How Jacuzzi used data to transform the customer experience

It is often assumed that a brand has to be a big player in the tech space if it is to be perceived as a leader in innovative experience delivery. But more and more, companies outside of the traditional tech orbit are undergoing significant digital transformations, leading the way in showing others that you don’t need big bucks or massive resources to secure effective change.

Companies of all sizes from various sectors are learning how to leverage data to improve efficiencies, reach wider audiences and build more personalized and data-driven marketing strategies. But many found themselves up against several obstacles, especially in innovating their marketing processes.

To leap over hurdles and transform the customer experience easily, effectively and on budget, consider these three common challenges:

Challenge one: Overcome fear

For some marketing organizations, the biggest hurdle for digital transformation is a fear of change. There may be reluctance to disrupt established processes and ways of working, especially if they have been successful in the past. Legacy systems in particular can be difficult or costly to replace, and that can make adopting new digital technologies especially challenging.

A good example of a company that has undergone a successful digital transformation is the Jacuzzi Group. As a leading global manufacturer of hot tubs, baths, showers, saunas and pool equipment, Jacuzzi has more than 65 years of experience delivering innovative wellness products across many brands. Throughout that time, the company has been continuously evolving, most recently pioneering digital innovation across its products.

However, moving forward with technology for marketing proved more complicated.

“We try to be very tech-focused, and keep our products moving with technology,” said Kyle Blades, senior director, digital marketing and e-commerce, at Jacuzzi Group. “Even within the hot tub itself we have embedded our SmartTub technology that allows you to control your entire experience, all within your phone. However, from a marketing standpoint, because we work with so many independent retailers, we really needed a flexible solution that can work on a local level.”

Challenge two: Start with the consumer

To truly ensure amazing and personalized experience delivery, brands need to start by thinking of the end consumer. If software doesn’t deliver needed solutions, then it’s not fit for purpose.

Jacuzzi Group took a “build-backwards” approach to reinventing the customer experience, which meant starting with understanding the preferences of the end consumer as well as those of its retail partners.

“Delivering best-in-breed products according to the end customers’ needs—with the flexibility to support our dealers who have a wide diversity of experience with technology and very different tech stacks—was essential to us when embarking on this journey,” Blades said.

In addition, Jacuzzi Group made a commitment to standardizing its tech stack, no small feat considering the company’s diverse array of business units and legacy systems.

“To bring everything into one place you need the right partner and the technology that fits your business needs and can scale with you,” Blades added. “This gives us the ability to scale while also ensuring easier integrations into our tech stack.”

Challenge three: Have a unified vision

Brands need to have a unified vision when working with a software partner. Without it, demands could end up becoming a “Frankenlist” of desires and goals that will be impossible to meet. In the case of Jacuzzi Group, the brand knew that any partnership needed to start with coalition building around its dealer network.

The marketing organization shared its vision and made sure there was broad agreement about the steps required for a successful customer journey, including end-to-end perspectives on customer interactions and understanding audience segment insights across touchpoints.

Not only did this build-backward approach help create a sense of teamwork and excitement among dealer owners, but also laid the foundation for the development of more unified and compelling customer content.

Taking these three steps allowed Jacuzzi Group to unify its marketing processes, offer best-in-class customer experience and future-proof omnichannel connectivity. As a result, many retail partners saw 8% increase in same-store sales in the first two months of implementation.

The digital transformation of marketing processes can be challenging, especially for companies with diverse seller networks, established business models and legacy systems. Stepping up to these challenges has become essential. There’s simply no other way to remain competitive and meet the needs of customers.

As the Jacuzzi Group example illustrates, you need to find the technology—and the technology partner—that will enable you to improve how you collect, store, analyze and integrate data. That will help you keep up with the changing demands of the market and customer preferences and ultimately, leads to unforgettable experiences at every stage of the customer journey and better decision making overall.