Case study: How Mindbody makes data-based marketing decisions

Case study: How Mindbody makes data-based marketing decisions

When you have 67,000 business customers globally you need good customer data. Luckily, Heather Garrick, Senior Marketing Manager of Mindbody, is well-versed in its importance.

The company itself is also very much data focused. A specialist technology platform for the wellness industry, Mindbody provides business management software to wellness businesses of any size – from pilates classes and yoga studios to full-scale sports clubs and spas. The software enables class bookings, payments, teacher schedule management, financial reporting and more and can be integrated into a customer’s website.

Grounded in data

Heather, who joined the company in February this year, says she learned the power of data for marketers in her most recent role at the large London yoga studio chain, Triyoga, where she was Commercial Director.

“I began my career on start-ups with a company called Lovespace, where you make the most of your money and really have to understand acquisition costs. The owner was ex-McKinsey so really gave me a strong foundation in using data,” says Heather.

With so many business customers, as well as a Mindbody app with over 100,000 active users at the end of last year who booked over 35,000 classes every month, Heather is using data to understand the individual needs of each customer.

It was at Triyoga that Heather fully grasped the way to make data-based marketing decisions.

Heather Garrick

“People came to Triyoga for so many reasons. It wasn’t just 20-30 year olds. We had a complete age range and strong growth in men joining. Members ranged from serious yogis attending seven classes a week to spot class attendees turning up once a week or less and these groups had completely different interests and needed very different messaging,” she says.

Segmenting customers

Data was used to segment Triyoga’s customers. Its main channel was social. The data came into its own when Heather began using Mindbody’s platform to begin reporting. She needed to know, for example, which classes each member attended, which teachers they liked, their likelihood to attend a particular workshop, and so on. The objective was personalised content and to avoid bombarding members with irrelevant messages.

One successful social campaign on Instagram was called ‘We are Yoga’. It used a well-known photographer to take shots of ordinary people in the yoga studio, including families, children – even a priest – and let them tell their story of why they did yoga. The message was direct: if you think yoga is not for you, think again.

The result was a doubling in engagement rates and a rise in attendance.

Success was the result not just of a beautiful campaign, which was a waste of time if no-one engaged with it, but a clever use of data. Heather used Mindbody’s data to identify interest groups.

She says, “This meant we could cross-sell different treatment types or massages knowing what individuals were interested in.”

Data-based expansion

At Mindbody, which was acquired last year for US$1.9bn by Vista Equity Partners, the objective this year is to expand into Europe. Heather is preparing a strategy for expansion based on the data.

But she says, “There is very seldom a magic lever. Data provides little insights. Only about half the time have I found something that makes a really big difference; it’s usually about the basics and marginal gains. All the changes together, however, do have a big impact.”

In an industry worth an estimated £526 million in the UK last year and growing at a healthy 2.7%, such small gains certainly will add up.