Skilling is a Scandinavian-owned fintech company with a straightforward purpose: to make trading simple and accessible to everyone in a transparent and secure environment.
Founded in 2016, Skilling allows customers to trade more than 900 forex and CFD financial instruments, including crypto and foreign exchange currency pairs, shares, popular commodities and indices from around the world.
The company’s mission is to create a unique trading platform designed to cater to traders of all levels and unlock the potential of the world’s financial markets for everyone.
After several years of rapid growth, Skilling found itself with a fragmented and increasingly complex tech stack. Customer data was siloed across systems, making it very difficult for teams to generate insight into customers and limiting opportunities for effective marketing communications.
Skilling turned to Segment in August 2020 to centralize and standardize its data across all of its channels. In doing so, it was able to:
Create a single, unified view of the customer, based on accurate, high quality and compliant data
Enable marketing teams to execute personalized marketing campaigns, without developer input
Generate game-changing business intelligence which is now informing strategy and the introduction of new financial instruments
Creating a single source of truth for customer data
As with many fast growth businesses, Skilling had focused primarily on customer acquisition in its early years, driving phenomenal growth and success. But as it continued to scale up, the company needed to put more focus into conversion and retention to develop deeper, longer-lasting relationships with customers. In order to achieve this, Skilling needed to start providing customers with more personalized and engaging communications across multiple channels.
However, Skilling’s tech stack wasn’t optimized to deliver effective marketing campaigns. The company had built its own marketing communications tool to support its early growth but it didn’t allow teams to easily segment audiences across a rapidly expanding and more diverse customer base. This was preventing marketers from creating multiple customer journeys and limiting the number and variety of email communications that the company could use to engage customers.
Added to this, Skilling had no single view of the customer, with data siloed in multiple systems. The development teams had to spend significant amounts of time supporting marketing to create audiences and integrate new downstream tools. Given Skilling was operating a lean development team, the need to replicate integrations each time a new marketing channel was implemented was becoming a real pain point, taking critical resources away from high value work. Skilling had no data warehousing or ETL in place and there was a general lack of trust in the quality of customer data across the business. This made it almost impossible to engage customers through personalized communications.
Skilling needed to implement a new marketing automation tool to transform its communications capabilities, but it also needed a platform to integrate all of its customer data.
The company started to explore options and soon recognized the benefits that Segment could deliver, both in terms of integrating all of its customer data and in enabling more personalized communications, by activating this data across multiple downstream marketing tools.
"It quickly became evident that Segment ticked all the boxes for us. It solved a number of technology issues, with its simple and rapid integrations, minimal development requirements, and the ease of use for teams within the business. And of course, it would enable our marketing teams to take a far more sophisticated and strategic approach with outbound communications."
-Andrew Haigh, CTO, Skilling
Centralizing customer data and enhancing business intelligence
Skilling brought in Segment to integrate all data sources into a single Customer Data Platform (CDP), to track all event and behavioral data across its channels and to create audiences for marketing communications.
Segment Connections enables Skilling to collect, unify and connect all of its customer data, and Functions allows teams to integrate new downstream tools quickly and easily. Skilling also deploys Personas to create audiences for personalized marketing campaigns.
The company uses Freshsales at its Sales CRM and has deployed Customer.io as its marketing automation and email tool. It uses AppsFlyer as its mobile attribution platform, and a range of downstream marketing tools, including Facebook Conversions, AdRoll, Twitter Ads and Google Ads.
Skilling has also integrated Slack into Segment as an internal collaboration and notification platform. And critically, deploying Segment has also enabled Skilling to rapidly implement Postgres as its data warehouse platform, solving one of the company’s biggest technology challenges.
"The fact that Segment has enabled us to quickly implement a data warehousing solution has been a massive win for us. We now have a single source of truth for customer data and we know that our data is consistent and accurate across Segment, our data warehouse and all of our downstream tools. Segment has given us trusted Business Intelligence within three months, and negated the need for us to take on a costly and complex 12-18 month transformation project."
-Andrew Haigh, CTO, Skilling
Segment is primarily used by the marketing team to create audiences and customer journeys, and to roll out targeted communications to customers. But its impact is being felt across the wider business, with all teams looking to embrace a more data-driven approach, based on having access to trusted, real-time insights into customer behavior and demand.
Delivering personalization and meeting customer demand
By implementing Segment, Skilling has been able to overcome the heightened complexity that the company is now facing and dramatically increase marketing output and efficiency.
The marketing team has been able to develop and support an ever growing number of customer journeys for both acquisition and retention, each with a wide range of variants requiring a different set of communications. It’s also able to roll out campaigns across multiple jurisdictions and communicate in 12 languages. Whereas previously Skilling could only support one marketing campaign, it has now executed 40 campaigns and more than 500 broadcasts, and these numbers are expected to continue to climb exponentially going forward.
Crucially, the marketing team is able to use Segment without needing any developer support. The team can build audiences and publish traits easily and quickly, and this is transforming the way that they approach building out new campaigns.
In the last 6 months, Skilling has seen improvements to it's campaigns across the board, including:
37 campaigns launched
232.240 communications sent
+3,1% increase in open rate (OR)
+0,9% increase in click through rate (CTR)
+1% increase in conversion rate (CRV)
Because Segment is integrated into Skilling’s trading platform, the company now has access to a wealth of high value, behavioral data. For instance, it’s able to analyze customer churn to identify signals and potential reasons for customers who are no longer engaging with the platform. And using this insight, the marketing team is now able to build trial audiences to test out campaigns and messaging to reduce churn rates going forward.
Another benefit of Segment has been the integration of reporting across the business. Rather than every team and every tool running its own reporting, the company’s entire reporting stack is now running off its data warehouse, supported by Segment data. This consolidated view is making it much easier for managers to monitor performance, spot trends and identify opportunities.
What’s next? Skilling will be looking to scale up its marketing activations, with more frequent campaigns across a greater number of channels, including SMS and WhatsApp. It will also be looking to expand its use of testing and leaning on trusted customer data to deliver hyper-personalized communications for customers.
"Segment is giving us the confidence to take our marketing in new directions and embrace new tools. Our campaigns have matured hugely over the last 18 months but we still feel that there is so much more we can do now that we have access to trusted, real-time data. This really is just the start of a really exciting journey with Segment."
- Andrew Haigh, CTO, Skilling