Riding the Chairlift: Burton Uses Segmentation, Geo-Targeting Soon

Burton Snowboards is a manufacturer first and foremost, and prides itself on heritage, innovation and connection. All its employees, including its digital team, are “rider-driven,” meaning they are all about the sport of snowboarding. The company has received valuable insight by literally riding the chairlift and talking to people about snowboarding. The challenge for the company today is that its customers are diverse. Understanding who they are as a snowboarder, and listening to them to provide a relevant experience is key to effective digital marketing, and Greg Adams, Digital Marketing Manager, is leading the effort.

At first, Burton had very little actionable information about its customers and took a siloed approach across digital channels.

“Our fans are diverse and we want to be relevant and resonate to everyone,” said Adams in a presentation at eTail Boston.  “There wasn’t any connection between our email to foot traffic to who we were talking to through mobile – we didn’t really know anything.”

But Adams and his team soon realized that data was the key. Adams knew that he needed to be able to answer the following questions about his customers:

Where do they live?

What kind of rider are they?

In which channel(s) do they interact with us?

So Burton started “dropping into the data” and found out details and creating opportunities from segmentation.

They also found opportunities to do cooperative things with retailers, such as some experiments with Google and also through some geo-targeted ads on mobile devices, which the company is looking into currently. By pre-selecting a list of retailers, Burton can advertise by serving an ad through those retailers when someone in a given area searches for that store. Burton is also experimenting with QR codes for email acquisition and other kinds of customer engagement efforts.