Harrods makes the most of Concep's B2B email marketing platform to transform employee communications and engagement
Harrods have 10,000 employees including deskless or 'remote' workers.They needed a flexible B2E solution to communicate with all their employees effectively. With Concep’s email marketing solution for professional services Harrods Internal Communications have digitally transformed employee engagement:
- Automating workflows to enhance the on-boarding experience
- Creating multi-page campaigns to launch Employee Benefits
- Increasing engagement of key employee segments with mobile-responsive campaigns
They can now target their wide and diverse employee target base far more inclusively.
Harrods - the iconic department store - is located in Knightsbridge, central London. Now owned by the state of Qatar, Harrods occupies a 5-acre site and includes 330 departments covering some one million square feet of retail space. It has been based at its prestigious Knightsbridge site for over 150 years.
The renowned brand also encompasses other enterprises undertaken by the Harrods group of companies including Harrods Estates, Harrods Aviation and Air Harrods. The group of companies employs some 10,000 staff.
Behind the scenes of the luxury shopping experience, Harrods has large and complex employee communication requirements. Its ten thousand staff include shop floor staff, management, retail, distribution, human resources and marketing functions. However, a number of staff at Harrods do not work for the store directly but for leading in-store luxury brands and concessions. A key challenge is to not only involve and communicate with the store’s own staff, but with concession workers as well.
Internal communications at the upmarket store are further complicated by the type of workers and the diversity of their roles. Many of the shop staff are technically known as ‘remote workers’ – they work on the floor but don’t have regular access to PCs or email. Some of these staff don’t even have a work email address. Staff are also highly flexible in terms of the way they work – there are numerous, different shift patterns and some work part-time.
To ensure efficient internal communications, Harrods has adopted a sophisticated business communications platform provided by Concep, specialists in relationship marketing technology for professional services.
Concep’s advanced email campaign management technology is a core part of Harrods’ internal digital communications strategy which includes its own intranet and digital marketing activities. A key member of Harrods’ internal communications team is Stuart Robson.
“My main focus is the development of our internal digital channels including email marketing. Concep has really helped us to develop multi-faceted campaigns that can be easily segmented by the relevant target audience. This is crucial because there are so many variables for people that work directly, or indirectly, for Harrods,” states Stuart Robson.
The Concep email marketing platform is used as an invaluable B2E tool in a number of ways. The most frequent is for communicating business-critical messages – such as key management appointments or policy changes. The email platform is used as a strategic tool. Communications include quarterly business updates on how the store and different departments are performing; and what is going on in different areas of the store.
Concep’s platform is also an important engagement device supporting Harrods’ HR initiatives. It is used to communicate events such as a twice-yearly Careers Week or to launch the ‘Friends and Family Event’. The platform also played a major role in the launch of the store’s new Employee Benefits Programme.
The internal communications team are careful not to over-send communications to Harrods’ staff base. Typically, they will send out one or two emails per month targeting around three and a half thousand employees each time.
Concep's email marketing system has been integral to enabling Harrods to provide more effective B2E communication programmes. It can now target its wide and diverse employee target base far more inclusively.
“Email segmentation is something that we take very seriously. There are so many variables in terms of our workforce – whether they work for a concession, a brand, whether they are on the shop floor, are in distribution or are shift-based. We need a highly flexible email marketing system that can handle the entire gamut of employees we have at Harrods,” says Stuart Robinson.
A new on-boarding experience: The Internal Comms team have also found ways to take full advantage of Concep’s advanced functionality. For example, Concep’s automated workflow technology has enabled them to deliver a new on-boarding experience for new employees– even for concession staff that don’t work directly for the store. The workflow has been designed to ensure that new employees are engaged – something that Harrods has identified as critical in the first 3 weeks after starting a new role.
Delivering information digitally: Another benefit of Concep’s system is its multiple email page template capability. This enables the Internal Communications team to create what is effectively a microsite that can be accessed from within the email to support campaigns and events. Key examples include the recent launch of the Staff Benefits Programme where a microsite was specifically created. This was sent out to Harrods’ entire ten thousand staff and associate base – even those without work email addresses.
Measuring Engagement: The Internal Communications team can also intimately understand the success of their email communications campaigns and improve deliverability thanks to Concep’s reporting system with its focus on measuring engagement.“The metrics of the email system enable us to see the success of a particular campaign – whether a recipient has read the email or not; and whether they have clicked on it a number of times. This campaign data can then be analysed for more effective targeting and to see what works and what doesn’t. For example, the business quarterly updates metrics show they tend to be mostly read by the store’s upper management. So now we are looking at ways at how we can engage more compellingly with the wider team.”
Mobile- responsive communications: Concep system’s advanced functionality also ensures that the many deskless or “remote workers” are always informed of the latest store news and updates. By using responsive templates, the email system reaches deskless employees who don’t have a PC and are, therefore, totally reliant upon mobile communications.
Communications transforms employee experience: Harrods have made the most of adopting a business communication platform that has been designed specifically to meet the needs of the professional services industry, and in doing so have transformed their new employee experience and are continuously able to improve employee communications and engagement.
If employee engagement is a key metric for your organisation’s internal communications, talk to Concep.