Timing client – Christelle Gimat, Digital Director for France & Europe, Dr. Pierre-Ricaud

With a history that spans three decades, French bespoke cosmetics brand Dr. Pierre Ricaud redefined itself within the Rocher group as an innovation incubator. As part of its editorial overhaul, the brand teamed up with real-time customer engagement solution notify to match the right tone with the right timing and turn its customer conversations into a transformational asset.

Christelle Gimat, Digital Director for France and Europe, Dr. Pierre Ricaud – Rocher Group, explains the reasons for launching this partnership in April 2020 and why, just six months in, they already renewed it.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your current responsibilities at Dr. Pierre Ricaud and what attracted you to the brand?

I joined Dr. Pierre Ricaud in 2016 where I manage the digital division for France and Western Europe as well as the media strategy for all our digital touchpoints.

“Personalization” has become a marketing buzzword for customer experience; it’s overused, and the reality of the experience is usually underwhelming. Dr. Pierre Ricaud, however, really delivers on its promise of personalized care: it’s a commitment as much in terms of the substance of their products as in the form of their service, especially the relationship they build with their customers.

 

What are the major challenges facing companies in the cosmetics sector and what role does your department play in meeting them?

Historically, Dr. Pierre Ricaud has developed products for women over forty. However, our clientele has been quick to adopt digital and social codes, and this adoption rush forces us to transform just as fast. Digital represents 22% of our current turnover and it’s in full boom. My department is a bit like an R&D cell where we can test innovative tools, like notify, to accelerate our digital performance.

Our brand identity is linked to singularity. It’s true for our cosmetic products that we co-create with our customers; it’s true for our production and distribution model that’s without intermediaries, local and transparent; finally, it’s true for our customer relations, where to cut through the noise you have to adopt the proper tone and display a perfect sense of “timing”, both of which are decisive pillars of the trust our customers place in us. Therefore, we communicate with them in a relevant and respectful way, aware of just how little time they have at their disposal.

 

What is it about notify’s vision of technology that appealed to you? And how does it tie into this notion of perfect timing which you consider to be a cornerstone of customer relations?

To get the tone and timing right, we have to make smart choices and use our cunning in our communication and marketing campaigns. What struck me from the outset was the intelligence and effectiveness of notify’s solution that meets our dual requirement to a T: to be present when and as needed for our clients, but in a way that is still profitable for us.

 

What were the main objectives you hoped to achieve with their solution?

We have a very loyal customer base that highly appreciates our products. This is a great asset, but it means we have a responsibility to keep up with their level of expectations. Furthermore, the products and services we offer fall within the  “private” realm. The objective of the partnership was to personalize the timing of the dispatch of our newsletters to adapt it to the rhythm and activity of our customers’ lives, and ensure our messages are sent and received at the right time, with the aim of increasing our turnover.

Commercial pressure is of course also a major issue. Thanks to notify, we gain real-time visibility of our customers’ online lifecycle, with extremely precise monitoring of results. The tool helps us manage the pressure of sending emails by smoothing their delivery over time in a targeted manner, which yields better deliverability and opening rates than mass mailings, while protecting our reputation with ISPs.

But there is also continuous revenue pressure and the need for a positive ROI. In six months, the tool has paid for itself.

notify is driving higher ROI and increasing our revenue – all without saturating networks or messaging systems, which shows respect for our consumers and is aligned with the spirit of the brand.

 

Can you describe the different stages of your collaboration from the Go-live date to the contract’s renewal in August?

We launched a 4-month POC and then took stock. It was already proving to be a profitable investment. Six months later, the KPIs confirmed the direct positive impact on the business: a 31% increase in the opening rate, and a 13% increase in the transformation rate. The number of orders increased by more than 10% and our customer churn rate dropped.

Our collaboration with notify has been very constructive: Their teams have helped us on issues not even necessarily related to their solution, as well as supported us technically throughout the integration process with Adobe Campaign.

They’re always available and immediately responsive. The contract renewal in August was the logical next step, given the results.

 

I really like the statement that’s featured on your website: “Trust is something you earn every single moment”. What does this mean in terms of customer relations?

The notion of beauty, as we see it, goes beyond cosmetics: It’s a “time-out” to take a break, take a breath and take care of yourself. Often, we don’t allow ourselves these moments, which is why it’s so important for us to share them with our clients carefully and with respect.

We design the content and determine the distribution of our newsletters so that we don’t overwhelm our clients with information that doesn’t interest them at inappropriate times. Thanks to our real time follow-up of their activity we send them the right message at the time of the day when they can genuinely enjoy it.

Our primary responsibility is to listen to our clients to give them what they need when they need it, instead of blindly pushing sales offers. This is where our partnership with notify has made a huge difference.

 

Can you talk about your management of the Covid-19 crisis? In what way was notify an asset during this period and what are your plans looking forward?

Throughout the confinement period, our relationship with our customers revolved much more around the conversations we had with them, than the deals we closed. It was essential to keep these conversations going, which notify helped us do. The continuous flow and even multiplication of our exchanges strengthened our customer relationships, and brought us invaluable insights to better position ourselves, face the recovery period and look to the future with more serenity.

In our transformation journey, notify is advising us and leading us to question some of our work processes and CRM functions, enabling us to move forward. We have big projects ahead, and we are already studying new use cases.

notify is much more than just a technological solution, it’s a whole mindset around innovation, an outlook toward the future, which I aim to instill within my teams.

 

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