HelloFresh's Paula Hakkaja on Testing, Personalization & Customer Behavior

Paula Hakkaja, CRM Manager at HelloFresh, will be speaking on a panel about data and testing at our upcoming Brand Insider Summit in Kitzbuhl 3-6 February. We caught up with her to discuss the panel and the marketing challenges that keep her up at night.

Q: What is the most important idea you hope attendees will take away from your panel?

A: Even when the customer characteristics have been previously defined and categorized for the personalized marketing approach (i.e. young families, students, mothers, etc.) these attributes are merely the wider groupings, but they do not enable a truly personal approach on their own. They are a great starting point for the grounds of initial tests, but the real insights to the customer characteristics come from a long term process of testing. It could be compared to interactions on a personal level – when we meet new people, we have some immediate knowledge about that person in terms of stereotypical characterization, but only after interactions on a personal level, we get to know who they really are. In order to be successful in a personalized marketing approach, one also must perceive beyond assumptions, which can only be achieved by testing. Hence, no matter the level of professional experience, the journey to learn never stops.

Q: Which marketing challenges keep you up at night?

A: Strategically managing tests that have failed and deciding when the test has exhausted itself are the main challenges of my daily job. When working with campaigns in multiple languages, it is often difficult to tell whether the failure has been the real negation of the hypothesis or whether it is merely a problem of localization of the content being tested. In order to overcome this problem, I run the same test ideas in multiple countries and then compare the results between the countries to see if the negative results are valid failures or whether the content must be revised. On the other hand, however, there does exist a solid difference between customer behavior in different countries. Hence, the real challenge is finding the equilibrium between deciding, which factors have impacted the test results. However, one must sleep at night to be able to make well informed decisions and overcome any challenge.

Q: What new tactics do you expect to try next year?

A: My new direction for the testing strategy for the coming year will investigate effective ways to limit the extensive direct marketing to the leads of our referral program. Instead, I will focus more on existing customers, our “referrers”,  and encourage them to take the initiative to engage more in a conversation with those they have referred. One example I am attempting to achieve this with is to highlight curated brand benefits to our customers so that the effort they have to make themselves is limited. The aim here is not just to manage the extent of our communication to the prospects, but also to improve their retention rates, as well as, improve the general brand awareness internationally.

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