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Inside Rip Curl’s “windfall” marketing strategy

How Aussie surf wear and active wear brand Rip Curl has made a windfall with a targeted marketing strategy based on organic content and market segmentation.

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Mick Fanning is one of Australia’s most iconic surfers – which is why it only made sense for one of Australia’s most iconic surf wear companies to snag a sponsorship deal with Fanning.

It was this deal coupled with a stellar market segmentation strategy which has in recent years seen the brand hit spectacular sales targets, Sam Hopgood, Digital Marketing Manager at Rip Curl told Campaign Monitor’s Marketing & Mixology event last week.

Rip Curl might be this year celebrating 50 iconic years serving up truly Australian swimwear but this isn’t the only thing the brand has to celebrate.

A refocus of the brand’s marketing strategy in recent years has seen them smash massive sales goals, Hopgood says.

“We’ve found  a lot of quick wins in personalisation and segmentation across Google, social media and email marketing and that’s seen a big windfall for us.

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“Segmentation is major for Rip Curl. It really is the cornerstone of delivering a more refined message to the customer.”

Despite an increasingly competitive marketing landscape where driving traffic with discounts or gifts is the new cool, Rip Curl has found another way to engage customers.

The brand has a three-tier segmentation strategy which doubles-down on customer data. The first segment of data is generic including gender and purchase history, this is obtained through sign up forms and user interaction, the second is more advanced segmentation breaking down the database into six tiers based on who is most engaged and the third involves more detailed segmentation based on data gathered in-store or online housed via Rip Curl’s Customer Data Platform.

Targeting various customer segments using these three tiers and personalised content with a genuine focus on brand in relation to product has been a huge success for the brand.

“What we’ve seen by tailoring campaigns in this way is an increase in click through and open rate of roughly 20-30 per cent which is huge in terms of traffic to the site,” he said.

“Using three areas of segmentation has really helped us create a more personalised experience for our customers.”

Most recently, Rip Curl’s famous collaboration with Mick Fanning involving the hashtag #cheersmick and increased segmentation saw a bunch of quick wins for the company.

“We have seen a huge windfall across this campaign and that was reflected in sales as well,” he said.

“What we saw communicating to consumers via email without promoting a product was a huge uplift in engagement. It was a sure fire strategy for us.”

The brand’s marketing strategy has been such a success that Hopgood says Rip Curl is set to continue to double down on data into the future while also collaborating more with Fanning- who has just signed a lifetime deal with the brand.

“On top of that in 2019 we want to focus on how we can drive signups at our major surfing events.”