one, to one where scripted journeys have helped marketers move beyond demographics, to what now we consider to be a behavior-centric world.”

Uncovering that behavior is a practically cakewalk in the real world, Macillroy notes.

“We’re really good at offline marketing — we came from Nike and Levi and other major brands, so we’re very very comfortable in an offline environment,” she explains. “What that means is when you walk through the doors of our store, we can tell pretty quickly what product to take you to, which celebrity to talk to you about, and which adjectives and voice to use with you. That’s so much more difficult to do in an online environment.”

Or it has been, Schinn says. “We live in an increasingly data driven world. Our phones, our computers, every interaction we have now is generating data,” says Schinn. “All this data that we’re generating in our interactions is something that marketers are striving to take great advantage of, but struggling.”

He notes that 87 percent of marketers consider data to be their organization’s most underutilized asset — oftentimes because marketers have failed to integrate the various systems that they have.

“Historically it’s been very hard to get customer data integrated and easily processed into consumable segments across a marketer’s tools,” Schinn says. But some companies have gotten it right: Spotify grew to a user base of 40 million users with personalization on a massive scale. Netflix has transformed how we watch media — and 75 percent of what subscribers watch on Netflix comes from in-app recommendations. Even 35 percent of’s revenue comes from its recommendation engine.

Sure, these are the big guys, Shinn says. “But the common thread between these leaders is that have changed industries,” he asks. “They’re able to process and utilize the massive amounts of data that they generate.”

Data helps generate ways to better recommend content, better use predictive science, and drive the sort of engagement that really impacts your customers in a positive way and make them want to deepen their relationship with you.

For Wildfang, it means merging essential offline strategies and insights with innovative technology to drive their online personalization approach, from voice and language to content, products, and promotions.

“The thing that’s interesting about Wildfang is that it’s quite a diverse audience,” McIlroy says. “It’s very hard to deliver that diverse segmentation and personalization. And we were struggling with that. We tried to say, what do we know about our consumer from an offline perspective, or from a more brand marketing perspective?”

They ended up with 96 audience segments, from the broad to the niche, based on brand and category affinities, uncovering an untapped social audience that was talking about Wildfang, by geography and key cities in that group, leveraging data science-driven purchase predictions, and looking at email engagement. They became armed with the all the online data that they had been collecting all along by viewing it holistically from a customer engagement perspective — which also aligned with their ingrained company philosophy.

“We tend to lead everything with our tribes in mind,” McIlroy says. “We tend to lead everything consumer-first, rather than being driven by the fact that you have too many sweaters on hand or you have too many Redwing boots on hand.”

She points out a recent wildly successful marketing campaign for Leap Year Day, driven by the uniqueness of the date and their customers’ interest in marking it as a holiday.

The promotion, McIlroy says, was to offer four years of free shipping. “It’s unique, it’s compelling, it cuts through the clutter in the marketplace — because it starts with the consumer and an important moment in her world and what’s happening in her world,” she explains. “This was as successful as Black Friday for us. Conversion and traffic both spiked, and we didn’t spend any paid media on it.”

She adds, “What we saw was because we led with the consumer and a consumer-relevant proposition, and consumers shared it heavily.”

For more about how Wildfang uses data-driven personalization to increase conversions 73 percent YoY, how they tackle the silo challenges, and why machine learning is an essential tool, catch up on this free VB Live event!

Don’t miss out!

Access this VB Live event on demand right here.

In the VB Live event you will learn how to:

  • Increase web conversions and revenue with personalized website marketing
  • Use behavior-based audience segments to better target visitors.
  • Target customers who are most likely to buy or most likely to churn using data science and advanced machine learning algorithms.
  • Use cross-channel customer data to power more relevant website marketing campaigns


  • Emma McIlroy, CEO, WildFang
  • Craig Schinn, senior director, Solutions Consulting, Lytics


  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Lytics.