A Letter to David Devany: An Update on Iceland Food’s Basic CRM Tactics

Dear Mr. David Devany, Group Chief Customer & Digital Officer at Iceland Foods,

I’m writing to you because on September 30, 2020, we at PostFunnel – a publication dedicated to everything relationship marketing (O&O by Optimove) – analyzed your company’s basic relationship marketing tactics, according to our “7 commandments” for basic CRM practices for the kind of world we live in today.

In other words – we looked at it all through the lens of how brands should behave in a post-COVID-19 world to improve their chances of building meaningful customer relationships.

You can read more about the method at the bottom of this page.

Since we ran Iceland Food’s CRM analysis a few months back, we wanted to revisit it today to see what has changed – what has improved, stagnated, or gotten worse. After all, we all know these things are dynamic.

See the full original analysis of Iceland Foods from Sept 30, 2020.

Back then, your brand got a 71% score, and ranked 11 out of the 19 leading brands we analyzed. Now, 43 brands into our project – Iceland Food’s has fallen to 26th place!

What seems to be the case is a crucial CRM drawback: the lack of some basic Realtime Personalization tactics.

Let’s dig deeper.

What’s Gone Better

Brand Transparency – Previous Score 6/10

At the time of the previous analysis, we wrote that “we did not stumble upon any special efforts by the brand to put the company’s matters and motives out in the open in ways that can benefit customers.”

However, this time we noticed a number of things going on in the news (Iceland closing supermarket at North Wales shopping center), but the reason behind the store’s closure still has not been disclosed.

When it comes to plant-based offering, then we also saw a story about how Iceland doubles plant-based offer. Iceland Trading Director, Andrew Staniland said: “Iceland will always stand for high-quality food, convenience and everyday value and the meat-free category is no different. We’ve seen substantial growth in meat-free sales and are committed to offering our customers a broad choice of meat-free meal solutions for every meal occasion.

“Doubling our meat-free offering with the launch of LIVEKINDLY Collective brands into Iceland main estate and Food Warehouse is a further evidence of bringing healthier food choices to our customer to meet the demand for plant-based meat alternatives. We’re excited to be bringing a brand-new range of 100 per cent plant-based products from some of the best known and most loved brands in the UK to the Iceland shopper and seeing what our customers think about the new range.”

Now that’s a lot more descriptive!

Transparency has to do with a brand striving to exhibit its motives, the people behind it. customers want to feel there are humans on the other side. Addressing customers’ desire to know more about you is becoming a basic requirement. When your brand doesn’t provide enough details on any matter at hand – customers must investigate the absence of information – making your brand less customer-friendly.

The score now would be about 8/10.

Being Helpful – Previous Score 8/10

Last time we wrote “although Iceland does call for its customers to donate by promoting local charities and local support, we couldn’t find any recent causes or charities it has been supporting or donating to itself.”

This time around, we found a couple of helpful initiatives implemented by your brand.

For instance, all profits from “Bonny the Butterfly” cupcakes, which works to reverse the decline in numbers of the insect species and promotes the importance of biodiversity, will be donated to Butterfly Conservation.

Iceland MD, Richard Walker said on The Grocer: “We had previously removed our caterpillar cake from sale as it contained palm oil and had no plans to re-enter the caterpillar category, even when the #FreeCuthbert movement captured the nation’s attention.”

“However, when Chris Packham (TV naturalist) called on supermarkets to use their cakes to raise awareness of the biodiversity crisis facing our planet, we had to get involved.

“I’m proud to say that our butterfly cakes will be completely palm oil-free, in line with our commitment, and we’ll be supporting the important work of Butterfly Conservation by donating all proceeds from sales of this product.”

Also, Iceland now offers an in-store discount to NHS workers to spend on their weekly food shop.

Finally, we noticed that Iceland partnered with The Big Lunch 2021 to celebrate and give thanks to neighbors and communities.

All this would easily turn the “Being Helpful” commandment into the perfect 10/10 score!

What’s Not Better

Realtime Personalization – Previous Score 1/10 (would stay the same)

Here’s how we checked your brand’s level of immediate/basic marketing personalization efforts:

We added different types of ice cream to our shopping cart and no up-selling or cross-selling techniques were presented to us. When going back to the homepage after adding the products to our cart, we were not presented with similar item suggestions – like most other brands rightfully do.

In fact, nothing on the homepage changed whatsoever – to personalize our experience and help us find more sweets/desserts which is obviously what we felt like eating at the time

When completely exiting Iceland’s website, no realtime retargeting efforts were made on our social media either – even when we left our cart abandoned with some groceries in it.

So, many (if not all) basic/immediate personalization tactics are missing. That’s too bad as when it comes to customer marketing, personalization is crucial.

Brands that adopt a truly personalized, customer-centric approach can attribute 33% of their revenue to CRM marketing.

To achieve deep, meaningful relationships with your customers – your CRM team needs the ability to discover valuable insights about your customers, segment them into granular micro-segments and deliver the appropriate message to each one, at-scale.

Wanna know how it’s done? Talk to us, we know a gal..

And so, overall, we’d say that Iceland’s new score will probably go from 71% to 76%.

That’s climbing from 26th place to 19th out of the 43 brands we ranked. Improvement, but still nothing more than the middle of the pack.

To learn more about how Iceland Foods can take full advantage of all the latest, cutting-edge realtime marketing personalization practices, feel free to reach out to me at any time.


Amit Bivas, VP Marketing at Optimove

Email: amit_b@optimove.com

About the 7 Commandments for Basic CRM Tactics in A Post-Coronavirus World:

We have a saying here at PostFunnel: All marketing is relationship marketing. Why? Because every touchpoint with a potential customer impacts the kind of relationship they will have with a brand, if and when they become customers. Even branding has. It’s like what people hear about their upcoming blind-date can determine the actual meeting’s success.

In recent years, it meant that the ways brands support global, social, environmental, and even political causes have become increasingly critical to their relationships with customers.

Then, 2020 happened. With its global pandemic’s tragedy, economic downturn, and historical social and political turmoils – people turned their eyes to brands, almost as much as they have to governments. Expecting and judging brands by how they conduct themselves throughout such events was never more crucial to a company’s CRM success.

One after the other, the internet got flooded with articles advising marketing and CRM leaders on how to make sure their brand is suited for this new reality. So, we combed dozens of them – and came up with a list of 7 staples that appeared in most of those articles.

The seven most essential commandments a brand must follow these days to make sure they put themselves in the best position possible to develop long, meaningful relationships with their customers.

The 7 Commandments:

1) Transparency. Show the human side of your brand

2) Give incentives and perks (that make sense)

3) Be relevant (with your language, offering)

4) Be helpful (improve your communities’ lives)

5) Personalize in realtime (cause, duh)

6) Master UX (slow, clunky websites are no longer an option)

7) Leverage social media (don’t just treat it as a sales channel)

Yup, that’s all. Without being at least decent at all of these, your CRM efforts will struggle to achieve their full potential.

And, let’s be honest, it’s not too much to ask of a brand, right?

Yet, you’d be surprised how many well-known brands fall short too often when analyzed through these lenses.

Still, it makes some sense – these changes are happening fast, and not all brands can react and adapt quickly enough and on all fronts.

And we’re here to follow these reactions and adjustments as they happen.


The post A Letter to David Devany: An Update on Iceland Food’s Basic CRM Tactics appeared first on Post Funnel.


Online enterprenuer. Lean leadership consultant.

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