Sun Savers Segmentation
2020 Winner

Sun Savers Segmentation

News UK

London, United Kingdom

Category Data and Research

Media associated with this campaign

Overview of this campaign

Sun Savers was a success, but why?

To grow membership and, crucially, to drive engagement, required a deeper understanding of usage and motivations. Building volume and engagement while maintaining ‘The Sun’ factor and the ‘joy’ of the brand meant finding the right messaging, offers, promotions for the right reader segments.

The cross-discipline team, formed in 2018, made of data analysis, data science and insights specialists alongside marketing remains the driving force behind optimising the segmentation strategy based on behaviours and motivations into 2020.

Making the shift from promotionally driven to a member-centric programme:

Sun Savers offered the potential of the same kind of audience insights normally reserved for online-only brands. If we could link reader buying behaviours and motivations with digital engagement and overlay an audience segmentation we could inform the next wave of growth and engagement.

We had analytical data and customer research but no way of confidently connecting them. Does banking codes at a certain time drive greater engagement? Which groups have the highest lifetime value? What levers can we pull to drive greater engagement? We had, and still have so many questions!

In 2019 the team took the bold move to re-define the segments to draw out more actionable insights based on behaviours, activity and characteristics

We set the bar high and wanted the project to inform three core elements of the business;

  • How we developed the product

  • Marketing briefs, campaigns, media buying, messaging, alignment with key brands, CRM & newsletter content

  • Guided new editorial content

A series of complex and specialist techniques to build simple segments:

  • Initially, Data Science built a segmentation model based on RFM (Recency. Frequency and Monetary value) which created >50 audience segments: The team were tasked to boil this down into actionable segments that the whole business could easily relate to and understand
  • Data Analytics teams were set the objective of overlaying this with Acxiom audience data and then, to ensure a more practical and workable solution, apply clustering logic to form a small group of actionable segments
  • Customer Insights & Analytics could then be asked, via unique identifiers over a series of surveys (each 10-20K to ensure we were confident of their relevance and allow us to scale up to the entire base) to connect specific customers to a segment

Results for this campaign

Read PDF deck in conjunction

  • Sun Savers codes account for 12% of sales
  • 7th most read section of The Sun
  • We spend typically 60% less on OOH campaigns as well focusing acquisition or engagement creative by locales
  • After significant launch support, the programme grew to 817K in 2018. In 2019 a further step-change drove these gains;
    • +38.9% YoY members (1.13M)
    • Codes banked +14.1%, >51M codes in 2019 vs 45M in 2018
    • +13.8% codes banked per member
    •  We moved members up the engagement scale. Low engaged members ( 300 codes per year) +18.6% with 78.9k banking >300 codes
  • We refined the segmentation and naming conventions to be better understand behaviours, activity, characteristics and segment classifications. We can now view the Savers segments mapped against their engagement percentage and loyalty score (see PDF deck)
  • This then led to exploring cross-sell opportunities with Sun Bingo, Sun Vegas and Switchcraft (Utility supplier auto-switching service)
  • The segment profiles, also allowed us to understand what people spend their money on, hobbies, promotions, where they shop, what they like from a content perspective etc.
  • We’ve devised content pillars that ladder up to these findings meaning we now plan and group activities by Advice & Tips, Deals & Discount, Creating a Savers Community
  • This has allowed our content team to work with supermarkets and popular retailers to deliver shop-a-long videos and content, showcasing where the best places are to shop, and how to get the best deals.
  • A step-change in open rates from ~17% to ~30%. With a better understanding of our segments and what content they enjoy, we are now refining our newsletter approach to target sends based on high, medium and low engagement.
  • We have developed a Sun Savers playbook and it has introduced a common business language from C-suite down


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